Faith Is the Key - Hebrews 11:6

Scripture of the Day

Scripture of the Day - Faith Is the Key to Pleasing God
Photo Source: Pixabay / Composition: Sue Chastain

Welcome to Verse of the Day!

Today's Bible Verse:

Hebrews 11:6
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)

Today's Inspiring Thought: Faith Is the Key

This chapter, Hebrews 11, is often called the Hall of Faith. In it, we read of all the great men of faith recorded in the Scriptures. Here we learn that faith is the key to pleasing God.

First, we need faith to come to God — to believe he exists and then trust him for our salvation. Then, our continued abiding faith — the kind that causes us to seek him daily — offers the promise of a dynamic, rewarding walk with the Lord.

But the Christian life is a difficult journey, plagued by our own sinfulness and the ceaseless temptations of the world around us. How can we obey God? How can we have victories instead of defeats? Where do get this faith so necessary to spiritual strength?  

Sadly, many Christians are confused about where faith comes from. They believe they can generate faith on their own, and often they start with works. "If I can just do enough good works," they think, "that will prove to God that I have faith in him."

In contrast, the Bible tells us faith is a gift from God (Ephesians 2:8). Through his compassionate grace, God gives us the very thing we need to follow him.

Faith is the path to God. We need only follow it. 

One of the most encouraging truths in the Bible is that its heroes were far from perfect. Scripture does not hide their weaknesses. We can read about their stumbles and relate to them. The highs and lows of their lives remind us they were painfully human, just like us.

We can take heart in realizing God loves us in spite of our flaws.

That's why this Hall of Faith is so valuable. God included it in Scripture to bring some of his favorite followers together in one place. He dispels our confusion by showing what these powerful men and women had in common: faith. We can imitate their good qualities. We can join the ranks of the Hall of Faith, not by working more or trying harder but simply by receiving and following through. We can take the faith God gives us and change the world. 

In the surrounding verses, the writer of the book of Hebrews shows that throughout history faith has been the key to the accomplishments and successes of all the Bible's heroes. He describes some of the attributes of this God-pleasing, miracle-unlocking faith:

Faith and confidence in the unseen are inseparably linked. 

"Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for. By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible. (Hebrews 11:1-3, NIV)

It's easy to have faith in the government, our doctor, or other things we can see.

Faith in God — the unseen — is challenging, but our grace-based faith makes God as real as the visible.

Faith is expressed in action.

"By faith Abel brought God a better offering than Cain did. By faith he was commended as righteous, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith Abel still speaks, even though he is dead." (Hebrews 11:4, NIV) 

We can sit on our faith doing nothing, like we can sit on an unused talent, but we show our faith by taking action. Stepping out and doing something can be scary. Through confidence in God, we know he will work things out for our good.

Faith involves looking forward to heaven.

"All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them." (Hebrews 11:13-16, NIV) ​

The Old Testament people mentioned in the Hall of Faith did not know a messiah. They died centuries before Jesus Christ was born, yet they held to the promise of a savior and the hope of heaven. Even though they did not know Christ, they were rescued by him. Their faith carried them to heaven.

We walk each day by faith, with confidence in what we cannot see yet, exercising our faith and looking forward to heaven. This is how we live in a way that pleases God.