4 Who Practiced Faith Despite Strong Doubts

Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.” —Psalm 20:7

I tend to associate faith with feeling confident. A fearless, ready to tackle the world attitude. But that’s not the picture the heroes in Hebrews 11 paint.

  • Moses asked God to send someone else.
  • Joshua’s courage required a boost.
  • Gideon needed repeated signs and assurances.
  • Barak required Deborah’s company to ride into battle.

What ties these people together? Action. They obeyed God despite reservations.

Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead” (James 2:17).

We demonstrate God-pleasing faith when we trust Him enough to follow His leading. He’s chosen to link His work with our faith. In fact, Jesus didn’t do many miracles in His hometown because of their unbelief (Matt. 13:58). God still partners with weak humans who walk by faith to build His kingdom and accomplish His will.

In response to God’s Word—

  • Moses held his staff over the Red Sea.
  • Joshua marched around Jericho.
  • Gideon sent most of his troops home.
  • Barak led untrained volunteers in an attack against a trained army.

They obeyed, and God parted the sea, crumbled the walls, and routed the enemy.

Holding a staff can’t split water—unless God wills it. We don’t study the Bible to learn strategies to replicate but to know God so we can recognize His voice and follow Him in faith.

Dr. Neil T. Anderson wrote, “If God declares something to be true, you simply believe him and live according to what is true. If God didn’t say it, no amount of faith in the world will make it so. Believing doesn’t make God’s Word true. His Word is true; therefore we believe it.”[i]

In Hebrews chapter 11, God highlights weak men and women who trusted God despite their fears. Pastor and author Tony Evans said, “Faith is acting as if God is telling the truth.”[ii]

Moses, Joshua, Gideon, and Barak obeyed God despite their concerns about their personal abilities and the outcomes. Instead of chiding them for their doubts, Hebrews 11 commends their faith.

Jittery nerves don’t nullify genuine faith. What you do in response to God’s call matters more than how you feel. Where is God calling you to put aside your doubts and follow Him in faith?

4 Who Practiced Faith Despite Strong Doubts. Join online #LittleStrengthBigGod Fall Bible study. #BigGod, #BibleStudy Share on X

Little Strength, Big God Releases September 5th!

I’m very excited about the stories in Little Strength, Big God. As these men and women trusted God in their epic battles, they experienced His presence and strength. Thank you for helping me get the word out. May God bless you and all who read it! Click here to download your free 40 Days to Strength Scriptures

Comment here.


Ladies Fall Bible Study

Join me on Zoom this fall as we look at the brave men and women in Hebrews 11 who became mighty in battle. We’ll be going through my new book Little Strength, Big God.

When: Tuesday evenings from 7-8:30 p.m. EST

September 12, Welcome and intro. – December 12th (skipping Thanksgiving week)

Little Strength, Big God releases September 5th! Order your book and learn more about Little Strength, Big God here.

Space is limited. Reserve your place by contacting me here.

*Adapted from Little Strength, Big God (Leadwood Publishers)

[i] Neil T. Anderson, Victory over the Darkness (Bloomington, MN: Bethany House, 2013), 112.

[ii] Tony Evans, Victory in Spiritual Warfare, https://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/2411.Tony_Evans.

Sometimes I link with these great sites:

#InspireMeMonday, #InstaEncouraements, #TellHisStory, #Let’sHaveCoffee, #Grace&Truth

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  1. Deborah Rutherford

    Debbie, What a beautiful reminder that we don’t have to be necessarily confident we need only obey God.

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      Isn’t that a relief? Thanks, Deborah!

  2. Ann J Musico

    I have no doubt God is saving our country. I also know there will be so.e challenges ahead as He does so. I pray I will step out in faith wherever and however He instructs no matter what is happening.

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      Ann, great application. I pray for our nation and ask God what my role is. And for courage to be true.

  3. Joanne Viola

    This >> “They obeyed God despite reservations.” The book is such a wonderful reminder to obey God even when we don’t understand His ways. His ways are true and right and for our best.

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      Joanne, one thing I’ve gleaned from these stories is that the middle of all of them is messy. But God always comes through and creates something beautiful. What hope for us all who walk with Him.

  4. J.D. Wininger

    Reading your intro, I thought “blind obedience really isn’t so blind.” How many times do we know we’re walking into an unknown situation, which onward we go. I think we do so because we’re curious. We want to see firsthand what God is going to do in every situation.

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      Well said, J.D. We keep our eyes on Him. That is who Moses saw. Thanks for adding your thoughts.

  5. Michele Morin

    Smiling because I think the reality is that no one ever practiced (or continues to practice) faith without some measure of doubt, but God delights in meeting us wherever we are! So faithful!

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      I must agree, Michele. At least I’ve faced my own share of doubts.

  6. Carol

    It is so good to have these examples from scripture! Our focus has to be on God and his word. It is comforting to know that these examples showed the same human shortcomings we all have, but when they trusted God, He was faithful.

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      It reassures me, Carol, to see how God used these very human men and women.

  7. Joanna Eccles

    Thanks for reminding me to act in faith, even when I have doubts. It sounds like getting a support team to help me stay strong in the faith is a good plan, so I will surround myself with godly friends.

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      A community of those who walk in faith makes a huge difference. Love that idea, Joanna.

  8. Paula Short

    Debbie, I love the quote from Dr. Neil T. Anderson. That is so true. I love your insights and encouragement within.
    Visiting today from G&T

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      I do too. Thanks for visiting, Paula.

  9. Sylvia Schroeder

    Thank you so much for those great Biblical reminders. Great encouragement!

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      Sylvia, I love these biblical stories.

  10. Katherine Pasour

    I’m so thankful that God’s word contains so many examples of faithful men and women who bravely sought to do His will in spite of their fears. Thank you for sharing this message of hope and inspiration.

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      I am too. They encourage me to persevere. Thanks, Katherine.

  11. Annie Yorty

    Debbie, thanks for these great insights. I think we can usually evaluate ourselves better by looking at our actions and considering the truth (or falsehood) that undergirds them rather than analyzing our feelings.

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      Annie, my feeling certainly lie to me. Good thoughts.

  12. Yvonne Morgan

    Great message Debbie. I know I need to step out in faith even when I am unsure of myself. When I do, God is faithful to provide and help me.

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      Yvonne, it’s so much easier when we feel confident. Reading how few of these men and women felt that way has really helped me.

  13. Sudano Stephanie

    Love this! So encouraging .

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      They provide great encouragement to me too, Stephanie!

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