Sunday, February 13, 2011

Pleasing Faith

Pleasing Faith
Feb 14, 2011
Hebrews 5:6 "And without faith it is impossible to please God. . ."

The Bible says, clear as day, that it is impossible to please God without faith. It takes faith to please God, or at least we need to have some faith to make the Lord happy. You can work until you are blue in the face, you can give all of your money to the poor, but if you don't have faith, then you will not be able to put a smile on the Lord's face. This is contrary to how the world lives, where you are only valued if you perform well. God does not require performance to please Him, He requires faith. It can be a confusing concept since the word "faith" can have different meanings. We say a person has a "Christian Faith" or a person can have "faith" that something is going to happen. So, what does it really mean to have faith that pleases God?

The Bible defines faith as, "confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see." You may have heard this definition before but maybe it needs clarification. There are two parts to this. Having faith in God, because He exists, though we have not seen Him, is the "assurance about what we do not see." It takes faith to believe God exists. This is the easiest part for Christians, believing in a God. The other part of faith is the "confidence in what we hope for." Hoping for something, though it may not happen in this lifetime, is faith. But it is not just hoping for something in the future, it is a boldness, a confidence that it will happen in the future. If you are reading this, you probably already believe God exists, but you may not be living your life with confidence. It takes confidence, in what you do not have, to make the Lord happy, to please Him.

If you read the latter part of the verse that explains it is impossible to please God without faith, you will find a further explanation of what was intended. The entire verse reads, "And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him." Notice the definition of faith is right alongside the mandate of what it takes to please Him. It says we must believe that God exists (which we all do) AND we must have confidence that God rewards those who earnestly seek him. Pleasing faith, then, is believing in God and believing that He will deliver a future for you, full of heavenly blessings, for finding Him and His will here on earth. We all know He exists, but this second part is where most of us are lacking. If we had confidence in a future reward, we would ALL do more to find God and His will in every circumstance and situation. If we believed God would have our best interests at heart and take care of our needs down the road, then our current actions would be different. Our actions would declare what we believed about His will for us. When we seek Him, we will truly know Him, then be compelled by faith to live out His will for our lives. Our actions would then speak volumes regarding how much we know about God.

The only thing our actions prove is that we are out to take care of ourselves, unless God decides to come back today. We don't live with a confidence and an expectation of the future, we live with the worry of the current situation. We worry about today's relationships and today's money and today's happenings instead of what God has for our future. God says we must live with a confidence toward the future, a simple naivety of letting God choose our future and our reward regardless of how things play out. If we could all rest our lives and the outcomes of our situations in His hands, then we would be pleasing to Him AND we would probably have more reward. This is also counter intuitive to the way the world works. In this world, the only way to have more is by working for more. But God says, the only way to have more in His kingdom is by having faith.

1. What do your actions say about your faith in God?
2. How can you have a confidence in a future reward for today's actions?
3. What would it look like if you truly had Pleasing Faith.

Don't take my word for it; look it up: Hebrews 11:1, Hebrews 11:5-7

No comments: