Diligent Faith Equals Diligent Rewards

Reading Level: Very Impassioned

It is not uncommon for the resolution of our crises to be delayed due to some perspective of our own that keeps us from seeing the clear path or answer.

During a period in my life in which several major issues each came to a point of crisis at the same time, I had been spending a larger than normal amount of time in prayer and the Scriptures, seeking direction and relief from these situations. During my introspection, one point that came to me was an understanding of how I needed to improve on my belief of God’s positive response to my faith. I had always felt that I had a clear understanding of Hebrews 11:6, but I now realize that, up until the present time, I was approaching this verse along the lines that I did have faith that God would reward my seeking of Him, but only in as much as He would listen to and answer my prayers. However, it has become apparent that my prior perspective greatly short-changed my own well-being and spiritual progress.

Hebrews 11:6 says, “Without faith it is impossible to please [please well] God, because anyone who comes to God must believe that He exists, and that He rewards those who diligently [earnestly] seek Him.

(1 Click on the text link “faith” to open another window with definitions from a Greek dictionary.) (2 Click on the text link “diligently” to open another window with definitions from a Greek dictionary.) (3 Click the text link here to read why I use Greek definitions.)

This verse reveals that to please God well, there is a dual requirement to one’s faith, not only believing in God’s existence but in His faithfulness to reward a diligent seeking of Him.

Spending a career in the field of religion, I’ve heard many religious people express disappointment in not seeing the desired results to their faith and that they “hope” God answers them. After studying and meditating on this passage, I must admit that for most of my life, my own faith in God rewarding my diligence was more along the lines of the typical view of “hope,” i.e. wishful thinking, rather than a Biblical definition of the term. Strong’s Greek Dictionary of NT Words defines hope (elpis) as expectation combined with confidence. The Greek word translated hope, elpis, is not a “hope-so hope” as usually referred to in English. Rather it is a “know-so hope” because it is based on the integrity of God and His promises (LITSSB, p. 1741.) Romans 4:18 illustrates the “elpis” type of hope in Abraham, “Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed… just as it had been said to him.” Though there was no reason in the natural realm for expectation and confidence, Abraham chose to confidently expect that God would do what He had said.

In my spiritual life, a lack of diligence has never been the issue. I am by nature a self-disciplined, self-motivated person. This is true for many people of devout faith.

Since I diligently seek God, He requires my response to be one of expectation and confident faith that He will reward my diligence. Let’s take this a step farther, though. I must come to terms with the fact that I would be demonstrating a poor level of faith if I do not sincerely believe that God will respond to my diligence at a level significantly beyond that of the mundane! If God desires my diligence, won’t His response at the very least be “with diligence?” Therefore, I must believe God will reward my prayers in a way that is more active, exceptional, and elaborate rather than merely a mediocre, unremarkable, commonplace. As with any revelation, one must conform his or her thoughts and perspectives to the concepts revealed. This means my perspective now aligns with this truth and acts in faith accordingly.

In regards to rewards, it is important to emphasize that God-given rewards are not solely visible ones, but neither are they solely invisible.

For example, the Greek and Hebrew words for “salvation” contain the concepts of “deliverance, safety, preservation, healing, and soundness.” God’s desire is for overall wellness and blessing to excel in every aspect of our lives. (4 Click the text link “salvation” to open another window with the definition from Hebrew). (5 Click the text link “salvation” to open another window with the definition from Greek.)

Similarly, this truth that God’s rewards to His people are broad in spectrum is also shown in the definitions of the Hebrew words used for prosperity throughout the Old Testament. There are two words that are commonly used, both of which include the ideas of wealth, safety, health, peace, happiness, favor, rest, wholeness, etc. (6 Click the text link “prosperity” to open another window with definitions from a Hebrew dictionary.) (7 Click the text link here to read why I use Hebrew definitions.)

In summary, it would be a fairly obvious assumption that any truly religious person would desire to please God or why bother to have religion at all? Upon reviewing the results of this study on the concepts of diligence, pleasing faith, salvation, and prosperity, I trust that you, the reader, will be challenged to re-evaluate whether, up until the present time, your faith has been one of solely believing in God’s existence, or a wishful hope that He will respond favorably to your diligence, or a confident expectation that God will definitely reward your diligence with both intangible and tangible benefits at a supernatural level far beyond that of your own diligence– one that is in keeping with His nature. May your faith step up to God’s proposed challenge of a “pleasing faith” so that you will be rewarded in the broadest possible spectrum of God’s blessing, one that will visibly affect every aspect of your life, just as portrayed in the terms for salvation and prosperity described in Scripture. You can feel assured of positive results to such a commitment to these concepts, because “According to your faith it will be done to you (Matt. 9:29).”

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