Faith Factor 12 – Double Delight

We saw in Faith Factor 3 that our faith “pleases” God. Without faith it is impossible to please God. Therefore only faith pleases God. That sets up a situation where faith becomes the “Double Delight”, and so that is my theme in this lesson.

Faith Pleases God

We know that faith pleases God, and we saw in lesson 4 that it is “Only Faith” that does the job. When you choose to put your faith in Jesus Christ as your Saviour and Lord, God is pleased. When you step out in faith and rely on God, God is pleased.

When you do anything without faith being part of it, God is not pleased.

“But without faith it is impossible to please him (God): for he that comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” Hebrews 11:6

In fact, if you are not engaging faith you are in sin!

“And he that doubts is damned if he eat, because he eats not in faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.” Romans 14:23

No wonder, then, that Christians must have a complete lifestyle of faith; living by faith, because only faith pleases God.

“For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.” Romans 1:17

Faith Not Results

We have a tendency to evaluate faith based on the “results” it produces. If we hear of someone who believed God for great things and those things came to pass we ascribe them as possessing “great faith”. Yet if another person steps out to believe God for great things and those things do not come to pass we see the person as foolish, irresponsible and lacking in faith.

Now, that tendency which humans fall into so easily is against what God thinks. God’s ways are higher than ours and we should always be ready to give up our natural thinking, since it will likely be far below God’s best.

Hebrews 11, the chapter listing the Heroes of Faith, not only lists people who achieved great exploits, but also those who seem to fail miserably. The early verses speak of Noah, the patriarchs and Moses. Then the list includes great achievers such as Samson and David. Great exploits are listed.

However, before the chapter ends mention is made, with equal respect, to people who suffered terribly and new saw some great breakthrough.

“And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yes, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented” Hebrews 11:36,37

Celebrating Faith

We are ready to celebrate results, but God celebrates faith. It is “faith” that delights God, not might, money, muscle or mission accomplished.

God was delighted with those who were tortured or cut in two. God did not see them as ‘losers’ who couldn’t get the victory, but as ‘winners’ who brought delight to Him, by their faith.

And that’s a real turn-around for many Christians. Some of the people we look down on as having failed in their faith venture are included in God’s list of modern-day faith heroes. Some of those who made newspaper headlines and whose names have been mocked for their failed attempt to achieve for God are actually celebrated in heaven, while we have not yet made an impression there.

Did Moses Fail?

I always saw Moses fleeing from Egypt as a real loser. I have heard preachers heap scorn on Moses for trying to help the Israelites in his human strength and then falling flat on his face. Moses’ flight from Egypt is seen as a symbol of failed humanity.

Moses killed an Egyptian, but was then rejected by an Israelite who was fighting with his brother. As a result Moses feared and Moses fled.

“And he said, Who made you a prince and a judge over us? Do you intend to kill me, as you killed the Egyptian? And Moses feared, and said, Surely this thing is known. Now when Pharaoh heard this thing, he sought to slay Moses. But Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh, and dwelt in the land of Midian: and he sat down by a well.” Exodus 2:14-15

That sure looks like “failure” to me. And that’s how I always thought of it, not noticing what Hebrews 11 said about it, until many years later, despite reading it several times.

Moses the Faith Hero

Moses is not only listed among the Heroes of Faith in Hebrews 11, he is specifically commended for the very act of running away. What looks like failure from human perspective turns out to be a delight to God, from God’s perspective.

By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward. By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.” Hebrews 11:24-27

If Moses can look like a failure to human eyes and yet be recorded in Heaven as a hero, then how many other people who we think of as failures have brought delight to God’s heart?

Faith Brings Delight

Our faith, and only our faith, brings delight to God. We don’t have to win or get the breakthrough to have pleased God. It is the faith, not the outcome, that is important.

God looks at the heart, not the record books. When God sees faith in the heart God is delighted. The person may stumble and fall, fail at their attempt, make a mess, offend others who despise their actions and failure, or whatever, but God will still be delighted with the faith that was in their heart.

I talked with a stranger on a plane many years ago who turned out to be the son of a pastor who stepped out to achieve something for God. The venture failed and the man was so shamed and attacked that he left the ministry. The son felt a need to apologise for his father’s actions. But I wonder if God might see that man’s venture entirely differently to how the newspapers saw it.

A Second Delight

We know that our faith brings a delight to God.

So where is the second delight? How do I come up with a “Double Delight”?

When you reach into God’s Storehouse of Grace and apprehend anything that God has for you in there, including, as Paul did, apprehending that for which you were apprehended (Philippians 3:12), God is delighted. So, what about another level of delight?

Daddy’s Delight

The second delight is the delight of God’s Father heart in giving good things to His children.

Parents enjoy blessing their children and God is no different. God gives good gifts to His children. He will give them better things than earthly fathers give to their children.

Look for the ideas of “father” and “pleasure” in this statement made by Jesus Christ …

“Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” Luke 12:32

Wow! God gets a great delight out of giving things to His children!

And look here at an Old Testament statement about the delight God gets in giving…

“Let them shout for joy, and be glad, that favour my righteous cause: yea, let them say continually, Let the LORD be magnified, which has pleasure in the prosperity of his servant.” Psalm 35:27

King David was confident that God enjoyed blessing His children.

God is delighted to give.

Double or Nothing

Every time you reach into God’s Storehouse of Grace to take hold of what God has already prepared for you and placed in there, you have to use faith. That faith pleases God. It brings Him delight.

But at the same time you are receiving from Him, as His child, the very things He is delighted to give you as your Heavenly Father.

When you ask in faith for what God is delighted to give, there is Double Delight. God enjoys your act of faith and God enjoys being able to give you what He always wanted you to have.

Delightful Faith

Let me recap the Double Delight, so you can see how delightful faith is to God.

God is delighted to give.

When we ask in faith God is also delighted.

So when we ask in faith for what God is delighted to give, there is Double Delight.

You can put two smiles on God’s face at the same time!

So, let’s do it!

Faith Factor 6 – Reward in the Storehouse

People of faith expect a reward. Now, that probably sounds irreligious to you. There is a religious notion in Christianity which celebrates self-sacrifice and despises expectation of reward. In most people’s religious thinking it is noble to give things up and evil to ask for things.

Yet the Bible is rich with instructions and examples of asking. Jesus Christ taught us to “Ask and you will receive”. Jabez asked and was given what he asked for. Gideon asked for proof and God gave it. Jesus said that God will give us what we ask for, just like a loving father does to his children.

And the Bible goes even further, explaining that there is a positive result from some spiritual actions, including the receiving of a benefit or reward. What we sow produces the crop you should expect from the seed. That means we get a result directly commensurate with our actions. “Give and it will be given to you”, said Jesus.

If you have a problem with the idea that Christians get a benefit from obeying God’s commands, then “Get Over It!” Our faith produces positive results, including our forgiveness and salvation. If you don’t believe that then you don’t have faith at all!

Faith Produces Results

The great “faith” chapter of Hebrews 11 speaks about many who were ‘faithful’ to God in the face of challenges. But it also talks of those who produced results by their faith. That’s because faith does produce results. Those results could be called benefits or rewards, but they are results none-the-less.

The “elders obtained”, “Sara received strength to conceive seed” and others “through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again.”

Now, these are all Old Testament examples quoted in the New Testament. So, what about some New Testament examples? There is the lady who pressed through the crowd to touch Jesus, to whom Jesus said, “Your faith has made you whole” (Matthew 9:22). There was a blind man to whom Jesus said, “Your faith has made you whole” (Mark 10:52). There was a leper to whom Jesus said, “Your faith has made you whole” (Luke 17:19). And there were two blind men to whom Jesus said, “According to your faith be it unto you”, and then He healed them (Matthew 9:29).

Faith Expects Reward

Not only is it wrong theology to shun a positive result from our faith, it is also a total destruction of faith itself. Those who think you should not expect a result from your believing actually have no faith.

How can I assert such a religiously abhorrent thing? I do so because of what the Bible teaches about faith. Let me take you to the basic definitional verse about faith which I have used throughout this series of lessons, Hebrews 11:6.

