Some people believe faith is a blind optimism that everything's going to work out. Others view faith as positive confession, the idea that whatever the mind can believe and conceive, it can achieve. To other people, faith is just a wonderful feeling that things are going to be okay.
But true faith is rooted in something solid: it clings to the promises of God, not to the premises or preferences of man. In Hebrews 11, the author of the book gave us the essence of true biblical faith: "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" (v. 1).
The word substance means a firm, solid assurance or foundation. In other words, faith is not something that you concoct in your imagination. True, biblical faith has substance. You might say that faith is putting all your eggs in God's basket and counting your blessings before they hatch. And the word for evidence in that verse means a satisfying conviction. So the idea is that a person of faith confidently acts on what they believe even when they can't fully see it all yet.
The author of Hebrews continued, "For by [faith] the elders obtained a good testimony" (v. 2). In other words, God gave His stamp of approval, so to speak, to the Old Testament examples of faith who left a good witness, as described in the rest of Hebrews 11. This is the effect of faith: God is pleased when you live a life of faith (see v. 6). And pleasing Him should be your goal, your motivation in life (see John 8:29; 2 Corinthians 5:9).
Moving on, verse 3 gives us a prime example of faith: "By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible." We believe that out of nothing, God created everything. This is something we apprehend and know by faith, even though we weren't there when the universe was created.
Here's the point: biblical faith is the lens through which we as believers should view everything in life. That's because when you fact-check life by bringing God into the picture, things change. So how about fact-checking what's going on in your life right now through the lens of faith?
Maybe you're facing a difficult issue today. But here are the facts: God loves you. You're His child. He has a plan for your life. All things work together for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. And you're going to heaven when this is all done. You have a future and a hope.
So now is the time for you to grab on tighter, to hold on more closely in faith to the Savior. Jesus knows what He's doing, and He's not worried in the least. He's got you, and He's got whatever you're facing under His control.