What Faith Is

The writer of Hebrews says, Now, faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (11:1). What we hope for is what we look forward to possessing or experiencing in the future. What we hope for as Christians is eternal life in the presence of God with all the blessings that will accompany it. By faith we believe that these things He has promised us will be ours one day. Because faith is the very substance or reality of those things, it is as if we possess them right now! Though we have not seen heaven or our heavenly inheritance, faith provides the evidence they exist, and makes firm the hope we will one day possess them.
The writer of Hebrews encourages us to keep our faith in the Lord by citing the example of others who have exercised this kind of faith. By faith, Abraham, when called by God to go to a land he would inherit, went out from his homeland not knowing where he was going. He had never seen this land of promise, but he had faith it existed because God said so (11:8). Like the first readers of this epistle, we must exercise this kind of faith. Though we have never seen heaven, by faith we know it to be our destiny because God has promised us a place there through Christ. By faith then we must endure all the temporary hardships of life knowing we have an enduring possession and eternal dwelling place in heaven (Heb. 10:32-34, 36).