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. Hebrews 11:6
When I first met my wife, I simply knew that she was the one. So, I pursued her. I thought about her all the time. I made up reasons to talk to her. When we weren’t near each other, I called her and wrote her letters. It would be a good romance story except for one problem – she was not interested in a romance with me. I can’t blame her. I was kind of a dork. We became friends, but I always wanted more. For seven years we remained in this awkward relationship with one of us always pushing for the next level. For seven years, I desperately chased and pursued. I was in love.
Today’s passage tells us that to practice faith, we must similarly seek God. As I pursued my wife, we’re meant to pursue God. He loves us and he longs for us to love him in return. He went to great lengths to restore us to a right relationship with him. Now, he wants us to respond by desperately seeking him. We’re meant to think of him, read his word, obey his commands, and spend time with him.
The problem for us, is that our behavior is often driven by emotion. I was compelled by emotion to pursue my wife. We don’t naturally feel the same way about God though. I couldn’t stop thinking about my wife, but we don’t naturally obsess about God. We may know we’re supposed to seek him, but we don’t necessarily feel like doing it, so we don’t.
For me, it wasn’t until I clearly saw my need for God that I became desperate for him. In the calamity of my addiction, when my life was a disaster, I believed that following God was the only thing that could restore my life to sanity. So, I desperately pursued him. In doing so, I had faith that his will was good for me. My way was a disaster. I needed God to fix my life.
Today’s passage says as much. He rewards those who seek him. It is often only in our trials that we comprehend our need for God. In our misery, we must believe that God is the answer. Then, we must desperately turn to him. God uses pain to shape us because it is usually only in our need that we seek him. So, if we’re desperate for life, joy, and peace, then today, we must desperately pursue the only one who can provide that which we truly need.