Monday, January 31, 2005

Faith Pleases God

But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those diligently seek Him. (Hebrews 11:6)
Faith pleases God. In fact, without faith, it is impossible to please Him. But the Bible says that, by faith, “the elders obtained a good testimony” (Hebrews 11:2). That is, God was pleased because they believed Him.

This is what happened with Enoch. “By faith Enoch was translated so that he did not see death … for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God” (v. 5). This is the evidence that Enoch was full of faith: He pleased God.

The Greek word “please” is emphatic. It is not about being merely pleased, but being well-pleased, fully and entirely gratified. God takes the greatest pleasure when we believe Him. Biblical faith arouses God’s pleasure and fully satisfies Him.

Faith is the only basis by which we may approach God. We do not come on the strength of who we are and what we have done. We come because of who He is and what He has done.
He does not delight in the strength of the horse;
He takes no pleasure in the legs of a man.
The LORD takes pleasure in those who fear Him,
In those who hope in His mercy. (Psalm 147:10-11)
The Bible says that those who call on the name of the LORD shall be saved (Joel 2:32; Acts 2:21). We call on His name, with faith that He is there, and that He is who He says He is. We call on His name, trusting that He will do what He says He will do.

So, faith is not about us and our works, but about God and His Word. Faith is believing the Word of God, for that is how faith comes, by hearing the Word (Romans 10:17). God is fully pleased with those who believe His Word and greatly displeased with those who don’t.

God rewards those who diligently seek Him, that is, those who seek Him by faith. This means that our focus is on God alone — His will, His way, His Word — and not on ourselves. The heart that diligently seeks God says:
  • God’s ways are higher than my ways; I want God’s ways.
  • God’s thoughts are higher than my thoughts; I want God’s thoughts.
  • God’s works are greater than my works; I want God’s works.
At Lakewood Church, in Houston, Texas, Pastor Joel Osteen begins every service by holding up his Bible and making this powerful declaration: “This is my Bible. I am what it says I am; I have what it says I have; I can do what it says I can do.”

This is the kind of faith that pleases God and lays hold of His reward.

Faith — taking God at His Word — pleases God. Trust completely in Him, and in yourself not at all. Believe that He is who He says He is and that He will do for you what He says He will do. That simple faith will please God, and His pleasure will result in your delight.