by Rex RouisThe Bible is clear; the only way to receive from God is by faith. God gives according to His love, but we receive according to our faith. In this, the love and the justice of God are satisfied. Love desires what is best for the individual. Justice demands what is right for all. That’s why justification is by faith, and not by love.
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:16
“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,” Romans 5:1
But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. (7) For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, (8) being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. James 1: 6-8
We must receive by faith. It is the only way. Receiving outside of faith would require God to temporarily change the rules. However, He has been known to do exactly that, through the operation of His mercy. Mercy normally works by grace through faith, but there are times when mercy can act alone. After all, we serve a personal God, not an impersonal force. There is no way other than faith, unless God gives a variance through mercy.
“For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. (16) Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:15, 16
In nearly all of the Gospel miracles, faith is either directly mentioned or inferred as the sole reason the individual received from God. But in a few instances, faith is not mentioned. In these, the individuals received the blessing by calling upon the mercy of God.
Mercy is based on the premise that you realize, and acknowledge, that you have come up lacking, and you need God to forgo this lack, or make up the difference Himself. In Christ He has done both. For this acknowledgment to be genuine however, you must first recognize the absolute requirement of faith, and that you have not met that requirement. Not having faith stems from a lack of diligence and obedience to the word of God. Second, you must be truly repentant for this shortcoming, and be willing to make the necessary changes to rectify it. Third, you must realize that you are asking Him to grant the request solely on His goodness and grace, and not on your merits or need. You are in effect, asking God to ‘bend’ His rules for you. You are throwing yourself upon the mercy of the court, and you must be willing to take whatever comes. You deserve nothing. Falling on the mercy of God is not guaranteed, only faith is guaranteed. The more you rely on the mercy of God the less it works…but it does work.
There are several instances of this in the Bible. Read II Kings 20:1-11 about King Hezekiah’s healing. It is obvious that he was not in faith because even after he recovered he asked for a sign to confirm his healing.
There is a cleansing that comes when one falls upon the mercy of God. It can have the capacity of rapidly developing faith in the heart, and thereby, peace and victory. Essentially, everything we have is based on the mercy and grace of God.