What does it mean to give Hashem nachas?
“Yi’hee chi’vod Hashem li’olam, yismach Hashem bi’ma’asav.”
You have to understand that Hashem is so high above us that he cannot be affected by our deeds at all. Our deeds have no effect on Him at all! But still, we have to act according to the teachings of the Torah. And the Torah tells us that Hashem does have nachas from our deeds. “Yismach Hashem bi’ma’asav.” And therefore, we have to act that way. It’s very important to act with this in mind. So when you do something, you should say, “I’m doing this to make a nachas ru’ach for my Creator.”
This is a very important function of our lives. And therefore, whenever you do something, if you can, you should say, “I’m doing this to make Hakodosh Boruch Hu happy.” And don’t rely on just thinking it because then it won’t happen. Say with your mouth, “I’m doing this to make Hashem happy.” And Hakodosh Boruch Hu is happy! “Yismach Hashem bi’ma’asav.” Hashem is happy with us when we do His will.
Now, the Rambam asks, “What is “kavod Hashem?” And he says that thinking about Hashem – that’s kavod Hashem. The more you think about Hashem, the more you are honoring Hashem. A person must train himself to think about all the time. And when you think about Hashem and honor Him, then “yismach Hashem bi’ma’asav.”
And this is how we have to live our lives. We have to live with the teachings of the Torah. Not with the teachings of the Philosophers. Although with Philosophy we would say that Hashem is too sublime to be affected by our deeds, we live by the words of the Torah always, and we feel a hargasha, an actual feeling, that Hakodosh Boruch Hu is rejoicing when He sees His children doing the things that they are supposed to be doing.