“But without faith it is impossible to please him (God): for he that comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” Hebrews 11:6

The very definition of faith includes the idea that God is a rewarder by His own character and nature, and the idea that God will reward those who press in to Him. Faith, by definition, includes the belief that God responds to man’s dependence on Him. It involves expectation of a divine reward in the human experience, when man puts his trust in God.

So faith expects a reward. If it does not expect a reward it is not faith!

Blab It and Grab It!

Now, I fully understand that the faith message has been abused. I have met people who teach and others who believe that we can use faith as a power tool to manipulate God and get for ourselves things that we covetously desire.

I know that all such thinking is an abuse of the truth. I know that whole churches have succumbed to such wrong thinking. I know that “faith churches” and “faith preaching” have been way out of line at times. I know all of that. But the errors do not destroy the truth.

The error of Jehovah’s Witness teaching does not negate the reality of God as Jehovah. Mary worship among some Catholics does not remove Mary from her place in history. Extreme holiness does not remove our obligation to live holy lives. And so too, abuses of the faith message do not negate what the Bible teaches about faith and how we are to live by it.

So, don’t turn off to the Bible just because it awakens your fears or offences about what some others have done. Grow up! Get past determining your spiritual journey as a reaction to other people’s mistakes. Walk with God. Cling to His Word. Live by His truth. Navigate by the Holy Spirit’s guidance. And if “faith” preaching has offended you, then let me suggest what I mentioned earlier: “Get over it!”

Faith Geography

Let me describe for you the geography of your blessing and rewards.

Everything we can expect from God comes to us by the sacrifice of Jesus. Everything He gave up for us is now put in a storehouse of grace, for us to receive. He became poor that we might become rich, 2Corinthians 8:9. He left heaven, and we get to go there. He became human so we could become divine. His body was beaten and damaged so our bodies could be healed, 1Peter 2:24.

Everything you need from now to the end of eternity has already been purchased for us in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross. Therefore it is stored up for us in a storehouse, which is geographically situated at God’s right hand.

“You will show me the path of life: in your presence is fullness of joy; at your right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” Psalm 16:11

Interestingly, Jesus is situated at God’s right hand too.

“For David himself said by the Holy Spirit, The LORD said to my Lord, Sit on my right hand, till I make your enemies your footstool.” Mark 12:36

“But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God” Hebrews 10:12

The Storehouse of Grace

That place at God’s right hand where all our “pleasures” are, which will suffice us “for evermore”, is what I call the “Storehouse of Grace”. Everything that is in there is “grace”. It is undeserved by us and only comes to us through faith.

So, there is a Storehouse, called the Storehouse of Grace. And the key to the door of that storehouse is the key of “faith”.

“For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God” Ephesians 2:8

Salvation is the supply of all the things we need until the end of eternity. It is “grace”. And it is accessed “through faith”. We gain grace, which is the stuff in God’s storehouse of grace, at God’s right hand, only by using “faith” as the key to open the door.

That storehouse contains all the salvation, miracles and healings needed for everyone in all of human history. But most people will not use faith to open the door and release to themselves the blessings which have already been paid for and put in the storehouse, through the sacrifice of Jesus.

The Sheer Abundance

God’s storehouse of grace is jam packed with far more blessings than you will ever comprehend. The sacrifice of Jesus Christ on your behalf bought for you far more than you could ever access in one lifetime. God did not skimp on His provisions for you. He is a God of abundance and He provided absolutely abundantly for you, when He sent Jesus to die for you.

Have a look at a couple of scriptures which give a sense for this abundance.

“He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” Romans 8:32

“But as it is written, Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love him.” 1Corinthians 2:9

There is so much in God’s storehouse with your name on it, waiting for you to claim it, that it is going to take God the whole of eternity to show you what you missed out on claiming during your short stay on planet earth.

“That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 2:7

Faith Gets the Reward

Faith opens the door to that awesome storehouse. Faith in God does it. Your confident trust in God allows you to be led by Him to do the exploits He has created you to do. In the process of stepping into the miraculous dimension He has planned for you there will be some awesome challenges. But God has already prepared the miracles for you and put your name on the package, waiting for you to claim it.

