Pleasing God

“Without faith it is impossible to please God”, wrote Paul (Hebrews 11:6).  How important it is, therefore, that we develop faith!  And how best is it done?  To answer the question we must understand what faith is.  The apostle defines it as “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1).  Without expounding these terms specifically, we note that they define faith as a conviction of the reality of that which is promised, but which is not yet revealed.  It sustains the man of faith during times of difficulty leading to that end.

Granted a true faith, which must stem from a correct understanding of the word, how do we go about pleasing God?  Men of God will walk by faith, whereas men of the world will walk by sight.  The former will invest in the future by their adherence to the principles of God today.  The latter want an immediate return from what they put into life.

Walking by faith implies an implicit confidence in the utterances of the Bible, despite appearances which sometimes seem to conflict with those utterances.  Yet faith is not mere credulity, but a conviction founded on evidence.  A credulous man is a simpleton and God does not favour such.  God would have our minds well furnished with reasons for the trust we have in Him.  God has provided the material for forming these reasons.  It is found written in the covers of the Bible and is illustrated by events taking place in the modern world about us.  The moral, social and political conditions of life, which are so familiar to us, are predicted in the Scriptures and our recognition of this fact can strengthen faith.  Above all else we have the miracle of Israel.  The most superficial comprehension of Bible prophecy recognizes that in this we have a most compelling latter-day witness.  No one can dispute the predictions of the word in relation to Israel; no one can dispute their fulfilment today.  In these things we see not merely a vindication of prophecy but a means of strengthening our individual faith.

To grow in faith therefore needs effort on our part.  The Israelites were styled “children in whom is no faith”.  Why?  Because, as Isaiah declared, they were “children that will not hear the law of God” (Isa 30:9).  Therefore they were people of “unbelief”, with no conviction; they “worshipped” God but were not motivated by complete trust in Him, they were given a book, God’s law, but they refused to listen to it. Those who had the ability to read and understand the book found excuse for not doing so on the ground that it was sealed; those who lacked ability used that as their excuse.

Indeed, it is essential for us to open and read the Bible if we would develop in faith and so please God.  And if we are not prepared to spend time in developing faith, we shall soon succumb to the pressures of the day.  Our eternal salvation, therefore, depends upon what we do with the Book given into our hands, in this our day of opportunity.  This is both a personal and a communal responsibility.  Let us give ourselves to the personal study of the word; to verse-by-verse marking of our Bibles and by daily contact with the mind of Yahweh as revealed in it.

Bro. Patrick Wafula (Kamukuywa, Kenya)

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