I’m always struck by repetition in the Bible. It reminds me that the Holy author is emphasizing a point to catch our attention. As I read Hebrews 11 the other day, I noted how often Paul says, “by faith” or “through faith.” Unlike the modern world, which believes events happen by chance or by our power, Paul gives example after example of what has occurred through an act of faith. In the NIV version, the word “faith” is used a startling 28 times within the chapter. How’s that for emphasis?
Repetition and Revelation
As a parent, I see the value of repetition. The more important it is for my children to heed my instructions, the more I repeat them. I want to be sure they clearly understand what I’m asking them to do. Sometimes I’ll even repeat them using slightly different words so they comprehend the full scope of the message and its importance. I want to catch their attention.
If you haven’t read Hebrews 11 recently, I encourage you to do so now. In this passage, our Heavenly Father repeats the instruction and emphasis on “faith” 28 times in just 40 verses. By faith, people were saved, healed, and raised from the dead. By faith walls fell, lions were tamed, and kingdoms were conquered. By faith, grace was administered undeservedly. By faith, seas parted and legacies were created. By faith, God revealed His authority, power, and goodwill toward man.
By Faith, What Awaits
And yet, with all these miracles, Paul closes this chapter with the reminder that those who lived by faith received much more in eternity than even what they had witnessed on earth. Their faith laid the groundwork for both the miracles in the here and now and in their eternal reward. Both their present and their future were established by faith.
This should prompt us to ask ourselves what is possible by faith. What an amazing thought that the grandest miracles that we see on earth won’t compare to what we’re unlocking in eternity by faith. We simply cannot underestimate the power of faith, and our Heavenly Father has gone to great lengths to make sure we know it. By His instruction, we can walk by faith, love by faith, live by faith and wait, by faith, in anticipation for all that’s yet to come.
Joanna Sanders is a graduate of Villanova University and Moody Theological Seminary. She’s also the founder and head writer of Colossians46.com, which provides biblical content support, writing, and editing. Most importantly, she is wife to Geoff and mom to three godly men-in-training. Her blog name “The Landing” comes from the account of the Ark resting on the mountain, creating a settled place — a landing — for man to start over, which echoes her new life in Christ.