If you do not step out in faith, then you will never need the package and it will be there for you at the end of your life. During eternity God will make a grand display of all those amazing presents waiting to be claimed by His children, but which they failed to reach out for.

If you are crazy enough to believe God and to do the asking, seeking and knocking which Jesus spoke about, then you will get the rewards. If you can bring yourself to “live by faith”, rather than just camp on the memory of a past moment of faith, then you too will get some of those amazing rewards.

That’s why the life of faith is so amazing and so exhilarating. It opens up to us the miracle dimension in which Jesus lived and which the Apostle Paul followed him in. So, let’s be followers of Christ and Paul and step into the faith dimension where the power of God has already been prepared for us to enjoy.

Faith Factor 5 – Holding On

Understanding faith can be achieved by various approaches. One thing might quicken your faith now, and yet a completely different thought may prompt your faith on another occasion. In fact, faith, simple as it is, is spiritual, and therefore profoundly complex. Different things will inspire faith at different times.

With that thought in mind I am sharing various Faith Factors with you, to provide various angles from which to view and understand faith. You may well find that see God for who He is quickens your faith on one occasion, while discovering your part in faith may excite your faith on another occasion.

So, here is another Faith Factor which I find important in my application of Christian faith. It is the process of Holding On.

Pressing Through

Faith is persistent. It takes a stand, based on who God is and what He asks of us and it maintains a dogged persistence. This is what I call Holding On. But it could equally be called Pressing Through.

Faith claims God’s promises. Faith apprehends what God has for us. Faith presses in and pushes on. It is determined to claim the prize. It will not take “No” for an answer. It maintains course and defies all challenges to the stand it takes.

Now, to be realistic, there are many times when people’s faith does not maintain such heights of victorious persistence. We can all be ‘weak in faith’ and cry out the Lord in despair, rather than expectancy. Thankfully and wonderfully God comes through for us, even when we are falling in a heap.

Think of the disciples in the boat, desperately afraid they will die. Their fear and panic did not stop them receiving a miracle. Think of Gideon’s inability to believe what the angel of God told him about his ability to win a victory. Yet God continued to uphold him, bearing with his insecurity, until the fearful one had won a great victory.

Yet, for all that, there is a wonderful aspect of faith that is victorious, persistent, unconquerable and soul stirring.

Faith in Action

Faith is seen in the actions of the one who holds it. We are told by the Apostle James that “faith without works is dead”, James 2:20.

“For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” James 2:26

When faith is present there will be some resultant actions which attest to it being there. Faith itself becomes the evidence and substance of what is believed for.

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1

Faith is therefore best seen when a person purposes to believe in unseen substance and then acts accordingly.

The Action of Resting

When I talk about faith being linked to action, or faith being seen in the ‘works’ of one who believes, I do not want you to think only of busy activity. One of the most powerful actions of a man of faith is ‘rest’.

In the face of fear people become agitated. They may engage in busy work. They may tend to talk a lot, fidget, run to and fro looking for help, and so on. In such a case the act of ‘resting’ is a powerful testimony to a person’s faith.

Hebrews 3 and 4 address this factor of ‘rest’ as a result of faith. Those who do not trust God are not able to enter into rest. Those who trust God cease their own labours, relying on God to do what man cannot do. This does not mean inactivity, but it does mean the cessation of futile human energy thrown at some problem.

“And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not?” Hebrews 3:18

“For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.” Hebrews 4:3

“For he that is entered into his rest, he also has ceased from his own works, as God did from his. Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.” Hebrews 4:10,11

The Action of Rejoicing

Another work of faith which I love to see is the rejoicing of one who is confident in God. If you knew that God had solved your problem you would break into rejoicing, song, praise and worship.

Coming to a place of confident celebration in the outcome, before the outcome has become visible is a ‘work’ of faith. Because, by faith, you have the ‘substance’ of what you are believing for, even before the answer has arrived, you now not only rest, but you rejoice. What joy it is to be confident that God has solved the problem and met every need!

