“And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6 NAS95)
We need to clearly understand the message that it is impossible to please God without faith. No one will be accepted by God without it. We can multiply good works, but without faith, God will not be pleased. We can have a great knowledge of His word, but without faith, God will not be pleased. We can be very “religious” people, but if we don’t truly have faith, God will not be pleased with us. But what is faith? This verse gives us two essential elements of faith that must be understood if we want to come to God.
First, the one who comes to God must believe that He is. We must believe that the God of the Bible exists. Many will say that they believe God exists, but they go about their lives as if He does not. It is not merely saying the words “I believe in God” but ordering your life in such a way that reflects your belief that He is real, He is present, and that He is all-powerful.
Many people stop with this first condition of faith. Believing that God exists is a necessary part of faith, but this alone is not sufficient. The second thing that we must believe is that God rewards those who seek Him. To be pleasing to God, we cannot think of Him as a distant, uninvolved God. We must believe that He is actively involved in our lives, that He actively rewards those who will listen to His word and respond to it, and that He blesses those who will come hard after Him. How are you doing with this? Sometimes we carry on like God doesn’t see what’s going on in our lives, or that He doesn’t care, or that He is not able to help us. Brothers and sisters, we need to trust in the promises of God and not waver in our belief that He will reward us! This is the second essential element of faith, and without it, we cannot be pleasing to Him.
As you read through the rest of Hebrews chapter 11, you will see these conditions of faith played out again and again. Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Moses, all of these found favor from God because they believed that God is and that He rewards those who seek Him. We too will find acceptance, favor, and reward from God if we will do the same.