“But my righteous one will live by faith and I take no pleasure
in the one who shrinks back.” (Rom. 9:13 NIV)
How can a man please God? That sounds like a very important question. Those of us who love God and are so thankful for what He has done for us really want to know. So, here in the Book of Hebrews we have found our answer. If we belong to God and are those who have been made righteous by the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross, we must live by faith. Then He will be pleased with us. But what is faith and how do I live by it?
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. (Heb. 11:1 NIV)
Faith is really believing that what God says is true and being so convinced and dedicated to this truth that it will show forth in our daily actions. It is having such a conviction that God’s truth is the only truth and that His promises about how I can be saved, how I can fulfill my purpose, and how I can be assured of my future are so real, that I live right now like it is already a done deal.
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. (Heb. 11:6)
Not only is faith important when it comes to pleasing God, it is critically necessary. In fact, without faith it is impossible to please God. Faith begins with believing God exists and that belief then results in my conviction that He is willing and able to do what He has promised in His Word.
God isn’t a man that he would lie, or a human being that he would change his mind. Has he ever spoken and not done it, or promised and not fulfilled it? (Num. 23:19 CEB)
The LORD Almighty has sworn, “Surely, as I have planned, so it will be, and as I have purposed, so it will happen.” (Isa. 14:24)
The kind of faith we are talking about here involves trust at the highest level. The father of our faith, Abraham, is seen as one who had this kind of faith. He believed God and in the promises God made to him in such a sure and unshakable way that He could trust God in spite of how things looked or felt in the natural. He EMBRACED the promise of God that His son Isaac would be the seed of many nations. He knew that Isaac would have to live long enough to have children so the promise could continue. So when God commanded him to sacrifice his precious son, his faith was proven true.
By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had embraced the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, 18 even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” 19 Abraham reasoned that God could even raise the dead, and so in a manner of speaking he did receive Isaac back from death. (Heb. 11:17-19 NIV)
What can we conclude? That we please God by our faith. That faith is having confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. And that our faith will cause us to trust in God and in His promises because we know HE is faithful. And that faith is shown true in our daily decisions to obey God and do things His way because HE is trustworthy in all that He says and does. Can a man please God? You bet he can.
So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. (2 Cor. 5:9 NIV)