Don’t Give In

I am reminded of an occasion before I was married when I faced a faith challenge to hold on and press through in faith. I was working using an oxy-torch to melt brass in a metal fabrication process. I was manufacturing hundreds of pieces and my protective gloves developed holes over time.

I accidentally turned the naked flame onto my exposed thumb and burned it badly. In agonising pain I hastily turned off the flame, pulled off the glove and pressed my good hand onto the burnt thumb, praying madly for protection.

I had heard many testimonies of God’s healing power in response to prayer and I prayed keenly, knowing that I was badly burned and desperately needed healing. The workshop in which I was working was empty at the time. After my initial cries of pain and desperate prayer, I headed across the open factory floor, toward the foreman’s office. I knew that there was a special burn spray in the office which I could put onto my thumb.

Half way across the factory I was pulled up by a thought. I realised that if I had prayed in faith and believed God to heal me, then I would not need to use the spray. However, my thumb still pained badly. I lifted my hand to look at the thumb and its skin was burned brown. I was in a dilemma. I wanted to act in faith, but I also wanted my thumb to have the best chance of recovery. Faith said, “You have prayed, now leave it to God and expect His good work”. Realism said, “Your thumb is very badly burned. You need to get it attended to.”

I was caught between those two opinions for quite a while. Then I decided that I would rather act in faith and please God, than to throw my faith away, just because of my pain. I turned and went back to my work bench. I gingerly pulled on the stiff, worn gloves, re-lit the torch, and went back to work.

The heat of the torch made my thumb pain even more. I had to work slowly, because of how sensitive my skin was. But I felt good about having chosen to act in faith.

Over the next hour the pain subsided and I just got on with my work. By the end of the day the brown burn had subsided to a small area in the middle of the thumb. By the next morning there was hardly a sign that my thumb had been burned at all. I was healed, beyond all reason. I had chosen well to hold on in faith.

Heroes of Faith

Hebrews 11 records some heroes of faith who suffered torture. They were heroes of faith because they held on to their believing. They would not be dissuaded, even by the threat of death or torture.

While we all love the accounts of faith that wins out in the end, it is not the outcome that is important to God, but the faith that is expressed in willingness to press through.

Remember the three Jewish boys in Nebuchadnezzar’s court who refused to bow to his idol. They were threatened with death in the fiery furnace. They declared their confidence that God would deliver them, but they added that even if He did not save them they would not bow.

“If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods, nor worship the golden image which you have set up.” Daniel 3:17,18

Hang in There

Faith survives the many challenges which are thrown up against it. Faith finds rest when others are afraid. Faith delights in outcomes which have not yet occurred. Faith praises God for His deliverance, while the battle is still raging.

Faith hums a song of happy expectancy, while others wring their hands in anxiety.

So, hang in there. Press through in faith. Determine to trust God, even if it appears that all is lost.

Remember that God is pleased to see you faith. God will be delighted with you, no matter how things work out in the natural circumstances. Hang in there and bring a smile to God’s face by your determination to trust Him, no matter what.

Faith Factor 3 – Pleasure

No world religion empowers its adherents as Christianity does. Christians do much more than follow religious prescriptions, read a holy book and believe in a particular deity. Christians engage the reality of God into their lives with awesome, transforming impact. And the mechanism by which they do that is an on-going process called ‘faith’.

So what is faith and how does it work? What do we have to do to operate in more of it? How is faith built up and how do we see more results from employing it? I am now up to the third part of a series exploring faith and addressing these questions.

God’s Pleasure

I was surprised many years ago to see a particular word attached to the definition of faith that I had never considered before. I am using Hebrews 11:6 as my reference text for a definition of faith and that verse speaks about God’s pleasure.

“But without faith it is impossible to please him (God): for he that comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” Hebrews 11:6

My initial religious training made me think of man’s need to engage with God for man’s benefit: salvation. My evangelical roots pressed the argument that man needed to be saved and that could only be achieved by having faith in God.

So I was surprised when I actually stopped to take stock of what the Bible said about faith. I subconsciously expected the Bible to say, “without faith it is impossible to be saved”! But instead it said, “without faith it is impossible to please God”!

Wow! That was a complete turn around.

