My middle name is Faith. Jessica Faith Hagen. That’s me.
And you know, I think my middle name is my favorite part of my name. I’ve answered the ice-breaker question, If you were to change your name, what would you change it to? with different first names over the years. When I get married, I’ll be all for changing my last name. But I always say my middle I’d never change.
Because a woman of faith is who I want to be. I want that to be my true name; my identity. I want to be known not for accomplishments or successes, but for my faith in Jesus lived out in love and joy.
We are all called to live by faith. To trust in God and believe in His truth. Throughout Scripture we read this call, this invitation to a life of faith that is strong and full of hope, joy, and peace:
What does it mean to be women of full and fierce faith? How do we trust God, relying on His wisdom and strength, rather than our own?
Let’s look at a passage from Hebrews to learn:
Before we dig in, here’s a little context: Hebrews was written to Jews who had converted to Christianity, and were facing persecution for there faith in Jesus. And during this persecution, they faced many doubts about their new faith. The writer wrote this letter to show them that there faith in Jesus was not misplaced, and to encourage them to hold onto that faith. And in reading this letter today, we can find the same encouragement.
In leading up to this passage that reminds God’s people to live by faith, the writer spent time in showing God’s faithfulness. Hebrews 10:23 says of God, “He who promised is faithful.”
Our faith needs to be rooted in God’s unchanging character, not in our ever-changing circumstances. He is faithful, trustworthy, and steadfast, so we can have faith in Him, trust in Him, and hold fast to Him.
In this passage from Hebrews 10 and 11, we see four characteristics that are a part of being a woman of faith:
Not giving into fear
We live in a scary world that’s filled with evil and hardship. There are shootings, bombings, car accidents. There’s abuse and betrayal. There’s illness that strikes and bills to pay. There are family tensions and disagreements among friends. But the evil and hardship in the world can’t destroy us. We are saved, for “whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.” (Proverbs 29:25, ESV)
Rather than shrinking back from the scary, uncomfortable, and inconvenient, we are called to step out and serve.
Being full of hope
Faith is being sure of what we hope for. We can’t have that surety if we don’t also have hope.
God’s Word is full of promises. We are promised God’s Presence, we are promised His unconditional love, we are promised He works for good and has good plans for us, we are promised He will lead and guide us in His will, we are promised He will conform us to the likeness of Christ, we are promised eternity with Him in heaven.
Faith and hope go hand in hand. If we desire to be women of faith in the God who is faithful, we must also be women of hope in the God who keeps His promises.
Standing on truth
“Faith demonstrates to the eye of the mind the reality of those things that cannot be discerned by the eye of the body.” We may not see God, we may not see how He is working, we may not see heaven, the scary and messy of life may have us temporarily blinded to God’s goodness, but we can still believe its truth.
Are my convictions of God’s goodness and love, of the reality of heaven, of His ever-present Presence strong and rooted, or do they shake with every wind of worry?
Being women of faith means being convicted of God’s truth. It means believing and standing on His Word even when our emotions or circumstances or the world may be telling us something different.
Women of faith seek after God. They earnestly and devotedly seek after Him, desiring to draw close to Him. Faith believes in the reality of God. It believes in the reality of His love, goodness, mercy, grace, justice, sovereignty… His very character. And it believes God blesses those who seek Him; that in putting our faith in God and following Him, there is full, rich, abundant life.
Each of these characteristics, we can cultivate by making time to be in God’s Word and to pray. Prayer releases our worries and fears to God, “casting all your cares on Him, because He cares about you.” (1 Peter 5:7) In God’s Word we find His promises and His truth. And through prayer and the Word, we seek God’s will and way.
Being a woman of faith doesn’t mean being perfect or having it all figured out. It is simply trusting our perfect God, because He has it all figured out. And in not giving into fear, in being full of hope, in standing on His truth, and in seeking after Him, even with some mistakes and mess ups, God is pleased. Choosing to place our faith in Him, even our small, imperfect faith, brings Him pleasure.