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Examples of Living Faith

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“Now these things became our examples . . .” (1 Corinthians 10:6 1 Corinthians 10:6Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.
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).

We are fascinated by the stories of other people. People like to hear other people’s reactions to challenges and tribulations. This is obvious when we notice the enormous appeal of inspirational magazines and newspaper stories. When we learn how other people have succeeded, we are encouraged that we can triumph as well.

Because God inspired the Scriptures so “that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17 2 Timothy 3:16-17 16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished to all good works.
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), we should regularly study His Word, the Bible. No other book has this same divine approval. The Scriptures contain numerous success stories written for our benefit. The Bible is a record of people who faced challenges and difficulties. Even though they lived long ago, their stories are preserved as timeless examples for us.

Writing to the church in Corinth in the first century, the apostle Paul reminded the Corinthians of important events in Israel’s history 1,500 years earlier (1 Corinthians 10:1-10 1 Corinthians 10:1-10 1 Moreover, brothers, I would not that you should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; 2 And were all baptized to Moses in the cloud and in the sea; 3 And did all eat the same spiritual meat; 4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. 5 But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness. 6 Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. 7 Neither be you idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. 8 Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand. 9 Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents. 10 Neither murmur you, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.
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). He wrote, “Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, on whom the ends of the ages have come” (1 Corinthians 10:11 1 Corinthians 10:11Now all these things happened to them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, on whom the ends of the world are come.
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).

The examples Paul referred to are not archaic accounts concerning irrelevant issues. They are genuine. The Bible doesn’t varnish its heroes or sanitize its sinners. It is a record of real people with real experiences—good, bad and everywhere in between. Though the time and circumstances varied, these people dealt with frailties, fears, hopes and desires like those we face throughout life.

Knowing that the people of the Bible experienced needs and sorrows can comfort and reassure us (Romans 15:4 Romans 15:4For whatever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
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). Seeing the results of their decisions helps us learn from their choices.

Let’s examine some of the positive examples in the Bible that should encourage us.

The example of Abraham and Sarah

After Abel, Enoch and Noah had lived their lives of faith (Hebrews 11:4-7 Hebrews 11:4-7 4 By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaks. 5 By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. 6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. 7 By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.
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), God called a man named Abram, whom He renamed Abraham (Genesis 17:5 Genesis 17:5Neither shall your name any more be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made you.
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). Abram’s life, with that of his wife Sarai, renamed Sarah (Genesis 17:15 Genesis 17:15And God said to Abraham, As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be.
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), deserves our attention because he was “the father of all those who believe” (Romans 4:11 Romans 4:11And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed to them also:
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). Scripture recognizes Sarah as an outstanding example for wives (1 Peter 3:6 1 Peter 3:6Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters you are, as long as you do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.
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). Hebrews 11, noted previously as “the faith chapter,” honors both as people of faith.

“By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God” (Hebrews 11:8-10 Hebrews 11:8-10 8 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing where he went. 9 By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: 10 For he looked for a city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
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).

In an early account involving Abraham, we note his obedience. When God asked him to move out of his native country to an unfamiliar land, “Abram departed as the Lord had spoken to him” (Genesis 12:4 Genesis 12:4So Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken to him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran.
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).

One of Abraham’s outstanding traits was his firm belief in God’s promises. Even though Abraham was childless, when God told him he would father an heir and his descendants would become as numerous as the stars in the sky, Abraham “believed in the Lord, and He accounted it to him for righteousness” (Genesis 15:6 Genesis 15:6And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.
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).

Sarah similarly set an example of faith: “By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past the age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised” (Hebrews 11:11 Hebrews 11:11Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised.
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What was the result of Abraham’s and Sarah’s faith? Even though they were old, with Sarah past the age of childbearing (Genesis 18:11 Genesis 18:11Now Abraham and Sarah were old and well stricken in age; and it ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women.
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), “the Lord visited Sarah as He had said, and . . . Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him” (Genesis 21:1-2 Genesis 21:1-2 1 And the LORD visited Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did to Sarah as he had spoken. 2 For Sarah conceived, and bore Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him.
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).

Abraham and Sarah faced many other difficulties. Sometimes their faith wavered. Fearful for his life, Abraham twice made a misleading statement, claiming Sarah was his sister (she was his half sister) instead of his wife (Genesis 12:13 Genesis 12:13Say, I pray you, you are my sister: that it may be well with me for your sake; and my soul shall live because of you.
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; Genesis 20:1-3 Genesis 20:1-3 1 And Abraham journeyed from there toward the south country, and dwelled between Kadesh and Shur, and sojourned in Gerar. 2 And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, She is my sister: and Abimelech king of Gerar sent, and took Sarah. 3 But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him, Behold, you are but a dead man, for the woman which you have taken; for she is a man’s wife.
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). When Sarah heard that she would bear a child, she laughed at the idea of someone her age giving birth (Genesis 18:9-12 Genesis 18:9-12 9 And they said to him, Where is Sarah your wife? And he said, Behold, in the tent. 10 And he said, I will certainly return to you according to the time of life; and, see, Sarah your wife shall have a son. And Sarah heard it in the tent door, which was behind him. 11 Now Abraham and Sarah were old and well stricken in age; and it ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women. 12 Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?
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).

