Faith is central to the Christian life. As Hebrews 11:6 says, “without faith it is impossible to please God.” But what does it mean to “step out in faith”? Stepping out in faith means trusting God and obeying Him even when it feels risky or uncertain.
Throughout Scripture, we see examples of biblical figures who courageously stepped out in faith, as well as instructions for how we can grow in bold faith today. In this comprehensive blog post, we will explore what the Bible teaches about stepping out in faith by looking at three key areas:
- Faith involves trust and obedience, not just belief.
- God calls us to take courageous steps of faith.
- Stepping out in faith often requires us to leave our comfort zone.
- Faith is strengthened through tests and trials.
- God rewards those who step out in faith.
- Community provides support and accountability for bold faith.
What is Faith?
According to Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (NKJV). Faith is confidence and assurance about the things we hope for but cannot yet see. It means trusting in God’s character and promises even when we do not see the full picture.
Faith is more than just intellectual belief. James 2:19 notes that even demons believe in God, but that does not mean they have saving faith. True biblical faith involves belief in who God is, but it also includes trust, obedience, and action based on that belief. James 2:17 says, “Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” Stepping out in faith means actively obeying and following God, even when it requires taking bold risks.
God Calls Us to Take Steps of Faith
Rather than calling us to remain in our comfort zones, God frequently asks His people to trust Him and step out in daring faith. For example, He called Abram (later renamed Abraham) to leave his home and family and travel to an unknown land. Genesis 12:1 records God’s command to Abram: “Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you.” Abram obeyed, “and he went out, not knowing where he was going” (Hebrews 11:8). Abram’s willingness to courageously follow God even with many unknowns exemplifies stepping out in faith.
Similarly, Noah responded in radical faith when God asked him to build a giant ark to rescue his family and the animals from a coming flood (Genesis 6-8). Joshua obeyed the Lord’s audacious command to march around Jericho for seven days, trusting that God would cause the walls to fall down (Joshua 6). Peter stepped out of the boat to walk on the water when Jesus invited him (Matthew 14:22-33).
God looks for men and women today who will courageously follow His lead. Like Abram, we may be called to a place we’ve never been or to surrender our plans for God’s higher plans. As we step out in faith, we can trust that God will guide our steps if we are listening and obedient.
Stepping Out in Faith Requires Leaving Our Comfort Zone
Stepping out in faith often requires us to leave behind our comfort zone and venture into new territory that feels uncertain or risky. We see this pattern repeatedly throughout Scripture. Noah likely faced mockery for building a boat on dry land. Abram left the familiarity of his homeland for a foreign place. Joshua and the Israelites had to cross the intimidating Jordan River to enter the Promised Land. Peter had to climb out of the safety of the boat to walk on the waves.
God’s assignments require faith because He wants us to rely on Him rather than ourselves. If God only ever asked us to do things we felt confident in already, we wouldn’t need faith. Stepping out in faith means pursuing obedience even when it feels uncomfortable and requires us to press beyond our perceived capabilities. As we fix our eyes on Jesus, He will give us the courage to step forward.
Romans 4:20-21 says of Abram, “He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.” Though the call to leave his home seemed daunting, Abram stepped forward in faith, fully convinced that God would accomplish His promises. This courage is what the Lord desires of us.
Faith is Strengthened Through Tests and Trials
God often allows our faith to be tested and tried to strengthen and refine it. James 1:2-4 notes, ???My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.???
The biblical examples of faith lived out through challenging circumstances are too numerous to list them all. Abraham waited decades for the promised child. Joseph endured slavery and jail before seeing God’s faithfulness. Moses stood up to the mighty Pharaoh. Joshua saw the walls of Jericho fall only after following God’s instructions precisely.
Trying times stretch our faith because they reveal whether we really trust God. As author Darlene Zschech wrote, “Faith is a muscle that must be exercised to grow strong.” When we pass tests of faith, we build spiritual strength for the future. James 1:12 promises, “Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.”
So when God calls you to step out in faith, do not flinch when the testing comes. Recognize this as an opportunity for your faith to grow. God promises that if you persevere, you will receive the crown of life. Press on in bold faith.
God Rewards Those Who Step Out in Faith
God blesses and rewards those who trust and obey Him. Hebrews 11 recounts the examples of many Old Testament saints who “by faith” performed amazing exploits and overcame great trials. Because of their courageous faith, they “gained approval through their faith” (Hebrews 11:39). God honored their bold steps of obedience.
When we step out in faith, we gain opportunities to experience Godworking in ways we would never see otherwise. Like Peter, we may be terrified to climb out of the boat. But only by stepping onto the waves could Peter experience the miracle of Jesus enabling Him to walk on water (Matthew 14:29).
Yes, obeying God often costs us something. Noah likely faced mockery for building the ark. Abraham had to leave his home behind. Joshua and the Israelites had to fight long battles and endure hard journeys. Yet they gained far more through their faith than they sacrificed. As Jim Elliot said, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.” When we step out in faith, we gain an eternity of reward in God’s presence.
Community Provides Support and Accountability
Since the Christian faith is not meant to be lived out alone, community provides an essential source of support and accountability as we step out in faith. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 notes the value of friends who strengthen and aid one another. Proverbs 27:17 says, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” Fellow believers can encourage us in faith, challenge areas of fear or doubt, and keep us accountable.
Biblical examples like Joshua and Nehemiah show the importance of community in accomplishing God’s purposes. Joshua led the Israelites across the Jordan together after God parted the waters. Nehemiah rallied God’s people to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem, saying, “Let us build the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace” (Nehemiah 2:17). What they accomplished alone, they could complete as a community.
God’s desire is for us to step out in faith together, not alone. When we move forward in bold faith accompanied by trusted believers, we gain strength, perspective, and support to keep pressing ahead. We were designed for community, so nurture relationships that spur you on toward courageous faith.
Stepping out in faith means trusting God and taking courageous steps of obedience as He leads us. Though it often requires us to leave our comfort zone and endure trials that test our faith, we can trust that God will grant the faithful His good and perfect rewards. Fixing our eyes on Christ and drawing support from community, we can press forward in faith to see God move in mighty ways. What steps of faith is God calling you to take today?