From Genesis to the Gospels, I love reflecting on the lives of women in the Bible, especially those who had rich relationships with the Lord.
Let’s survey some of their statements and be reminded of what faith looks like in the purest, most powerful forms. Each of their stories can impart hope into our hearts, as we look beyond what has past and run forward in His grace.
There’s a core ingredient that ties them all together: a delight in the Lord, especially in the dark days of life.
They were by no means perfect, but their faith stood the test. Their statements point us to the infinite worth of Christ.
“Blessed is the [woman] who remains steadfast under trial, for when [she] has stood the test [she] will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.” – James 1:12
1. Sarah: “God has made me laugh…”
“…everyone who hears will laugh over me.” (Genesis 21:6)
Why does Sarah laugh with joy? Because God had surprised her beyond her wildest dreams. He had proven that nothing is too hard for Him. (Genesis 18:14).
Though a barren woman far beyond her child-bearing years, “The Lord visited Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did to Sarah as he had promised.” (Genesis 21:1) He gave her a son.
Our God can do the amazing, the impossible, for His good purposes. Though we may succumb to sinful doubts like Sarah (Genesis 16 and 18), they do not have to finish our story. The Lord will bring joyful laughter to our hearts, if we wait in patient trust.
His promises never fail, arriving in their impeccable timing and form. Remember Sarah’s testimony, and laugh with her. Take delight in our omnipotent Redeemer!
[To learn more about God’s many praise-worthy attributes, see my printable devotionals.]
2. Rebekah: “I will go.”
“So they sent away Rebekah their sister and her nurse, and Abraham’s servant and his men.” (Genesis 24:58-59)
Rebekah stepped into the unknown, about to marry a man she had never met. Without any hesitation, she decided to go, to obey. Again we ask, why? Because she trusted in the Lord’s loving hand, the gracious evidence of His sovereignty. Abraham’s servant shared all that God had done to confirm her as Isaac’s bride, and she believed.
None of us know what lies ahead, but we know the one true God. We know that He loves and cares, and deserves our obedience. With this in mind, we can say, “I will go… I will go to that friend in need, I will go serve my husband and my child, I will go speak of Your grace to my neighbor… I will go as You lead.”
3. Leah: “This time I will praise the Lord.”
“…Therefore she called his name Judah. Then she ceased bearing.” (Genesis 29:35)
Leah had finally done it. She reached a heart of worship. While yearning for love from her husband, fighting for his affirmation, her eyes began to open. At first, she saw that God was compassionate, desiring to bless her in her pain: “Because the Lord has heard that I am hated, he has given me this son also.” (Genesis 29:33) Then, with the next child, Leah had grown. She saw that God was enough, more than enough! He was the only One worthy of her praise, her haven.
Leah still struggled moving forward, but her faith had been established by God’s kindness. He had given her the company of many sons, and the blessed company of His heart-lifting grace. She named her son Judah, which sounds like Hebrew for “praise.” Little did she know Judah would father the tribe that Jesus would come from.
Are you weary of people-pleasing? Of those you love failing you, or you failing them? Leah’s God, your God, hears your hurt. When you find your complete identity in Him and recognize His authoritative love working in your life, there’s always reason to praise.God will work wonders out of your heartbreak when you worship Him. Click To Tweet
4. Rahab: “the Lord your God, He is God in the heavens above…”
“…and the earth beneath.” (Joshua 2:11)
Rahab wasn’t one of the Israelites. She lived in a place God was about to destroy. She was a prostitute. From this vantage point, her odds of survival looked minimal. The game-changer was faith – a proper fear of the Lord.
Like her community, Rahab’s “heart melted” over the news of God’s miraculous conquest over neighboring nations. Yet unlike her community, she wanted to know this God. She protected His spies, welcomed His will, and so she was saved!
You may feel unworthy, but God favors those who fear His Name. If you submit to Christ today, acknowledging Him as the God of all things, all people, all places, you will stand with Him in eternal victory.
5. Ruth: “Your people shall be my people…”
“…and your God my God.” (Ruth 1:16)
By saying these words Ruth committed herself to a new identity. There was no turning back to her family, to the land of Moab.
We understand from Scripture that Ruth’s path was far from easy. In coming to this quoted moment she lost a husband, and going forward she toiled as a single woman with her grieved mother-in-law.
In the midst of this, she united herself with God’s people, and God Himself. This allegiance would pave the way to having a son Jesse, another man in the line to the Savior. What a blessing!
In her hardship, Ruth’s convictions remained firm, giving us reason to do the same. The church, God’s people today, must be precious to us. We also have a new life in Christ, and a new home in heaven. There’s no turning back, as we seek to serve a mighty God.
6. Hannah: “My heart exults in the Lord…”
…my horn is exalted in the Lord, My mouth derides my enemies, because I rejoice in your salvation.” (1 Samuel 2:1)
Sometimes we make faith too complicated – do that, read this, be there – but Hannah reminds us of its real essence: a heart overjoyed in its Savior. A meek, prayerful heart that entrusts itself to its Creator.
I see Hannah’s words and it’s undeniable that her joy is wrapped around the work of the Lord. She adores her God, and fully appreciates all that He has done. Don’t you want to be in that place too?
Remember, she had to endure many bitter years as a barren woman facing taunts from her husband’s second wife. The road to having her son was full of heartache, but it drove her to her knees, and now to this point of praise. She witnesses to us that God is faithful, and that God listens to the humble in heart.
Her prayer of praise is so notable that it likely inspired Jesus’ mother, Mary, to sing the Magnificat.
7. Mary: “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord…”
…let it be to me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38)
We end our journey with Mary. Her words present a degree of humility that should inspire us perhaps most of all.
An angel arrives with the most stunning announcement: she will bear the long-awaited Messiah. A young girl in the poor town of Nazareth, she was what the world least expected.
Her pregnancy would mean scandal, disdain and potential death in her pious community. Her marriage would be broken, if Joseph didn’t believe the truth.
Yet this is her response. A full surrender, a full desire to follow His Will.
No matter what challenge or trial, I pray we will say this too.
[Also see my post: 5 of God’s Desires for Women.]