Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. 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. (Hebrews 11:1-3)
In order to live by grace, we must be willing to walk by faith. For those who actually depend upon the Lord day by day, (thereby accessing His grace), the scriptures regularly proclaim the extensive consequences of walking by faith.
First, let's consider the significant characteristics of faith. "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for." Faith is the assuring confirmation of the wonderful things that we anticipate God will do. As faith grows in the promises and purposes of God, that faith becomes an increasing substantiation of the certainty of those heavenly plans of God. Also, faith is "the evidence of things not seen." Faith is the convicting verification of realities the human senses cannot observe. Faith convinces us of the absolute existence of God and His angels, Adam and Eve, the devil and demons, heaven and hell, and the prophets and apostles of old.
Next, let's consider some of the living results of faith. "For by it the elders obtained a good testimony." By faith men and women of generations past established a godly witness concerning their relationship with the Lord. "By faith Abel . . . By faith Enoch . . . By faith Noah . . . By faith Abraham . . . By faith Sarah . . . By faith Isaac . . . By faith Jacob . . . By faith Joseph . . . By faith Moses . . . By faith the harlot Rahab . . . [and others]" (Hebrews 11:4, 5, 7, 8, 11, 20, 21, 22, 23, 31). Their testimonies were exceedingly diverse. Yet, the common elements were their trust in the Lord and the glory such faith brought to His name.
Last, let's consider some of the spiritual understanding 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." God has shaped the heart of all humanity so that the observation of creation guarantees a universal conviction of Himself as creator. "For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead" (Romans 1:20). His holy scriptures then explain how He created all visible things. "By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth" (Psalm 33:6).
Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, creator of heaven and earth, I bow before You in faith. I rejoice in the assurances, convictions, and understandings of faith. I have a deep desire to obtain a good testimony through faith in You, for Your honor and glory, Amen.