Nothing more, nothing less.
A common mistake is thinking Hebrews 11:1 is a definition of faith. It sounds like a definition, but it is not.
HEBREWS 11:1 KJV
1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
This does not define faith but tells us something that faith in God's Word does. Faith gives substance to our hopes. Faith provides evidence of things we can't perceive with our physical senses.
To help understand this, think of someone who has never seen a dog and has no idea what a dog is. You can tell them, "A dog is man's best friend." "A dog is a wonderful companion." "A dog can help protect your property."
These all may be true statements, but they really don't define a dog. Nor would they enable that person to identify a dog when they first saw one. Those statements are more like descriptions of functions that dogs provide.
It is the same with Hebrews 11:1, which does not give us a definition so we can identify faith, but tells us something about faith and what it does.
God did not put a definition of faith in the Bible any more than He put a definition of a dog in the Bible. I suppose He thought we should know what they both were.
Some preachers complicate it. But the New Testament words for faith and believe are the same, one is the noun and one is the verb form of the same word.
Faith is what you believe. It is not something beyond human knowledge that is difficult to understand. It is super simple. If you believe something, that is your faith. Faith and belief are synonymous.
Faith in God and His Word operates on the same principles as faith in anything else. There are no special rules. It is all a matter of what you believe.
And where did you get your beliefs? You were not born with them. Every belief you now have was acquired as a decision you made at some point in your life. You decided to believe what you now believe.
Since every belief you have came as a result of a decision you made, every belief can also be changed by another decision. But to make such a new decision you need evidence. You cannot just choose to believe something without any evidence that it is true.
Concerning faith in God, the only evidence we should need is His written Word, for God cannot lie.
When you have evidence that a previous belief was wrong, you can choose to accept that evidence as sufficient to believe. This is how faith works --in every area of life.
What you believe is a decision you make. No one else can make it for you.
Faith is very simple. Faith is what you believe. And what you believe can be changed by a decision you make to accept the evidence available to you.
So you can go to the Bible and decide to believe it. Then you will have faith in God, for the Bible is God's written Word. It's that simple.
You never have to wonder whether you have faith. You know what you believe.
SAY THIS: Faith is simply what I believe.
This article is from www.adevotion.org which sends out free daily email messages to encourage faith in God.