We quoted this verse a couple of days ago… and I just can’t escape these words.
The author of these words wants us to understand that IF we are intent on pleasing God… the only way to do this is… by faith. Without faith it is not just unlikely for us to please God, or difficult for us to please God… it is impossible.
Faith is that important. We are to understand that nothing else pleases God like faith does. Not our moral behavior. Not our religious practices. Not our kindness to others. Not our church attendance. All good things. All important things. But not the main thing. Nothing but faith is so absolutely crucial.
Why would that be?
It all comes back to the one thing that matters most. Relationship. We all know that Christianity is not a religion, but a relationship… but what is the basis of that relationship?
It is trust.
From cover to cover, the God of the Bible is imploring people to trust Him. He desires to show Himself faithful and trustworthy – but He requires that people seek His faithfulness and trust in his goodness.
All good relationships are based on trust. Love grows in the fertile soil of trust. Friendship develops in the bonds of trust. A sense of security is formed in trust.
When we come to God, we come to a God Who longs for relationship with us – people who trust Him… who rest their faith in His care and concern for them.
But there is another thing we need to understand about faith. It is not just about believing in God or in His Character. It is about acting upon what we believe. Faith is putting our belief in motion. Every day of our lives.
It is tempting to reduce faith to a few moments in our lives. Moments when we discover that we are not enough… and we need the all-sufficiency of God. Moments of crisis. Or moments of worry. Or moments when we are an emotional wreck. Or moments when we need something that only God is able to give us.
But this is not the kind of faith that the writer is telling us about. He is talking about a lifestyle of faith. A trust in God that guides and sustains our every step. A trust that God is taking us by the hand to lead us into His best… or to opportunities to discover the fullness of His love for us. Faith that welcomes the trials as well as the victories – the struggles as well as the times of overwhelming joy.
The faith that God seeks in us is ABLE to cast aside our doubts and firmly place our lives in the Hands of the One Who seeks to show Himself good and faithful. Who honors our trust with His abiding and discernible Presence.
This is the faith that pleases God.