One reason the Bible builds faith — and therefore gives power — is that it records how God answers the faith-filled prayers of His people.
Hebrews 11:1 says that “the ancients” were commended for living by what God told them rather than by what they could see. They believed His words and acted upon them, and He responded accordingly. The men and women of the Bible were not super-saints. They were people, just like us, who received answers to prayer as they put their faith in God, trusting His character and Word. The Bible makes this very clear: Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops. (James 5:17–18) Acts 10:34 says, “God does not show favoritism.” He will not treat us any differently from believers in ancient times, except that now we have an additional advantage—the atonement and prayers of Christ on our behalf and the intercession of the Spirit. The powerful examples of believers in the Bible encourage us to have faith that God can and will intervene on our behalf.
We know from reading about the lives of these believers that many of them struggled with doubts, were inclined to mistakes and failures, and had to learn by experience. However, we also see God’s faithfulness and love in teaching them His ways, coming to their aid, and strengthening them for the purposes. He planned for them.
Prayer: Father, Your Word gives us examples of faith-filled believers. Even though they had weaknesses as I do, they learned to rely on You and Your Word. Teach me to rely on Your faithfulness, as well. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Thought: Examples of answered prayer build faith for my own circumstances.
Reading: 2 Kings 15–16; John 3:1–18