Abraham and Sarah weren’t perfect, but their lives are shining examples of people growing in faith and confidence in God’s promises. They tried to do what God asked as they faithfully waited for Him to fulfill His promises. Because they lived and died by their convictions, “God is not ashamed to be called their God” (Hebrews 11:13-16 Hebrews 11:13-16 13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. 14 For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. 15 And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from where they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. 16 But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: why God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he has prepared for them a city.
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).

King David’s example

Hundreds of years later, another man of faith arrived on the scene. Much has been written about David, both as a young man and later as king of Israel. In general, his life exemplified living faith in God.

As a youth facing the giant Goliath, David had faith that God would help him, stating, “The Lord, who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine” (1 Samuel 17:37 1 Samuel 17:37David said moreover, The LORD that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said to David, Go, and the LORD be with you.
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). God called David “a man after My own heart, who will do all My will” (Acts 13:22 Acts 13:22And when he had removed him, he raised up to them David to be their king; to whom also he gave their testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after my own heart, which shall fulfill all my will.
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).

Like David, each of us must face our Goliaths, lions and bears—the challenges and trials that can overwhelm us. Just as God protected and delivered David, so can we enjoy God’s protection. God certainly has the power to intervene for us if we trust in Him and do as He says. God does not change (Malachi 3:6 Malachi 3:6For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore you sons of Jacob are not consumed.
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; Hebrews 13:8 Hebrews 13:8Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.
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), so we can be confident through faith in His power to help us.

Three Jewish lads and a fiery furnace

You have probably read of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego (Daniel 3). These three young men—whose actual Hebrew names were Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah (Daniel 1:6-7 Daniel 1:6-7 6 Now among these were of the children of Judah, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: 7 To whom the prince of the eunuchs gave names: for he gave to Daniel the name of Belteshazzar; and to Hananiah, of Shadrach; and to Mishael, of Meshach; and to Azariah, of Abednego.
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)—put their lives on the line when they chose not to bow before King Nebuchadnezzar’s golden image. Doing so would have been a violation of the First and Second Commandments (Exodus 20:1-6 Exodus 20:1-6 1 And God spoke all these words, saying, 2 I am the LORD your God, which have brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. 3 You shall have no other gods before me. 4 You shall not make to you any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5 You shall not bow down yourself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; 6 And showing mercy to thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
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). Refusing to bow to the image also meant they would be thrown alive into the king’s fiery furnace.

Notice their inspiring response to their last opportunity to bow to the image and save their lives: “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter . . . Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up” (Daniel 3:16-18 Daniel 3:16-18 16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer you in this matter. 17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. 18 But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods, nor worship the golden image which you have set up.
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).

Rather than violate their commitment to obey God, they put their lives in His hands. They did not know whether God would intervene to save their lives or not. They knew God could, but they didn’t know that He would. Regardless of the outcome, their living faith convicted them to put God first—a principle Jesus also emphasized during His earthly ministry (Matthew 6:33 Matthew 6:33But seek you first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.
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).

As an example of His power, God intervened to spare their lives. Even though He allowed them to be tied up and thrown into the furnace, the blazing heat didn’t affect them at all (Daniel 3:25-27 Daniel 3:25-27 25 He answered and said, See, I see four men loose, walking in the middle of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God. 26 Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the mouth of the burning fiery furnace, and spoke, and said, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, you servants of the most high God, come forth, and come here. Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, came forth of the middle of the fire. 27 And the princes, governors, and captains, and the king’s counsellors, being gathered together, saw these men, on whose bodies the fire had no power, nor was an hair of their head singed, neither were their coats changed, nor the smell of fire had passed on them.
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). They walked out unharmed.

Although our tests may not be as severe, they can seem just as difficult while we are facing them. The example of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego reminds us that God can and does intervene in the lives of those who trust Him (Psalms 37:4-7 Psalms 37:4-7 4 Delight yourself also in the LORD: and he shall give you the desires of your heart. 5 Commit your way to the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. 6 And he shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your judgment as the noonday. 7 Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not yourself because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who brings wicked devices to pass.
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; Psalms 118:6-8 Psalms 118:6-8 6 The LORD is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do to me? 7 The LORD takes my part with them that help me: therefore shall I see my desire on them that hate me. 8 It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.
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; Proverbs 3:5-6 Proverbs 3:5-6 5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart; and lean not to your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct your paths.
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).

