One of my favorite chapters to read is Hebrews 11. I am always stirred and encouraged to see what was achieved through these ordinary men and women as they were envisioned and empowered by vision and faith. The following is a brief list of all that God does by or through faith:
We receive healing through faith
We are delivered by faith
We are forgiven by faith
We are encouraged by faith
We are made righteous by faith
We are justified by faith
We are sanctified by faith
We offer sacrifices in faith
People move cities by faith
Children are conceived by faith
The future is blessed by faith
We persevere by faith
We worship by faith
We deny pleasure by faith
We please God with faith
The waters are parted by faith
Walls fell by faith
Kingdoms are conquered by faith
Battles are won by faith
Justice is administrated by faith
Lions are quieted by faith
The dead are raised by faith
We walk through fire by faith
Miracles are performed by faith
I could go on, but I think we get the picture. Faith is important.

I believe that is why the Bible gives us a description of faith in Hebrews 11:1

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

This verse mentions faith and hope. It is helpful to understand the difference. The main distinction is that faith has to do with the heart, while hope is in the mind. Hope is the climate in which faith works. Hope is a joyful, confident expectancy. Hope is God’s appointed protection for our minds. This is the Passion translation for that verse:
“Now faith brings our hopes into reality and becomes the foundation needed to acquire the things we long for. It is all the evidence required to prove what is still unseen.”

So faith is the now substance of this hope. The substance of this hope is the evidence of things not seen or the sure conviction of things not seen. So faith is not based on our five physical senses. Faith is a spiritual sense, it is based on the eternal invisible truths and realities revealed by the word of God. Faith is a product of our spirit, not our intellect. Intellect does not produce faith. It may give you grounds for faith, but faith resides in your spirit.

So true biblical faith is the response of a human being to God’s graciousness in revealing Himself or His Word. This is then laid up, stored or received in your heart (spirit). It is from this place we respond by speaking or doing something, even though our five physical senses might not understand or know this. I believe this is what 2 Corinthians 7 means when it says, “For we walk by faith not by sight.”

So the Christian life begins with and continues with repeated responses to the constant revelation of who God is, and of His Word, as seen in and through Jesus Christ. Faith is always about Jesus and what He is doing and saying through the Holy Spirit.

So Father, continue to open up the eyes of our heart so we can continue to receive and recognize who You are and what You are doing. Teach us to lay this up in our hearts so that faith may arise within, causing us to make decisions from that place so we can walk by faith not by sight.