Give God a Smile
Smiling. You know it brightens my day when I see other people smiling. It lets me into their small world for a moment and tells me that they are happy. I like a smile. It is sure better than a frown. I used to hear to be told this when I was growing up: “Turn that frown upside down!” Ever heard that? I am sure you have.
Ever wonder why more people are frowning than smiling these days? Amy and I were discussing this topic not too long ago. She was telling me that everywhere she turns people are unhappy. They seem to be angry all the time. If they do not get their way, angry. If someone looks at them wrong, angry. If a driver does something they do not like, angry. You know what I mean?
People are frowning all the time. I really do not like the frowns, so I try to, you guessed it, help them turn those frowns upside down. Some like it and some don’t. Some folks look at you like, “What are you smiling at?” Those people I know it will take more than a smile to encourage, but you know we should keep trying. We as Christians have a lot to smile about.
Psalm 34:1-5 (The Message) says, “I bless God every chance I get; my lungs expand with his praise. I live and breathe God; if things aren’t going well, hear this and be happy: Join me in spreading the news; together let’s get the word out. God met me more than halfway, he freed me from my anxious fears. Look at him; give him your warmest smile. Never hide your feelings from him.”
Smile at God. Do you think that pleases Him? Have you ever thought what makes God smile? What would turn God’s frown upside down? (I really don’t think He frowns, but go with me on this.) I think our desire to please Him makes Him smile. The Bible says, "Figure out what will please Christ, and then do it." Fortunately, the Bible gives us a clear example of a life that gives pleasure to God. The man's name was Noah.
Noah lived in a day when everything around him was bad. The entire world was morally bankrupt. God searched and could not find anyone interested in pleasing Him, except for Noah. It was so dire that God thought about wiping His creation, man, off the face of the earth. But He found a man who brought Him pleasure, Noah.
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. Thank you Noah! Now I have to ask myself, “Do I make God smile?” How about you? What do you think makes God smile? I am glad you asked that question.
God smiles when we love Him supremely. Noah loved God more than anything and God spared him and his family. Noah had a relationship with God. This is what God desires from you and from me. Here is a great truth – our Creator, the Creator of the universe – desires a relationship with you. God made you so that He could love on you, and longs for you to love Him back. He says, “I don't want your sacrifices--I want your love; I don't want your offerings--I want you to know me.” There is a passionate love in that statement given to you and me. Jesus also said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” This is the greatest commandment.
God smiles when we trust Him completely. How’s your trust today? When you look at Noah’s life, he trusted God even when it did not make sense. Noah built a ship in the middle of a dessert. He was warned by God and then he acted on what he was told…as a result there was an intimate bond between him and the Savior.
Can you imagine the trust that Noah had? God came to him and said I want you to build a boat. God said to Noah that He was disappointed in human beings. In the entire world, no one thinks about me. Well, except you Noah and that is why I am going to save you and your family. Now build a boat. What?
There were some problems here for Noah, first, He had never seen rain. Second, Noah lived hundreds of miles from the ocean. Even if he could build a ship how in the world would he get it to the water, called the ocean. Third, God wanted him to round up all the animals so that they could be saved as well.
Not a single time in Scripture will find where Noah complains. But if we were…if I were in the situation, I am sure I would have complained by now. Noah definitely trusted God completely and that made God smile. Trusting God means that you have faith that God knows what is best for your life. You know, we expect God to keep His promises, help us out of our jams and answer all of questions, but He desires we have a constant love for Him.
We get tore up when we feel as though God is not answering our prayers right away. Do you realize it took Noah 120 years to build the ark? Can you imagine the jeering and the criticizing that he received from all the onlookers? Do you think Noah’s children were ever embarrassed? “Oh, look there’s the crazy boat builder’s kids.” I can imagine them hiding in their robes. They probably said, “Dad, can you not stop building the boat now.” But Noah told them, “No, kids I have to please my God.”
If God asked you to build a big boat today, don’t you think you would have some questions or objections? Noah didn’t. He obeyed God whole hog. This does not mean you tell God, “Give me a little time God, I’ll pray about it.” It means we do it without delay.
God also smiles when we praise Him. How’s your praise today? Nothing feels better than receiving a pat of praise from someone. God, our Lord, likes the praise He deserves as well. Noah’s first act after surviving the flood was to express his thanks to God. An amazing thing happens when we praise God, we experience joy.
Are you making God smile? I had to ask myself if I was. God is looking for people like Noah. There is nothing special about him, except he desired a relationship with the Creator. God looks at our deepest desires and wants them to be about pleasing Him. Maybe we can ask ourselves today, “How much pleasure is God getting out of our lives?” I think if we answer this and we please Him, He will smile and turn His frown upside down.