Reflecting on these examples

A principle of faith in the preceding examples is obedience. Godly belief inevitably leads to doing. This is why we read in James that faith without works is dead (James 2:14-26 James 2:14-26 14 What does it profit, my brothers, though a man say he has faith, and have not works? can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, 16 And one of you say to them, Depart in peace, be you warmed and filled; notwithstanding you give them not those things which are needful to the body; what does it profit? 17 Even so faith, if it has not works, is dead, being alone. 18 Yes, a man may say, You have faith, and I have works: show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19 You believe that there is one God; you do well: the devils also believe, and tremble. 20 But will you know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son on the altar? 22 See you how faith worked with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? 23 And the scripture was fulfilled which said, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed to him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. 24 You see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. 25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way? 26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
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). Living faith comes by doing what God says is good and right and being willing to accept whatever results may come from our actions.

The examples and testimonies of the men and women we read about in Hebrews 11 show us we can believe God. He does not lie (Titus 1:2 Titus 1:2In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;
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), and, as our loving, faithful Father, He delights in providing for us. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning” (James 1:17 James 1:17Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom is no ficklenss, neither shadow of turning.
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).

God the Father and Jesus Christ have made promises to mankind about Their love, protection and faithfulness (Psalms 33:4 Psalms 33:4For the word of the LORD is right; and all his works are done in truth.
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; Psalms 37:28 Psalms 37:28For the LORD loves judgment, and forsakes not his saints; they are preserved for ever: but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off.
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; Psalms 97:10 Psalms 97:10You that love the LORD, hate evil: he preserves the souls of his saints; he delivers them out of the hand of the wicked.
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; Proverbs 2:8 Proverbs 2:8He keeps the paths of judgment, and preserves the way of his saints.
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; 2 Thessalonians 3:3 2 Thessalonians 3:3But the Lord is faithful, who shall establish you, and keep you from evil.
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). These promises are sure.

Some may conclude that these examples in Hebrews 11 do not apply to the average person. They may assume that these people were so spiritually strong that faith was an easy matter for them. But the reality is that our faith is built over time.

And living, saving faith is not something we work up on our own. Rather, it comes through God’s Spirit. Faith is part of the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22 Galatians 5:22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
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, King James Version), which God gives us when we repent and are baptized (Acts 2:38 Acts 2:38Then Peter said to them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
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). (For more information about these subjects, read the free Bible study guides  The Road to Eternal Life and Transforming Your Life: The Process of Conversion . ) God begins the process of reconciling us to Himself by calling us (John 6:44 John 6:44No man can come to me, except the Father which has sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
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) and leading us to repentance (Romans 2:4 Romans 2:4Or despise you the riches of his goodness and forbearance and long-suffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?
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).

The faith God gives us, however, must be nurtured and developed. We are warned against neglecting our salvation (Hebrews 2:3 Hebrews 2:3How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by them that heard him;
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) and quenching God’s Spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:19 1 Thessalonians 5:19Quench not the Spirit.
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). God expects us to have faith, and our works (efforts in doing God’s will) show that we have it (James 2:20 James 2:20But will you know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
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). We have a responsibility to make sure our faith grows (2 Peter 3:18 2 Peter 3:18But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.
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).

Of course, this is not by ourselves either. Just as God empowers us to have faith through His Spirit, so He also plays a vital role in the ongoing development of our faith. Again, we cannot create faith or make it grow entirely on our own. In fact, the Bible tells us we must have “the faith of Christ” (Galatians 2:16 Galatians 2:16Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
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; Philippians 3:9 Philippians 3:9And be found in him, not having my own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
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, both King James Version). (See “Our Faith in Christ or His Faith Within Us? “.)

As we noted in the previous chapter, believing in God means more than mere acknowledgment of His existence. Faith involves a relationship with God that deepens and matures over time.

More examples of living faith

Several other, lesser-known biblical figures demonstrated faith in God. Their examples are also inspiring and show that God does not show partiality (Acts 10:34 Acts 10:34Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:
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). All of us, no matter what our circumstances, can develop living faith.

Matthew 8 contains two excellent examples of faith. First, a leper was healed after saying to Jesus, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean” (Matthew 8:2-3 Matthew 8:2-3 2 And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if you will, you can make me clean. 3 And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be you clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.
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).

