Tuesday, January 17, 2006

WordPoints - January 17, 2006

What Faith Makes Possible
But without faith it is impossible to please Him . . .
Hebrews 11:6

It is possible for us to please God, but only by faith can we do so. Enoch's example illustrates how we can relate to God when we have real faith. Enoch "walked with God" (Genesis 5:24). And his walk with God, based on faith, had remarkable results. "By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, 'and was not found, because God had taken him'; for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God" (Hebrews 11:5).

Enoch pleased God, the text says, by faith. Does this mean that the mere fact of intellectual "belief" pleases God? No, we must have a faith that diligently reaches toward God in a trust that is both hopeful and loving. "For we walk by faith, not by sight. We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord. Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him" (2 Corinthians 5:7-9). If we make it our aim to be well pleasing to God, we need to understand that this wonderful possibility can be realized only by the obedience that comes from faith. "Without faith it is impossible to please Him" (Hebrews 11:6).

Faith is one part of the great triad: faith, hope, and love. And, in fact, the faith that makes pleasing God possible has in it a strong element of both hope and love. All three of these spiritual attributes look to the future through the eyes of trust. Working together, they produce the "work of faith," the "labor of love," and the "patience of hope" (1 Thessalonians 1:3).

Consider that the faith by which we come to God and please Him is not without real hope. While faith gives us a vision of how great our possibilities with God can be, it is hope that fervently desires these possibilities to come true. More than that, hope expects them to come true! And this expectation moves us to emulate God's character and grow in purity. "Everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure" (1 John 3:3).

By faith, we seek to please God because we love Him. It is faith that gives wings to love's natural desire. Showing us not only that God can be pleased but how we may do so, faith gives true substance to love's highest wish: the pleasure of our beloved God.

Faith is love taking the form of aspiration.
William Ellery Channing
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Copyright © 2006 by Gary Henry - Visit the WordPoints web site: www.wordpoints.com

8 comments:

Aunt Jo said...

Woohoo! AJ is first. What fun. (Why is it so fun to be first?)

Good post Anne! What is anything we do if we don't do it in love?

Hikingalong said...

What a wonderful post. Thank you for sharing this today. I really needed to read this. God bless you!

Kish said...

Thanks for posting these! i appreciate it. there are so few people who outwardly share their faith in God, so I enjoy it! I should share my testimony on my website sometime. I am a new Christian. It took the birth of my son to get me to really believe. Anyway, thanks. this is nice.

Anne said...

Kish - I'm a new Christian also. I was baptized about 6 years ago. It was the birth of my son as well that caused me to see Truth.

Badoozie said...

after 3 tries, i finally made it all the way through this, i keep getting interupted!!!!

have to go here, there, here and back again........

did it really sink in? probably not. i need to be hit over the head with a mallett. any takers?

Anne said...

berrymom - thanks for your comments. I'm glad to know you were uplifted in some way.

Kish - I suppose I should share my testimony as well. Maybe soon.

Susie Badoozie - you're just a nut, plain and simple! I'm not sure if they sink in completely for me either.

Where's the mallett!

Kish said...

Anne - let's both do that soon ok! Especially since we are both new Christians, we can learn from each other!! God Bless!

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