9 Times 9 is 81

Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! – Philippians 4:4

1 times 1 is 1, 2 times 2 is 4, 3 times 3 is 9. Ok, now how about this one…
7 times 8 is…
9 times 9 is…

How do we know? How do we remember these complex answers? Do we know because our brains can quickly compute that adding 9, 9 different times gives us a product of 81? Ppffftttt. Um, NO. Do you know why we know that 9 times 9 is 81?

Repetition. Repetition. Repetition. In a classroom many years ago, we sat and boringly droned, our voices joining those of our classmates. There was no feeling behind the droning (other than really wishing we didn’t have to do it). There was no deeper understanding of complex mathematical properties.

And yet here I sit, almost 30 years later, and I can tell you that 9 times 9 is 81. No hesitation, no dragging out the calculator, no double-checking. It’s 81. The End.

photo credit: jimmiehomeschoolmom via photopin cc

photo credit: jimmiehomeschoolmom via photopin cc


That is what is so great about repetition. Even on the days when we don’t feel it, even during the times when we can’t fathom or understand the complexities, and even when there’s no calculator in sight that can prove the truth of our memories… we can still know.

For God so ________ the world. (John 3:16) For I know the plans I have for you, plans to give you a future and a ___________. (Jeremiah 29:11) This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well __________. (Matthew 3:17) See what I mean?

That’s how it should be with our reactions, too. Thanksgiving in any circumstances. (Ephesians 5:20) Rejoice in all suffering. (James 1:2) Pray without ceasing. (1 Thessalonians 5:17) It’s easy to scoff at such things. We can get so mired down by life that we wonder how such things are even possible.

We need to hone our reactions the same way we honed our multiplication tables, the same way we hone our scripture memorization. It needs to be second-nature. Gut reaction. No thought process involved.

When we begin to face various trials, we begin at that instant to count joys. When the tears begin to fall in sorrow, we are sure to list a thanksgiving to reclaim each one. Prayers automatically framing in our mind before we’ve even finished processing the trial we’re facing.

Over and over and over again. Fail, try again. Forget, practice harder. Rigorous training of our spirit and mind. Drawing closer to the throne of grace, even if it means dragging ourselves with raw hands.

Until our reactions become devotion. Until we could give an answer for the hope that is in us with our eyes closed and both hands tied behind our backs. Until we are certain, without hesitation, that 9 times 9 is 81. Instant, unproven, not even certain how to prove it if we had to, but we know.

The same way that we know that the sufferings of this present time are not to be compared with the joy that is to come. (Romans 8:8) The same way that we know that our hearts cannot even conceive the good He has prepared for those who love Him. (1 Corinthians 2:9) The same way that we know that the truth will set us free. (John 8:32)

Repetition. Repetition. Repetition.

So let’s begin, shall we? Repeat with me…..

Holy God, thank You for the ability of our minds to have complete conviction. Help us to practice and repeat and never give in, until we can be as certain of Your love and goodness as we are of anything else in our lives. In Jesus’ Name, Amen…

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May God Bless You,


4 Comments on “9 Times 9 is 81

  1. This is why it is so important to read His word and meditate upon it…often! The more often we tune our ears, eyes and hears (not to mention our minds) to Him, the more that will become second nature to us! I am finding that my reactions to situations are so much different than they were years ago – and that’s a good thing! I want to always turn to God and remember His promises before I do anything else!

    Blessings, Joan

    P.S. 8 x 7 = 56 🙂
    Joan recently posted…Sharing His Beauty Blog Link Up and Printables!My Profile

  2. Great post, Shelly! It’s so important to be in His word…to store it up in our hearts…to rely on it for the very life that it gives. Better go work on those memory verses! Thanks for linking up to Testimony Tuesday!

    • So glad you’re out there storing up with me, Holly. Makes the journey so much brighter! Heart Hugs, Shelly <3

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