"Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction or evidence of things not seen, for by it men of old gained approval."
Hebrews 11:1, 2
"And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for He who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him."
Old Testament Examples of a Fixed and Living Faith
"By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, having become reverent, prepared an ark for the salvation of his household, by which he condemned the world, and became an heir of righteousness which is according to faith."
"By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place which he was to receive for an inheritance; and he went out not knowing where he was going. By faith he lived as an alien in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, fellow-heirs of the same promise; for he was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God."
"By faith Moses, when he was born was hidden for months by his parents... and they were not afraid of the king's edict. By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God... considering the reproach of Christ greater riches than treasures of Egypt, for he was looking for the reward. By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured, as seeing Him who is unseen."
Definitions of such a vibrant and living faith:
Seeing Him Who is Unseen
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance, which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you... and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but you believe in Him, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls."
1 Peter 1:3, 4, 8, 9
Seeing the Promises and Welcoming Them from Afar
These men of old:
"...died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen them and welcomed them from afar, and having confessed that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For those who say such things make it clear that they are not seeking a country of their own... But as it is, they desire a better country, that is a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed of them; for He has prepared a city for them."
Hebrews 11:13, 14, 16
The New Testament records that Stephen also caught a glimpse of the city God has prepared.
"...being full of the Holy Spirit, (Stephen) gazed intently into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, and he said, 'Behold, I see the heavens opened up and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.'"
Acts 7:55, 56
And on the last page of Handbook 2 God tells us that He is bringing us to the threshold of His heavenly city.
"But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels, to the general assembly and church of the first-born who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant..."
By faith, we are seeing and believing the promises and welcoming them from afar!
"For here we do not have a lasting city, but we are seeking the city which is to come."