Well-Pleasing to God by Faith with Works
What is faith?
Faith is all-important to pleasing Jehovah God. “Without faith it is impossible to please him well, for he that approaches God must believe that he is and that he becomes the rewarder of those earnestly seeking him.”—Heb. 11:6.*
Dictionaries define faith as the mental acceptance of a proposition as true, based upon the authority of another, rather than upon one’s own knowledge, reasoning or experience. But the Bible defines faith as “the assured expectation [hypóstasis] of things hoped for, the evident demonstration [élegkhos] of realities though not beheld.”—Heb. 11:1.
Yes, faith is an expectation assured to such a degree that it is able to support, uphold one’s confidence and to guarantee that what is hoped for will become a reality. Those with faith have proof or evidence that can be used to demonstrate or to back up, for example, their belief that a global paradise is soon to come. This evidence is so powerful that it is able to refute what seems to be the contrary. As noted in The Expositor’s Greek Testament, Vol. IV, page 352, “Substantially the words [hypóstasis and élegkhos] mean that faith gives to things future, which as yet are only hoped for, all the reality of actual present existence; and irresistibly convinces us of the reality of things unseen and brings us into their presence.”
What are some of the factors that caused some 200,000 to lose faith in Jehovah in the last twenty years?
Among these persons were some rather newly acquainted with God’s truth. These may have made a hasty dedication, based on a rather limited amount of knowledge, and then for various reasons fell away, even as Jesus showed in his parable of the sower.—Matt. 13:3-9, 18-23.
How can we strengthen our faith?
True faith must be built upon a knowledge of the Creator. Some of this knowledge is provided by his visible creation. (Rom. 1:20) But a far more solid and complete foundation for our faith is found in the inspired Word of Jehovah God. By studying it with the helps he has provided through his earthly organization, we can strengthen our faith in spite of the lack of faith and the prevalence of wickedness in the world.—Rom. 10:17; 2 Tim. 3:15-17.
To strengthen our faith we must also continue to associate with God’s people who today are truly exercising faith by bringing the good news of God’s kingdom to others. It is by such association that we have our faith, as well as our love and zeal, strengthened.
Preaching the good news and working at making disciples will also strengthen our faith, for by working at strengthening the faith of others we strengthen our own faith. Here also the proverb applies: “The generous soul will itself be made fat.”—Prov. 11:25.
What must accompany our faith for us to be well-pleasing to Jehovah God?
To be well-pleasing to Jehovah God we must have not only faith but also determination, resoluteness. We must be persistent against the opposition or attempts on the part of others to dissuade or discourage us in our preaching the good news of God’s kingdom and in making disciples. We must be fully resolved and determined that, come what may, we will continue to serve Jehovah faithfully.
For details see The Watchtower, January 15, September 1, 1969.