Without Faith it is Impossible to Please God
These words are found in Hebrews 11:6. The entire verse reads,
And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. (ESV)
Earlier in the same chapter the writer of Hebrews defined faith this way.
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen (v.1).
To what things is the author referring? He is referring to the promises of God, and Jay Adams in his booklet Importance of Faith in Counseling offers three aspects of faith in order to help us understand what God means:
First, one must understand in what God is calling him to place his faith. Very few, if any, people will place their faith in something they do not know. So God has made himself known through his word. According to Adams, “God’s truth has content. It is not vague and amorphous. It is a body of teaching including truth about God, the gospel of salvation, and directions for living the Christian life” (3). It has substance and is not an anything goes type of proposition. It does not change with the flow of popular belief and is not subject to cultural approval. In order to understand it one need only prayerfully study it.
The second aspect of biblical faith according to Adams is agreement. By agreement he does not mean that a bargain is struck between God and those reading his word, but that having read it and understood it, the reader agrees with what God has stated. It means that one with genuine biblical faith agrees with what God has said about himself, mankind, sin, salvation, the future, etc.
The final aspect of biblical faith according to Adams is dependence. “It is a staking of one’s future upon the truth of His word. This aspect of faith requires one to depend upon what God has said concerning Himself and His plan of redemption” (4). It is a trust in what God has said to be true. It is a trust in God to do what he has said he will do and a trust that what he commands of his children is good, right, and best for them.
So, counselor do you seek to understand God’s word? Do you agree with what it says or do you tend to say “yeah but”? Finally, do you depend on and trust in what God says? As you ponder your answers to these questions, also consider how you might encourage your counselee in each aspect of faith.
Finally, let us not forget that “without faith it is impossible to please him.”
By His Grace Alone,