"What is faith? It is the confident assurance that something we want is going to happen. It is the certainty that what we hope for is waiting for us, even though we cannot see it up ahead" (Hebrews 11:1 TLB).
Romans 1:17 is a capsule summary of Paul's message to the Romans; it changed Martin Luther's life and ours, as well: "For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: `The righteous will live by faith'." Lauterbach quotes Luther as saying, "When I learned that the righteousness of God is his mercy, and that he makes us righteous through it, a remedy was offered to me in my affliction" (Luther's Works, volume 54, Table Talk).
"Nothing in my hand I bring, Simply to Thy cross I cling." We can give nothing to God but our faith, but what a joy it is to know that He gives us His all. "Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace..." (Romans 5:1). Even though we cannot see the future, we are assured that it is in God's capable hands and heart. What a blessing this is! It is here on this ground of hope that we build our justified life; it is here on earth that we frame a foundation of a faith finally worthy of the city that has foundations, whose architect and builder is God (Hebrews 11:10).
We don't build our life in blind faith, but in complete confidence in God's integrity. It saves us many heartaches and headaches. Harry Emerson Fosdick said, "It is cynicism and fear that freeze life; it is faith that thaws it out, releases it, sets it free." A man who had endured much trouble in his life was asked by a friend, "How is the outlook?" The man answered, "The outlook is dark, but the uplook is wonderful." Peter Boehler is said to have advised John Wesley, "Live by faith till you have faith."
The world says, "Seeing is believing." Christ says, "Believing is seeing." Hebrews 11:1: "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." 2 Corinthians. 4:18: "So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."