Summary: In times when anti-Christian sentiment runs high in our society, mature Christians are rightly disturbed by all the trouble caused by evil doers but nonetheless our strong faith in God our Deliverer sees us through every trial.
PLEASING THE FATHER BY FAITH IN HIM AND HIS SON JESUS CHRIST
“We aim to please” is an axiom we hear in advertising and sales, and as a response someone makes to us when we express our appreciation for products and services rendered.
Examples: A business enterprise may tell us they aim to please by offering bargain prices and quality merchandise. A server in a restaurant may respond to our “thank you” by saying, “We aim to please”.
Where and when the idiom originated and by whom is anyone’s guess but it has been said that the phrase first appeared in the early 1900’s at county fairs where public restrooms for men had, for urinals, long troughs at a suitable height, with a faucet at one end pouring water into it and a drain at the other end, with a sign up above that read: “We aim to please. You aim, too, please!” Whether that is so, I don’t know. But . . .
All kidding aside, we can assume that to aim to please - in almost any context - means that it is the goal of the person(s) using the slogan to satisfy the recipients of their services or products. In the spiritual realm:
Pleasing God is one of the great Christian ideals we have been taught, and have sought to achieve, from the moment we first heard it to this very moment.
We heard it from:
Jesus: “The one who sent me is with me,” said Jesus, “He has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases him.” (John 8:29)
The Father Himself: “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased”. This was the commendation from the Father we all memorized early on in our Christian journey. (Matthew 3:17)
The Beloved Apostle John: “We have confidence before God,” John wrote, “and we receive from him because we obey his commands and do what pleases him.” (I John 3:22)
Any reference to the Christian ideal of pleasing God raises the question we all must ask ourselves: “What pleases God?”
To the writer of the Book of Hebrews, the answer was simple yet profound – Hebrews 11:1-6 . . .
So: What does it take to please God? Do we please the Master by routinely performing certain rituals . . . making up a check list of rules and regulations, and then checking them off one at a time . . . adhering to religious observances on a right regular basis? Now hear what the writer of Hebrews says:
“Without faith it is impossible to please God, for anyone who comes to Him must believe that he exists, and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6).
Plain and simple: We are to build our lives on a foundation of faith. Which raises the question: “What is faith?”
Consider an apple seed; what is the essence of an apple seed? The seed is essentially an apple - the substance of an apple; and the apple is the evidence of what had been hoped for; the proof is in the tasting and the eating of it.
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not yet seen (things we cannot, will not see until it is time).” (paraphrase of Hebrews 11:1)
God gave an apple seed which was planted and cultivated, in the hope – biblically speaking, we were certain of it based on God’s creation of it and God’s purpose for it - that the seed would produce an apple, which would be the reward for genuinely believing that the seed was indeed the essence of an apple that would go through a certain process before the hope could be realized; the sower of the seed had a good reason and every right to believe that it would happen when the time came for it to do so . . .
God’s reward for our faith will one day be realized in the fullness of God’s promises - because God said so . . . therefore we believed it would be so . . . thus, we know so. In a sentence: God said it, that settles it, I believe it. God’s most precious promise is one which we older folks like to hear, and never get tired of hearing - “I go to prepare a place for you” – our Lord’s promise to all who believe in him and receive him as personal Lord and Savior.
Faith in this case consists of: (1) believing that the promise will be so because Jesus said so. His saying so is the basis – the substance - for believing His promise. (2) His death and resurrection is the evidence that His promise will be kept.
Rule: Believe any promise, made by Him, whom God raised from the dead!