Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Hebrews 11:11

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Through faith also Sara - Her history, as far as the event here is concerned, may be seen Genesis 17:19, and Genesis 21:2. Sarah at first treated the Divine message with ridicule, judging it to be absolutely impossible, not knowing then that it was from God; and this her age and circumstances justified, for, humanly speaking, such an event was impossible: but, when she knew that it was God who said this, it does not appear that she doubted any more, but implicitly believed that what God had promised he was able to perform.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Through faith also Sarah herself received strength to conceive seed - The word “herself” here - αὐτὴ autē- implies that there was something remarkable in the fact that “she” should manifest this faith. Perhaps there may be reference here to the incredulity with which she at first received the announcement that she should have a child; Genesis 18:11, Genesis 18:13. Even “her” strong incredulity was overcome, and though everything seemed to render what was announced impossible, and though she was so much disposed to laugh at the very suggestion at first, yet her unbelief was overcome, and she ultimately credited the divine promise. The apostle does not state the authority for his assertion that the strength of Sarah was derived from her faith, nor when particularly it was exercised. The argument seems to be, that here was a case where all human probabilities were against what was predicted, and where, therefore, there must have been simple trust in God. Nothing else but “faith” could have led her to believe that in her old age she would have borne a son.

When she was past age - She was at this time more than ninety years of age; Genesis 17:17; compare Genesis 18:11.

Because she judged him faithful who had promised - She had no other ground of confidence or expectation. All human probability was against the supposition that at her time of life she would be a mother.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
We are often called to leave worldly connexions, interests, and comforts. If heirs of Abraham's faith, we shall obey and go forth, though not knowing what may befall us; and we shall be found in the way of duty, looking for the performance of God's promises. The trial of Abraham's faith was, that he simply and fully obeyed the call of God. Sarah received the promise as the promise of God; being convinced of that, she truly judged that he both could and would perform it. Many, who have a part in the promises, do not soon receive the things promised. Faith can lay hold of blessings at a great distance; can make them present; can love them and rejoice in them, though strangers; as saints, whose home is heaven; as pilgrims, travelling toward their home. By faith, they overcome the terrors of death, and bid a cheerful farewell to this world, and to all the comforts and crosses of it. And those once truly and savingly called out of a sinful state, have no mind to return into it. All true believers desire the heavenly inheritance; and the stronger faith is, the more fervent those desires will be. Notwithstanding their meanness by nature, their vileness by sin, and the poverty of their outward condition, God is not ashamed to be called the God of all true believers; such is his mercy, such is his love to them. Let them never be ashamed of being called his people, nor of any of those who are truly so, how much soever despised in the world. Above all, let them take care that they are not a shame and reproach to their God. The greatest trial and act of faith upon record is, Abraham's offering up Isaac, Ge 22:2. There, every word shows a trial. It is our duty to reason down our doubts and fears, by looking, as Abraham did, to the Almighty power of God. The best way to enjoy our comforts is, to give them up to God; he will then again give them as shall be the best for us. Let us look how far our faith has caused the like obedience, when we have been called to lesser acts of self-denial, or to make smaller sacrifices to our duty. Have we given up what was called for, fully believing that the Lord would make up all our losses, and even bless us by the most afflicting dispensations?
Ellen G. White
The Upward Look, 219.5

Here is where thousands are failing. They do not really believe that Jesus pardons them individually. They fail to take God at His word. He has assured us that He is faithful that hath promised to forgive us and be just to His own law. His mercy is not wanting in anything. Were there one defective link in the chain, then we are hopelessly ruined in our sins.... There is not one flaw in it, not one missing link. Oh, precious redemption! Why do we not bring this great truth more fully into our lives? How broad it is, that God for Christ's sake forgives us—me, even me—the moment we ask Him to, in living faith, believing that He is fully able to do this.—Letter 85, July 24, 1886, to Uriah Smith, editor of the Review and Herald. UL 219.5

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Ellen G. White
The Upward Look, 133.6

It is not our efforts that bring victory. It is seeing God behind the promise, and believing and trusting Him. Grasp by faith the hand of infinite power. The Lord is faithful who hath promised. UL 133.6

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Ellen G. White
That I May Know Him, 79.2

Hope has been set before us, even the hope of eternal life. Nothing short of this blessing for us will satisfy our Redeemer, but it is our part to lay hold upon this hope by faith in Him who has promised. We may expect to suffer, for it is those who are partakers with Him in His sufferings who shall be partakers with Him in His glory. He has purchased forgiveness and immortality for the sinful, perishing souls of men, but it is our part to receive these gifts by faith. Believing in Him, we have this hope as an anchor of the soul, sure and steadfast. We are to understand that we may confidently expect God's favor not only in this world but in the heavenly world, since He paid such a price for our salvation. Faith in the atonement and intercession of Christ will keep us steadfast and immovable amid the temptations that press upon us in the church militant. Let us contemplate the glorious hope that is set before us, and by faith lay hold upon it.... TMK 79.2

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Ellen G. White
Mind, Character, and Personality, vol. 2, 512.5

Trusting When in Pain—Your mind may often be clouded because of pain. Then do not try to think, but just rest and show that you have committed your soul to God as unto a faithful Creator. It is your privilege to show in your weakness and suffering that you do not doubt the love of God toward you, that you know that He is faithful who has promised, and that you trust soul and body in His hands, that He will keep that which is committed to His trust. 2MCP 512.5

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