The word fact can refer to verified information about past or present circumstances or events which are presented as objective reality. In science, it means a provable concept. (Wikipedia)
The author of the Hebrews plainly states that faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen, in other words; faith is facts. To establish something as a fact demands evidences. When we are to advance a case we have to present evidences that are convincing and which withstand scrutinizing. A fact thus becomes a provable concept. We won’t always find that others share our conviction, but, nevertheless, to us what we know is a reality.
In our personal processes towards faith God convincingly builds His case so that we can stand firm whatever circumstances we encounter. Facts are not feelings. If we are to base our faith on feelings we are that proverbial wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.
We are not either to assert that we have faith when the thing we have is partial faith. One of the few men in the Bible that admitted he had a partial faith was the father of the son who was possessed by an evil spirit. He cried out in despair: “I believe, help my unbelief.” Jesus honored his honesty and imparted to him what he lacked, and cast out the spirit from his son.
There are seasons in our lives when we feel that we are light-years from God. We are completely unable to sense His presence. As a consequence we begin to doubt our conversion, and we are inclined to think that our union with God is a hollow concept from a gullible era in our lives. However, it is during those periods that God proves that our union with Him is not grounded on feelings, but that it is an undisputable fact, so that we can know who we are in Him in despite of what comes against us.
For it is you who light my lamp; the LORD my God lightens my darkness. (Psalm 18:28) God is the One who imparts to us that illumination which transforms partial faith into unwavering faith. Faith is not a result of self effort. What we do, however, is continuing confessing the truth despite our circumstances with an expectant trust that God will light the lamp when we are ready to enter new level of insights.
Then we experience what John so cleverly put into words: “He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself.” A witness bears testimony about the truth, the realities that are our secure foundation. This witness is in us. It fixes us in the truth. The inner witness isn’t a feeling, it is an inner knowing. We just know that we know.
There are many things in our lives that are facts. I for instance know without a shadow of a doubt that I am a man. I do not have to confess on a daily basis that I am a man. I effortlessly and unconsciously look like a man, behave like a man and think like a man. For long periods of time I do not give this fact much thought. I do my things and live my life almost unaware of this reality. We can almost call this the law of facts. Every area of our lives that are founded on facts renders us in a state of being, that is, we are.
When we are so secure in our union that we just are, not giving the basis of our faith much thought so that we live our lives, do our things almost unconsciously of the reality that we are in a wonderful, life-giving union with God we have entered what I believe Jesus meant when He said that true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth.