The words faith and belief are often used interchangeably in everyday conversation that they are assumed to have the same meaning, but they do not.
This error is one of the reasons many people have difficulty fully understanding the meaning of faith, fail to connect with God in spirit, and use the power of faith to solve the problems in their lives.
The precise definitions of faith and belief are: to believe is to have confidence in a truth based on physical or experiential evidence; whereas to have faith is to have confidence in a truth based on its spiritual evidence.
With this definition of faith in mind, we can now understand the meaning of faith as given in Hebrew 11:1, "Faith is the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen."
This meaning of faith defines faith as a spiritual activity because hope, which is the object of faith has no physical form in itself; it is merely the expectation that we will have what it is that we need or desire.
Thus, when faith calls upon us to possess the substance of what has not yet acquired a physical form, or to see evidence of God who is a spirit and cannot be seen, it is asking us to perform a spiritual act.
And since the physical person cannot see what is spiritual, he cannot possess the substance of what has not yet acquired a physical form, nor can he possess the spiritual evidence that God exists; and this is why he has difficulty understanding the meaning of faith.
The soul, being a spiritual entity, is the only part of the human personality able to possess both the substance of things hoped for, and the spiritual evidence of the existence of God.
Consequently, the soul alone is capable of having faith in God, as it alone has access to the spiritual evidence that allows us to understand the meaning of faith.
The physical person, without input from the soul, cannot understand the meaning of faith because he has no means of seeing the substance of things hoped for, or the spiritual evidence of things he cannot see. In other words, the physical person cannot see God.
This is the reason many people have difficulty understanding the meaning of faith, or believing in God. They do not actively involve their souls in the worship of God, and so fail to obtain the spiritual evidence needed to sustain their belief in God.
Since a belief in God is justified by hope, and hope is justified by faith - from which comes the substance of what we hope for, and the spiritual evidence of what we do not see - there can be no true belief in God without fully understanding the meaning of faith.
By faith our souls are purified by the Holy Spirit to receive spiritual revelations directly from God, on the substance of the things we hope for, and the evidence of what we cannot see. Read more about Spiritual Revelations.