Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation. Hebrews 11:1–2, ESV
So begins the chapter affectionately entitled “The Hall of Faith.” This chapter is filled with examples from the Old Testament of saints who trusted the promises of God and received what was promised. Each of these saints of old encourages us to continue in the faith. Chapter 10 ends with a call to keep on in the faith until the reward is received. Chapter 11 provides evidence that the endurance-reward relationship is one we can depend on.
The definition of faith that begins chapter 11 reminds us that faith is more than wishful thinking. Though focused on things that are unseen and hoped-for, faith is assurance and conviction—not just wishing. When we place our faith in Jesus as our Great High Priest, we are declaring that we have found our new identity in Christ and, for that reason, stand confident in the blessings that He has promised us. Even though these blessings may not come until the end of this age, they are concrete and real to us even today. It is this kind of faith that brought the Old Testament saints to their reward.
This is why every Christian comfort hinges on faith. As the Puritan John Flavel wrote, “All other graces, like birds in the nest, depend upon what faith brings in to them; take away faith, and all the graces languish and die: joy, peace, hope, patience, and all the rest, depend upon faith.”
This being true, it seems that we might consider devoting more of our time and energy to growing our faith. How do we do this? If faith is assurance and conviction in the yet unseen but promised reward, then faith grows along with confidence in the One who made the promise. And confidence in the One who made the promise, because He is perfect in holiness, grows as we come to know Him better. We come to know God better by spending time in His Word and as we experience His fidelity.
Today I want to encourage you to spend some time faith-building. Set your mind on Jesus. Look to Him. Step out in acts of faith. Learn more about Jesus that your faith—your “assurance of things hoped for,” and “conviction of things not seen,” might grow.
I am praying for you in this righteous endeavor,
 John Flavel, The Method of Grace, in the Holy Spirits Applying to the Souls of Men the Eternal Redemption Contrived by the Father, and Accomplished by the Son (etc.). (United Kingdom: Religions Tract Society, 1875), 100.