Pleasing God

Somehow I had come to see God’s person and sovereignty as so immense that man was absolutely insignificant to God’s consciousness. I don’t know where that came from, but I imbibed it at a very early age. I concluded that there was nothing man could do to influence God and that man was simply inconsequential in God’s grand scheme of things.

So, to discover that man had the personal power to bring pleasure to God came as a shock to me.

But take a look at what that verse says. “without faith it is IMPOSSIBLE to please God”. Faith not only gives humans the capacity to bring pleasure to God, but operating in faith is the ONLY way man can bring pleasure to God.

When I discovered that, my whole comprehension of what faith is and how mankind relates to God was expanded. I began to see a picture of God eagerly awaiting man’s faith-filled response to Him. Faith was not one-sided, giving man opportunity to enter God’s rescue plan, but a two-way relationship-building connection. Man’s response of faith not only brought benefit to man, but it fulfilled something of God’s wish for mankind, thus causing delight to God.

Win – Win

I began to see faith as a ‘Win-Win’ arrangement for man and God. Faith was no longer the self-seeking arm-twist that man could put on God, for man’s personal benefit. I now understood it as the mutually rewarding completion of a Father-Son interaction.

When I step out in faith I create a Win-Win situation. I win by accessing more of what God has for me. God wins by receiving the pleasure of a Father’s heart, seeing His child step into what He has created for me.

This previously unseen element of God’s pleasure made faith a much friendlier, relational quality within Christianity. It is a joy for me to move in faith, when I know that my faith brings delight to God.

As a child of God I am motivated to exercise faith as my gift to God. I can please Him. But I can only please Him by stepping out in faith.

Failure Pleases God

From the human perspective our actions are measured by the results they produce. If humans were to evaluate each other’s faith they would likely evaluate the ‘outcome’ of the faith. Faith that gets people healed, saved, delivered or otherwise changed in a measurable way gets the big ‘thumbs up’ from man.

But God is not pleased by the ‘output’ of faith or by the ‘results’ which faith generates. God is pleased with faith, pure and simple. When a person steps out in faith God is pleased. When a person chooses to trust God, in the face of all odds, God is pleased.

So, when a person trusts God, but everything falls apart, God is pleased. When a person steps out in faith and fails in all measurable human terms, GOD IS PLEASED! Even failure pleases God!

Now, isn’t that a radical idea?

Exhibit A – Moses

Don’t take my word for it that failure pleases God. Just take a look further on in Hebrews 11, the great ‘faith’ chapter of the Bible.

There we find many people being hailed for their faith. “By faith” this one did that and “By faith” that one did something else. There’s a whole chapter celebrating the heroes of faith.

So, take a look at what Hebrews 11 says about Moses fleeing from Egypt. Moses made a failed attempt to deliver some Israelites. But they rejected him and so Moses fled into the wilderness. Every time I read that account in Exodus 2 the clear impression is that Moses failed. Moses is seen fleeing with his tail between his legs, so to speak.

Yet in Hebrews 11:27 we have the same event described as if it was a triumphant moment of faith.

By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.” Hebrews 11:27

Man would call that a failure. God calls it faith. And faith pleases God! So, Moses’ failure pleased God.

More Failures that Pleased God

Have a look at these other heroes of faith who ended up in ‘defeat’ in human terms, yet who are listed alongside those who won out in the end.

“And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were killed with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented” Hebrews 11:36,37

Does that sound like prime candidates for Christian Television or cover photos in Christian magazines? Absolutely not! They sound like a bunch of ‘losers’. Yet they are listed among the heroes of faith.

God was pleased with each one of those losers. They did not please God by getting a home run, or by clawing their way back to win the race. They lost. They died. They did not get the upper hand or win the day. They failed!

Please God

Faith is not about achieving a unique testimony to take you on the preaching trail. Faith is about pleasing God. God is pleased by your decision to trust Him. The outcome is far less relevant than you might think.

So, go ahead and please God. Get into the wonder of stepping out in faith in Him. Don’t get hung up by the outcome, but get excited about the privilege and opportunity you have to bring delight to the heart of your Heavenly Father.