When God Smiles

When a person is pleased, they smile.  This is true of God, and His people are encouraged to please Him in their conduct, words, and thoughts.

So how does a Christian please God?  It is found in Hebrews 11:6… “Without faith it is impossible to please God.”  Stated positively… a life lived by faith is pleasing to God.  Now for a little “spiritual chin music.”  When a Christian pleases God through a life lived by faith… there are outcomes for the Christian.  There are two groups that obtain consequences for living by faith.

Group 1: They conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. Women received back their dead by resurrection.  (Hebrews 11:33-35)

Group 2: They were tortured… suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment.  They were stoned… sawn in two… killed with the sword… went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated… wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. (Hebrews 11:35-38)

Every Christian is either in Group 1 or 2.  God decides which group each is assigned to (“The same Spirit… apportions to each one individually as He wills.”  {1 Cor 12:11}).  And get this… God smiles at those in BOTH groups as long as they live by faith!  If you are in group #1… you are there because GOD assigned you to it.  If you are in group #2… you are there because GOD assigned you to it.  And BOTH are to His honor and glory… and God smiles.

If a person finds themselves conquering… obtaining promises… stopping the mouths of lions… and escaping the edge of the sword they are pleasing God as long as they live by faith.  AT THE SAME TIME, if a person finds themselves persecuted… imprisoned… tortured… afflicted and mistreated they are pleasing God as long as they live by faith!

Which group are you in?  Which group has God assigned you to?  Whichever it is, live out Philippians 1:27… “Whatever happens conduct yourself in a manner worthy of the Gospel.”

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