From J. I. Packer, a summary of what the book of Hebrews says about faith.
- Faith is “being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see” (11:1 NIV) — the emphasis being, as always in Scripture, on the reality of faith’s objects rather than the degree of confidence we feel about them.
- Specifically, faith honours and pleases God by taking His word about things (creation, 11:3; rewards 11:6; God’s faithfulness to His promises, 11:11; this life as a journey home, 11:13-16; the fact that obedience always makes sense, even when it looks like nonsense, 11:17-19, etc.).
- Faith approaches God boldly through Christ (4:16; 10:19-22) to find help and strength for the winning of the moral, spiritual and circumstantial victories (11:32-38; 4:16) and for the enduring of hostility both from within and from outside oneself (sin within, 12:1-4; ill-treatment from without, 10:32-34; 12:3).
- Faith interprets trouble as God’s discipline of his child (12:5-11) and, so far from being daunted, rejoices to think of it as proving one’s sonship to God and preparing one for peace and pleasure to come.
- Faith takes courage from examples of living by faith which the “great cloud of witnesses” have left us (12:1; 13:7), from thoughts of their present happiness (12:23), and from knowing that when we come to God here on earth we plug into the present worship and fellowship of the heaven that will be our own home one day (12:22-24).
- Faith battle against temptations to unbelief, apathy and disobedience, sustaining against them the quality sometimes called “stickability” (Canadians say, “stick-to-it-iveness”), and referrred to in the letter as patience and endurance (Greek, hypomone) (6:11f.; 10:36; 12:1). Faith in God produces faithfulness to God.
Quoted from 18 Words: The Most Important Words you will Ever Know, page 132.