Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1
So many aspects of living and being spiritually inclined require faith that without faith, it is impossible to achieve. As an intellectual, understanding Jesus, his sacrifice, the meaning of his life and death in my life and the existence of an eternal Heaven were difficult to comprehend. I come from a background of "here is why this works, look at the research and the evidence."
Living a spiritually inclined life requires a "knowing" deep in your heart and in your mind that the Scriptures, and things written about Jesus, are true. To simply know something means that you can regurgitate the fact or data correctly. On a deeper level of understanding, to "know that you know" something means that not only can you correctly reproduce the right fact or data in question, but you understand and comprehend how it came it about. And the deepest level of knowing is to "know that you know that you know." At this level there is no conscious thought or input into the fact or data, there is no need for understanding or comprehension because the fact or data is so engrained in your heart and mind that it is no longer something that you know, it has become a part of who you are. It not longer requires intentional thought to contemplate the idea in consideration. It just is.
To me, this is faith. And faith grows through experience and understanding. A great example of living in the "know that you know that you know" level of consciousness is the study of gravity. As a toddler when you were sitting in your high chair, you first "learned" about gravity, or were made aware of it, by dropping your spoon on the floor over and over and having Mom or Dad it pick it up. Right? Who didn't do this? From there it progressed to if I stand at the top of the steps and lay on my tummy, I can ride all the way down to the bottom. Then, through more experience of throwing baseballs, jumping out of trees and spitting lougies off the 5th floor balcony of your hotel room, gravity became more understood. And finally, at some point you learned that gravity actually was a force, 9.8 m/s2 and could be used to understand how other things in the universe worked. And, now, well, you don't even contemplate gravity because it is just there, a part of everyday life.
This, too, is how our faith is built. At first, we must just accept things for what they are. Jesus shed his blood for me so that I may be forgiven of my sins and have eternal life, having to never experience death. I remember hearing a story of Billy Graham being asked in an interview what changed his ministry from filling tents with people to filling giant stadiums? His response was miraculous. "My ministry took on new meaning the moment I began to believe the Scriputres in full faith."
As we experience more of the blessings and principles taught in the Scriptures, our faith grows until, hopefully, one day, we "know that we know that we know" Jesus died for me. Rev. Graham learned this and it changed his life forever. So to will it change yours and mine.