In another case, Christ offered to go to a Roman officer’s home and heal his servant. The officer’s faith in Christ’s healing power was so strong that he knew Jesus didn’t have to be physically present for the servant to be healed. “Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed,” he told Jesus (Matthew 8:8 Matthew 8:8The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that you should come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed.
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). The centurion’s faith impressed Jesus so much that He said, “Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel! . . . Go your way; and as you have believed, so let it be done for you” (Matthew 8:10-13 Matthew 8:10-13 10 When Jesus heard it, he marveled, and said to them that followed, Truly I say to you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. 11 And I say to you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. 12 But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 13 And Jesus said to the centurion, Go your way; and as you have believed, so be it done to you. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour.
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). The officer’s servant immediately recovered.

In another example a woman who had “a flow of blood” for 12 years approached Jesus to ask for healing (Matthew 9:20 Matthew 9:20And, behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment:
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). She believed all she needed to do was touch Jesus’ clothing. Jesus responded by saying, “Be of good cheer, daughter; your faith has made you well” (Matthew 9:22 Matthew 9:22But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; your faith has made you whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour.
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). This woman, too, was immediately healed.

Still another example of faith occurred when two blind men came to Christ for healing. He asked them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” They responded, “Yes, Lord.” Jesus touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith let it be to you.” The men’s blindness was healed (Matthew 9:28-30 Matthew 9:28-30 28 And when he was come into the house, the blind men came to him: and Jesus said to them, Believe you that I am able to do this? They said to him, Yes, Lord. 29 Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it to you. 30 And their eyes were opened; and Jesus straightly charged them, saying, See that no man know it.
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).

As we have seen, many examples of faith during Christ’s life dealt with healing. Even in modern secular society in which God is often overlooked, life-and-death matters command our attention. Although we may seek the best medical service possible, our lives are still ultimately in God’s hands. As the apostle Paul said, “In Him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28 Acts 17:28For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.
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).

Scripture tells Christians, when they fall ill, to call the elders of the Church to receive prayers and anointing with oil as a symbol of God’s Holy Spirit (James 5:14-15 James 5:14-15 14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: 15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.
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). While God uses human servants in this work, we must never forget that it is He who actually performs the miracle of healing.

When we seek God this way as He instructs, we should trust in faith that He will intervene for us and heal—yet still recognize that He, knowing what is best for us and others, may choose to not heal immediately. Perhaps there are lessons we or others may yet need to learn. (This does not, however, mean that we should resign ourselves to His not intervening. Rather we should persist in prayer, expecting Him to act speedily unless He has an important reason for not doing so.)

In many circumstances it is also wise to seek medical advice and help. There is nothing wrong with seeking professional care when we are sick. Luke, the traveling companion of Paul and author of the Gospel of Luke and the book of Acts, is called “the beloved physician” (Colossians 4:14 Colossians 4:14 Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas, greet you.
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). And Jesus Himself acknowledged the need for physicians in caring for our health (Matthew 9:12 Matthew 9:12But when Jesus heard that, he said to them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.
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). The use of medicine is also spoken of approvingly (Proverbs 17:22 Proverbs 17:22A merry heart does good like a medicine: but a broken spirit dries the bones.
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).

But in any medical treatment, we must still look to God as our Healer—placing ultimate trust in Him and not in doctors or physical remedies. The Bible gives us the negative example of Judah’s King Asa in this regard, who “became diseased in his feet, and his malady was severe; yet in his disease he did not seek the Lord, but the physicians” (2 Chronicles 16:12 2 Chronicles 16:12And Asa in the thirty and ninth year of his reign was diseased in his feet, until his disease was exceeding great: yet in his disease he sought not to the LORD, but to the physicians.
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). As always, ultimate faith and trust must be in God alone.

And again, when we do trust in God for healing and deliverance from various trials, while He will often immediately intervene there may be times that He does not for our own or others’ good. (For more on this, see “When It Seems God Doesn’t Hear or Answer “.)

Though the resurrection to come is a sure biblical promise, we must remember that this life is temporary and that trials and even dying are part of it (1 Corinthians 15:22 1 Corinthians 15:22For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
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; Acts 14:22 Acts 14:22Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.
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, Hebrews 9:27 Hebrews 9:27And as it is appointed to men once to die, but after this the judgment:
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). In comparison, our faith bears eternal significance. This is why Paul affirmed, “We walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7 2 Corinthians 5:7(For we walk by faith, not by sight:)
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) and “The just shall live by faith” (Romans 1:17 Romans 1:17For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
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; Galatians 3:11 Galatians 3:11But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.
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; Hebrews 10:38 Hebrews 10:38Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.
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).

At the end of the faith chapter, Hebrews 11, we find that we, too, can share in the future promised to these outstanding examples of faith: “And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us” (Hebrews 11:39-40 Hebrews 11:39-40 39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: 40 God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.
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).

We can share being “made perfect” with these remarkable people of faith. The next chapter will help you understand how this can take place.