In his helpful little book, God’s Words, J.I. Packer offers this summary of the teaching of the Letter to the Hebrews on faith:-
1. Faith is ‘being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see‘, Heb 11:1 – the emphasis being, as always in Scripture, on the reality of faith’s objects rather than the degree of confidence we feel about them.
2. Specifically, faith honours and pleases God by taking his word about things (creation, Heb 11:3; rewards, Heb 11:6; God’s faithfulness to his promises, Heb 11:11; this life as a journey home, Heb 11:13-16; the fact that obedience always makes sense, even when it looks like nonsense, Heb 11:17-19; etc.).
3. Faith approaches God boldly through Christ (Heb 4:16; 10:19-22) to find held and strength for the winning of moral, spiritual and circumstantial victories (Heb 11:32-38; 4:16) and for the enduring of hostility both from within and from outside of oneself (sin within, Heb 12:1-4; ill-treatment from without, Heb 10:32-34; 12:3).
4. Faith interprets trouble as God’s discipline of his child (Heb 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.
5. Faith takes courage from examples of living by faith which the “great cloud of witnesses” have left us (Heb 12:1; 13:7), from thoughts of their present happiness (Heb 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 (Heb 12:22-24). In other words, faith appreciates the communion of saints.
6. Faith battles against temptations to unbelief, apathy and disobedience, sustaining against them the quality sometimes called “stickability”…and referred to in the letter as “patience” and “endurance” (Gk “hypomone”) (Heb 6:11f; 10:36; 12:1). Faith in God produces faithfulness to God.’