Belief Credited as Righteousness

Romans 4:1-8 - “For what does the Scripture say? "ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS CREDITED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS."”

I've been turning this over in my head, and I still find it stunning. Thousands of scholars and pastors have written and preached volumes on Romans, so there's nothing new I could add to the understanding of this passage. 

What is it about "believing God" that God Himself finds so compelling? How does it work that no amount or quality of works has the same forgiving and redeeming power as "just" believing God? 

Maybe it works like this: the pure reality is that, without God, we are nothing, or at least virtually nothing. If we believe otherwise, then the truth is not in us: we are living out a lie. 

So if we believe God, then we are submitting ourselves to Him, aligning our lives to Him, and thus aligning ourselves to the Truth, to the reality of things. And if we align ourselves to God and reality, we also align ourselves to humbly accepting the free gift of His salvation. Union with and obedience to the only Living God is the only true and fulfilling goal we can take on. Can you take on that goal? And when (not if) you fail from time to time, day to day, believe that the One who is faithful will continue to hold out forgiveness for you to embrace. The quicker you can accept this, the greater the part of your life will be that is filled with joy and peace, enthusiasm and love. Your belief in the Living God will check the box labeled "righteousness" for you, and the redemptive power of salvation will spill into your life.