And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect. -Hebrews 11:39
All these ....Abel, Abraham, Enoch, Noah. & Sarah. Through Abel, though he died, he still speaks. Enoch didn't even make it as far as experiencing his own death. The Lord "took him up"! Noah built a boat ..based on events that hadn't even come to pass, but built it anyway, in obedience to God; knowing people thought he was crazy, or a drunk. Abraham was obedient to go to a land where he was to receive an "inheritence", not knowing exactly where he was to go ...and lived in tents, without foundations. This would be considered poor management skills today. Sarah conceived in old age ...even after initial doubts.
All these ....having not seen what God promised were obedient. Some were even obedient ...knowing they would not see God's promise fulfilled in their own lifetimes. I've heard it stated this way, in modern vernacular.. "If God never did another thing for me, I would have already received more than I deserve." If God dropped me like a hot potato today, if my health failed, if I lost all material posessions, and if there were no reason to believe I would see greener pastures, in this lifetime... would I be willing to "take one for the team?" Would I not only "know" that God owes me nothing ..but would I be willing to live out the remainder of my earthly life in that reality?
"Faith" ...truly is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Without assurance and conviction faith must surely be foolishness.