Faith is a beautiful word, and it is a critical language we should all learn to speak. But how do we know where to start? There are examples of faith in the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. Let us see who these faith-filled champions were and draw on their experience to grow in our faith.
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What is Faith in the Bible?
Faith is classically defined using one of the great faith Bible verses, Hebrews 11:1, KJV. It is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. Jesus commended a centurion for having a faith He had not seen in Israel because the centurion believed that the spoken word was enough to heal his servant (Luke 7:9).
On the other hand, Jesus chided His disciples for having little faith when they got scared in a storm while He was sleeping on their boat (Matthew 8:26).
The Bible says that without faith, we cannot please God. Faith implies believing in God, believing that He is real, and believing in His power.
The Bible also speaks of the gift of faith in 1 Corinthians 12:9. This special grace from the Holy Spirit helps some believers to exercise supernatural levels of faith for others.
Examples of Women of Faith in the Bible
The Bible provides several examples of having faith in God in women’s lives. Some of these women were explicitly named, while others were unnamed.
All of them give us an example of faith in action.
A Wife of the Sons of the Prophets
In 2 Kings 4, KJV, the Bible describes “a certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophet.” She approached the prophet, Elisha, when her husband had died and debt collectors were knocking at her door. The penalty for failing to pay her debt was that her two sons would be sold as slaves.
She was alone and desperate. She could have readily accepted what was happening as the only possible outcome. But faith was sparked within her. Her faith got her thinking that something could be done to change the story. She didn’t know exactly what that would look like, but by faith, she searched for a solution.
When Elisha eventually instructed her to keep pouring oil into empty jars, her faith was again tested. How could one pot of oil keep on producing enough oil to fill so many other vessels? Her faith overlooked all logic and ushered her into obedience. In the end, the changes she had only thought of were manifested as her reality. Her story and that of her two sons were rewritten by faith.
The Shunammite Woman
Elisha encountered another woman who provided an example of radical faith in the Bible. After giving birth to and raising a miracle child, this same child died. Without breaking down or even sharing the news with her husband, her first response was to lay him on the bed of Elisha and seek his help. So radical was her faith for the boy’s resurrection that when his father asked why she was going, her answer was full of faith: “It shall be well (2 Kings 4:23, KJV).”
The faith of the Shunammite woman wasn’t deterred even after Elisha’s servant failed to perform the miracle she needed. She held out to the very end until Elisha himself raised her son back to life. What an inspiration! She is an example of a faith that refused to be discouraged.
The Maid of Naaman’s Wife
Often our faith is directed toward solving a problem of our own. But in this case, a little maid from Israel who the Syrians had captured had faith in someone else. With as much selflessness as Christ Himself, the young slave girl had compassion for the suffering of her mistress’s husband. She yearned for Naaman to have an encounter with Elisha because she had faith that Elisha could cure Naaman’s leprosy.
Her suggestion was eventually accepted and acted upon, and Naaman was ultimately healed. But this miraculous experience would never have unfolded without a little slave girl’s faith. Her unselfish faith paved the way for Naaman’s complete healing and even his spiritual conversion (2 Kings 5:7).
The Woman With the Issue of Blood
It’s one thing to rise in faith when you are hit with a sudden challenge. On the other hand, faith can wear out when facing a long-term struggle. The woman with the issue of blood had been in her situation for twelve long years. Add to that the failure of physicians to help her, and you should have someone who has all reasons to curse God and die.
But she gave faith a chance. This woman is another example of radical faith in the Bible. She shows us an example of faith in action. As admirable as the centurion’s faith was to believe Jesus’s spoken word, this woman believed she could be healed by touching only Jesus’s clothes – and that, without even having a conversation with Him. Talk about a radical faith!
This woman’s faith was desperate and potent enough to draw virtue from Jesus through His garment. A slight touch she did in secret turned out to be more powerful than the pressing of crowds around Jesus. In the words of Jesus, her faith had made her whole (Luke 8:48, KJV).
We should never conclude that God cannot help on matters that have always been the way they are. Let your faith be reignited in a God who can deliver and heal even longstanding issues.
The Syrophenician Woman
The Bible identifies this woman as a Greek, which means she was not a Jew. She approached Jesus with a request for her daughter’s deliverance from a demon. Although she was already kneeling at his feet, Jesus made things harder for her by insinuating that she was a dog. Yet, as an example of faith, this woman persisted because she knew of her daughter’s demonized state. She answered, ” Yes, Lord” (Mark 7:28, KJV).
Sometimes faith will require making ourselves uncomfortably low. But when faith is demonstrated in humility, God will act. Like this Syrophenician woman, you too can get the answer to prayer that you need (Mark 7:29).
Bible Stories About Faith in Hard Times
Here are some great examples from the Bible about having faith in hard times.
Joshua in Battle
Joshua was a man of faith. His most remarkable demonstration of this was in the time of a battle between Israel and the Amorites. Determined to win and needing more daylight, Joshua spoke to the sun and the moon to stand still! By faith, Joshua obtained a whole extra day to defeat the enemies of God’s people (Joshua 10:13).
Ezra for safety
Ezra had boldly told the king that God would be with them. Now, it was time for some Jewish exiles to return, and Ezra led them in fasting and prayer for protection from their enemies (Ezra 8:21-23). He could have asked for soldiers to accompany them, but doing so would deny the faith he had previously expressed.
Although Ezra knew of the likely dangers that were ahead of them, he refused to go back on his faith-filled proclamation. Instead, he and the Jewish exiles pressed into God for safety as they traveled back to their homeland.
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The Four Lepers in Famine
Already on death row because of leprosy, there were four men from Samaria who were also on the verge of dying from starvation. It was a dark time when Israel was surrounded by their Syrian enemies in a siege. But these four men chose to take a bold step and approach their enemies for food. They had nothing to lose.
Little did they know that their bold move would have miraculously ended the brutal siege and released their nation from famine. These men chose to have faith in a hard time, even when so many odds were against them.
Example of Childlike Faith
Hannah was barren, and it bothered her so much that she wouldn’t eat and often wept bitterly. She poured out her complaint in prayers of faith to God, asking God to give her a son. This continued until one day, she got a word from Eli, the priest, promising her she would have what she was asking for.
Immediately, she stopped mourning and had something to eat. Hannah displayed a simple, childlike faith that accepted God’s promise as true. There was no son yet, but with a promise in her heart, it was as good as done. This is quite unlike the doubtful behaviour of Gideon, who needed confirmation several Times (Judges 6).
Example of a Prayer of Faith
King Jehoshaphat, in 2 Chronicles 20, was faced with the terrible news of a mighty army advancing against him.
All he had was faith in God, so he prayed and fasted with all of Israel.
At the end of his prayer, Jehoshaphat said: “O our God, wilt thou not judge them? for we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon thee” (2 Chronicles 20:12, KJV).
Jehoshaphat expressed his dependence on God and was willing to admit his incompetence. This is what faith will do to our prayer lives. It will give us brokenness.
Faith is the language that Heaven speaks. It is the currency in which all spiritual transactions take place. Faith is the key given to us on earth to unlock doors of God’s favour in our lives. It is a tool we should all become masters of using.
Related Posts and Resources:
- Hebrews 11 Bible Study
- Bible Verses About Surrendering to God
- Bible Studies for Women
- Beautiful Women in the Bible
Meet the Author:
Yaneke is a Jamaican blogger and freelance writer who loves the Scriptures and gets excited about God’s word. When she’s not writing, you can find her singing/songwriting, or cleaning up after her three children! Find more from Yaneke on her blog.