It’s hard to describe the moment I first saw my oldest son, Jonah. It was through the screen on my phone as I filmed his birth by C-section. I discovered afterwards that making my short movie was against hospital regulations, but I would hit record again in a heartbeat if I had it to do over.
Though his mother and I had wondered what our child would look like, when I saw Jonah, red in the face from the primal scream of birth and shivering from the air-conditioning in the operating room, it was as if I’d always known him. Like I said, it’s hard to explain.
Now I can’t quite remember what my life was like before I had kids. They belong with me and are a part of me. Life could never be the same without them. So, that moment when I first saw Jonah in the hospital, it was as if I’d recognized him from some previous meeting, like I’d always known him. Someday, those of us who know Jesus will finally meet Him face to face. I imagine it will be a similar sensation. We will recognize Him immediately and be unable to remember exactly what life was like before being forever united with our Savior in this way.
The apostle Peter encourages us to endure “various trials so that the proven character of your faith… may result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:6–7). Everything is leading up to that moment, when Christ returns and we finally see Him face to face. To borrow a phrase from the hymn writer Horatio Spafford, it is the day “when faith shall be sight.” It will change everything.
Peter knew something of this. He had been the disciple to first identify Jesus as “the Messiah, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16), but he ran away and hid when his sight didn’t match his faith—when he saw Jesus being arrested and tried as a blasphemer, when he saw Jesus remain silent amidst taunts and accusations. Peter had been there when Jesus raised people from the dead. He had watched Him feed five thousand with a boy’s lunch. He had seen the Lord walk on the water, and even joined Him on the lake momentarily. But Peter doubted and denied Jesus when what he believed and what he saw no longer lined up.
Who better than Peter to encourage us to live with Jesus’s return in mind? He knows there will be days when faith and sight don’t align. There will be times when our troubles make it appear to our senses that the world and God’s enemies are right after all, that the hope of the Christian is a fool’s hope. But there is a day coming when all of that nonsense will be put to rest, once and for all. The risen and returning King Jesus will be revealed, and those who have placed their trust in Him will be vindicated. Even now, even in those moments when pressure is mounting on every side, we can have joy because, as Peter put it, “you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls” (1 Peter 1:9), the fullness of which will come when the Son of God returns to earth. Come, Lord Jesus!
Written by John Greco