But there is a different way of looking at the relationship of joy and faith. In Hebrews 11:6 the writer says, “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.” In other words, the faith that pleases God is a confidence that God will reward us when we come to Him. But surely this does not mean that we are to be motivated by material things. Surely the reward we long for is the glory of God Himself and the perfected companionship of Christ (Hebrews 2:10; 3:6; 10:34; 11:26; 12:22-24; 13:5). We will sell everything to have the treasure of Christ Himself.

So the faith that pleases God is the assurance that when we turn to Him, we will find the all-satisfying Treasure. We will find our hearts eternal delight. But do you see what this implies? It implies that something has happened in our hearts before the act of faith. It implies that beneath and behind the act of faith that pleases God, a new taste has been created—a taste for the glory of God and the beauty of Christ. Behold, a joy has been born!

Once we had no delight in God, and Christ was just a vague historical figure. What we enjoyed was food and friendships and productivity and investments and vacations and hobbies and games and reading and shopping and sex and sports and art and TV and travel…but not God. He was an idea—even a good one—and a topic for discussion; but He was not a treasure of delight.

Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist.