1 Peter 1:8 Inexpressible Joy
“and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible “
In life there are a few things that we just don’t have the words to describe. We hear this a lot and corny love songs.
Peter uses a phrase that describes this kind of thinking when he says (aneklaleto) or “Joy inexpressible” which means literally unable to call out. There’s a literal sense of not even being able to speak. This sense is that it’s so deep that we don’t quite have the language to describe the experience. And it usually comes to us when we are least expecting it.
CS Lewis referred to this as a shadow to the heavens. We’re on a course to sanctification looks and it looks and feels often like a long tedious journey (at least if you’re living up to your calling as a disciple!) On this journey we experience a lot of toil, but we’re going to find a glimpse of being complete and when we experience this moment, words can’t possibly explain it… it is a sacred moment or a heavenly grace. Jesus described this as a peace that passes understanding.
And of course this is Contronym language, it’s the opposite of what our world usually considers joy. Maybe it comes in the form of hurt or brokenness and moves you to steps outside of your expectations. In fact, it takes us away from the world where God greets us; it’s an eschatological picture, but also a picture of sacred joy within the tangled world that we live right here right now.