"… faith comes from hearing …" (Romans 10:17).
My friend Kristen remarked that she had always thought the verse meant saving faith comes from hearing-that initial act of putting one's trust in God after a life of living in the kingdom of darkness. And of course it is true that the faith of conversion comes from hearing the gospel.
But come to think of it, said Kristen, the passage does not say "saving faith," it does not restrict the noun "faith" to that first act of believing. Why not consider that when God says "faith comes from hearing," He also means that the daily viability of faith comes from the daily hearing of the Word of God? Not a once-and-done hearing but a continuous one.
The implications are that if we want to maintain a strong faith, we should keep hearing the Word. There is something spiritually potent about the Word of God that is not true of other words. You yourself may have noticed that a Bible verse spoken to you in the middle of the day will suddenly revive your sagging faith. And the strange thing is that it may be a verse you are quite familiar with, and one that is in your Bible knowledge repertoire. But just the very hearing of it again has a curious effect on your mind, immediately dispelling the layers of creeping unbelief that had accrued unawares like ice on an idling airplane on a tarmac in a snowstorm.
What had led to this epiphany for Kristen was noticing that whenever the two of us get together and talk about God at my kitchen table, we both always feel our faith rise, even if we started off in a dour mood. What makes faith rise, then? Is it not "hearing" the Word spoken by one friend to another (Hebrews 3:13)? No wonder the apostles refused to give up the ministry of the Word and prayer, even for the ministry of serving the poor. (They had the church appoint others for the latter-Acts 6:4)
So the more we get together to "hear" the Word, the better. The more fellowship, the better. In the early church, fellowship of this sort was a "day by day" thing (Acts 2:46). Some of us who tend to undulate in faith still need that daily fix.