Summary: Without faith it is IMPOSSIBLE to please God!
Are You Pleasing To Jesus?
"Without faith it is impossible to please God" Heb 11:6
Faith is an extremely important subject to God. When Jesus walked the earth, there was little that upset Him as much as a lack of faith. Sinners received mercy, patience and forgiveness in abundance. Sometimes they didn’t even verbalize repentance for their sin and Jesus had mercy on them. To the woman caught in adultery in John 8, "Jesus said, "Nor do I condemn you. You may go. But from now on, avoid this sin."" She never verbalized repentance for her sin!
However with a lack of faith He seemed to have little patience. When the disciples were unable to cast a demon out of a young boy, Jesus’ reaction was: "What an unbelieving and perverse lot you are! How long must I remain with you? How long can I endure you?" (Mat 17:17) Then Peter exhibited to us what seemed to be great faith. He walked on the water only to falter a little bit at the end, when he became frightened. Jesus’ response was: "How little faith you have!" To us a "well done" would seem more appropriate. It appears what our idea of faith is and what Jesus thinks is faith, are worlds apart.
It is clear that what Jesus is talking about is not a set of dogmas and doctrines that we give intellectual assent to. That is an intellectual faith which is valid, but not enough in itself. For as the bible says in James 2:19 "The demons believe that and shudder." So obviously we must have more than just an intellectual faith. The bible talks about an expectant, effective faith that "moves mountains" (1 Cor 13:2)
Jesus Said It; That Settles It and I Will Act on It!
It is talking about a trust and confidence in Jesus and The Word of God, which is reflected in our actions. It is a decision to act on the word of God regardless of our feelings, emotions and without the need of proof. Jesus said it, that settles it, and I will act on it. That is the faith that pleases Jesus!
The bible says "we are to walk by faith, not by sight." (2 Cor 5:7) In other words, Jesus is not from Missouri and "show me" then I will believe, invites His wrath. It is believe then you will see! We are also not to be led around by our feelings. It is Fact > Faith > Feelings in that order. The Facts are found in the Word of God, we decide to act on them which is our Faith and our Feelings bring up the rear. Feelings are the caboose of the train; they do not drive the train. If they support our decisions in the Word of God, all well and good. If they don’t, we decide and act on the Word of God anyhow! Expectant, believing, active faith in the word of God regardless of our fears, feelings and emotions is the fuel that powers the engine of abundant life and it brings a smile to God’s face.
An example of an area where we are held captive by our feelings is in the area of forgiveness. We all have people we need to forgive. We are often held captive by our feelings and emotions and are unable to forgive them. During this time we are releasing the bile of unforgiveness into our own spirit and frequently it results in physical and emotional sickness. The devil also takes advantage of this unforgiveness and will make a mountain out of a molehill. We have all seen situations in our families and in marriages that go on for decades over some petty incident. Marriages have been destroyed and families split asunder over unforgiveness.
With each decision against forgiveness and love, we pick up momentum in the direction of that decision, toward bitterness and anger. Negative emotions which are entertained over a long period of time, eventually influence our outlook on life. What starts as our decision eventually becomes our nature as we solidify our decisions. We create our character with our decisions and then our character in turn influences our decisions. Much like a snowball rolling downhill getting bigger and bigger.
The bible says, "Do not let the sun go down on your anger."(Eph 4:26) If we would just act in faith on this one verse regardless of how we feel, untold marriages and families would be saved from senseless tragedies. When we decide to forgive in faith, the Holy Spirit rushes to empower us in this action. It is not by my might or my power that I can forgive, but it is by the power of the Holy Spirit that is released when I decide to act on the Word of God, see Zec 4:14. This power is not released when we are led by our feelings, in disobedience to God’s word.