Hebrews 11:6 says, “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” Two profound truths are set forth.
First, without faith it is not possible to please God. How many set out to please God only to someday discover that without faith, that seemingly noble goal is not possible? How much of the last 168 hours—the last week—has pleased God? How much of today? How much has truly been lived by faith?
The encouraging truth is what is implied by the explicit statement that introduces the text. With faith it is possible to please God. Faith does not depend on human merit. Faith depends on God. Faith is not a work; it depends on the worker—God. This dependence on God pleases God. There is no other way.
Second, the one who comes to God must believe. It is not a matter of simply going through motions. It is not just a matter of coming to God in prayer. It is a matter of believing. It is possible to become mechanical in prayer, but ritualism is not the access. Faith is. Coming to Him must be in faith, believing God exists and rewards those who depend on Him.
True believing comes as a response to the Spirit’s convincing work in the heart that God may be trusted on a given matter. This is the “evidence” or proof of things not seen (Heb. 11:1). The word evidence is the noun form of the verb reprove (convict, convince) in John 16:8. The Holy Spirit proves or convinces. “Convincement” is not a feeling. It’s being convinced you can trust God. You can go to God. You can take Him at His word.
Faith comes by the word and the Spirit (Rom. 10:17; John 16:8). The word is the foundation for faith. The convincing of the Spirit is the cultivation of faith. Faith responds to the word and the Spirit. Then God responds to those who respond to God.
Faith pleases God!
John Van Gelderen