Psalms 147:11 “The LORD taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy.”
We often forget that God has emotions, too. He feels things very deeply. The Bible tells us that God grieves, gets jealous and angry, and feels compassion, pity, sorrow, and sympathy as well as happiness, gladness, and satisfaction. God loves, delights, gets pleasure, rejoices, enjoys, and even laughs. And if he can laugh he can cry. Anything that brings pleasure to God is called worship. – The Bible tells us to “worship him continually”, “praise him from sunrise to sunset”, Carry on a conversation with him continually.
The Bible says in Ephesians 5:10 “Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.” In other words, “Figure out what will please Christ, and then do it.” And wouldn’t you know the Bible gives us a clear example of the kind of life that gives pleasure to God. The perfect example comes through the life of a man named Noah.
In Noah’s day, the entire world had become morally bankrupt. Everyone lived for their own pleasure, not God’s. God couldn’t find anyone on earth interested in pleasing him, so he was grieved. He regretted making man. God became so disgusted with the human race that he considered wiping it out. But there was one man who made God smile. The Bible says in Genesis 6:8 “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.” Noah was a pleasure to God.
God said, “This guy brings me pleasure. He makes me smile. I’ll start over with his family.” Because Noah brought pleasure to God, you and I are alive today. From his life we learn the five acts of worship that makes God smile.
1. GOD SMILES WHEN WE LOVE HIM SUPREMELY – Noah loved God more than anything else in the world, even when no one else did! “Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.”, Genesis 6:9. Noah consistently followed God’s will and enjoyed a close relationship with him. This is what God wants from us, a relationship.
Jesus called it the greatest commandment. Matthew 22:37-38 “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.”
2. GOD SMILES WHEN WE TRUST HIM COMPLETELY — The second reason Noah pleased God was that he trusted God, even when it didn’t make sense.
The Bible says in Hebrews 11:7 that “By faith, Noah built a ship in the middle of dry land. He was warned about something he couldn’t see, and acted on what he was told… As a result, Noah became intimate with God,”
There were three problems that could have caused Noah to doubt God.
Noah had never seen rain. — Noah lived hundreds of miles from the nearest ocean. — There was a problem of rounding up all the animals and then caring for them.
But Noah didn’t complain or make excuses. He trusted God completely, and that made God smile. – And he trusted him for 120 years.
Psalms 147:11 “The LORD taketh pleasure in them that fear (trust) him, in those that hope in his mercy.”
3. GOD SMILES WHEN WE OBEY HIM WHOLEHEARTEDLY – Saving the animal population from a Worldwide flood required great attention to logistics and details. Everything had to be done just as God prescribed it. He gave very detailed instructions as to size, shape, and materials of the ark as well as the different numbers of animals to be brought on board. The Bible tells us Noah’s response in Genesis 22. “Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.” He did everything exactly as God commanded him. That is wholeheartedness. It’s no wonder God smiled at Noah. John 14:15 “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”
4. GOD SMILES WHEN WE PRAISE AND THANK HIM CONTINUALLY – Noah’s life brought pleasure to God, because he lived with a heart of praise and thanksgiving. Noah’s first act after surviving the Flood was to express his thanks to God by offering a sacrifice. Genesis 8:20 “And Noah builded an altar unto the LORD; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar.”
Because of Jesus’ sacrifice, we don’t offer animal sacrifices as Noah did. Instead we are told to offer God “the sacrifice of praise” in Hebrews 13:15 and “the sacrifice of thanksgiving” in Psalms116:17. We praise God for who he is, and we thank God for what he has done.
An amazing thing happens when we offer praise and thanksgiving to God. When we give God enjoyment, our own hearts are filled with joy!
5. GOD SMILES WHEN WE USE OUR ABILITIES – God enjoys watching every detail of your life, whether you are working, playing, resting, or eating. He doesn’t miss a single move you make. The Bible tells us in Psalms 37:23 “The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.”
Ephesians 2:10 “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”
God has a purpose for every living Christian. It is to bring others to Christ. We often don’t realize that some of the best gifts that God has given us are the things we love to do the most. We often think of those gifts as something God has blessed us with, to bring us joy and pleasure to our lives. While this is true, those gifts were also given to us to serve as a bridge to bring others into the church, and to Him. Bringing others to Christ doesn’t have to be a struggle. It can be as simple as sharing “What you love to do” with others.
We have also been given gifts through our trials. Everyone has, or will encounter a major tragedy in their life. As Christians when we find victory over these trials through faith in God, they too, become gifts that can be used to comfort others and bring them to Christ. Almost every church has had a member that has had an abortion, lost a loved one, or recovered from drugs or alcohol. And many have used these victories as a bridge to reach the unchurched.
“What a wonderful God we have – He is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the source of every mercy, and the one who so wonderfully comforts and strengthens us in our hardships and trials. And why does He do this? So that when others are troubled, needing our sympathy and encouragement, we can pass on to them this same help and comfort God has given us” — 2 Corinthians 1:3,4.