Summary: This message looks at how faith is the only way to please God and everything flows from this.
Genuine complaints received by Britain’s travel operators
No one told us there would be fish in the sea. The children were startled.
We had to queue outside with no air conditioning.
The brochure stated "No hairdressers at the accommodation". We’re trainee hairdressers, will we be OK staying here?
It took us nine hours to fly to Jamaica from England - it only took the Americans three hours.
I compared the size of our one-bedroom apartment to our friends’ three bedroom apartment and ours was significantly smaller.
We booked an excursion to the water park but no one told us we had to bring our swimming costumes and towels.
We found the sand was not like the sand in your brochure. Your brochure shows the sand as yellow but it was white.
And finally, from a holidaymaker in Spain .....
There were too many Spanish people. The receptionist spoke Spanish. The food is Spanish. Too many foreigners.
Some people are hard to please aren’t they? No matter what you do/say they will always be dissatisfied. Whatever they buy, wherever they go – there is always something just not right. You know the saying “You can’t please all of the people all of the time.” I’ve got an addendum: “You can’t please some people any of the time!” Not that that could ever be true of anyone here! What about God? What’s he like to please? These verses in Hebrews 11 are a lot about pleasing God. The writer has already used Abel as an example now he uses Enoch. Unique in that only he and Elijah never saw death. Throughout Scripture recognised as a special individual. They show us the way to please and walk with God.
1. Faith is the way to please God
How do you please someone who is actually, genuinely perfect, 100% perfect? He’s knows everything, sees everything and can do everything! Add to that that he is morally perfect, pleasing God could be very tricky. When it comes to pleasing God some people are like the little sparrow I told you about last week. Lying on its back with its scrawny legs thrust upward. When asked why he was lying on his back with legs pointed towards the sky he said that he had heard a rumor that the sky was falling, and so he was holding his legs up to catch it. When asked, "You surely don’t think that you’re going to hold it up with those two scrawny legs, do you?" He replied, "One does the best he can." That is the approach many have to God. They think it is matter of doing the best you can. I am amazed at how people still are locked into this way of thinking.
It is impossible to please God without faith we are told. The faith the writer is on about here is faith that not only believes that God exists, but is a specific faith in the God who has revealed himself finally in his Son and made promises which are yet to be fulfilled. It is believing that God will deliver on his promises. It is an eager anticipation and hope. Faith is about focus. What is your focus, is it on God? It’s like Peter when he was walking on the water (Matt.14:25-31). Full of faith his focus was on Jesus. In the storm he walked on the water. But once he lost his focus he began to sink. He was no longer trusting, he was worrying about the waves and began to sink. Jesus was there to catch him of course. Jesus said “"You of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?"”. Faith and focus are pretty much the same thing. That focus can be distracted by the storms as with Peter. Are you in the middle of a storm? Keep your focus on the Lord, don’t look down at the wind and the waves. If you already have the Lord is always there for us. It can also happen when life is easy and we take our eyes off the Lord.