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Have you ever seen someone go into a healing meeting with a withered arm or leg, and come out whole? Have you ever seen someone go to a miracle healer with advanced Parkinsons’, a cleft palate, or a prosthesis of any kind and come out completely and totally healed?

Now, don’t get me wrong. I believe in miracles!

Not just the miracle of birth, and life, and personality. Not just the awesome complexity of DNA, and the bio-diversity of bogs and butterflies, flowers, and frogs…

I believe in a God who can enable His servants to walk on water, heal the sick, and raise the dead. I believe in a Lord who can enable paralyzed, withered legs to stand, walk, and run. I believe in a God who can use time and eternity to heal all of His people from all of their diseases, neuroses, and sins. I believe that angels and demons are our silent partners and enemies in spiritual warfare.

Yes, I believe in all of these miracles– while also being convinced that there are a lot of misnamed miracles that would be better tagged as scams, hat tricks, and just plain fraud. While some might rationalize in their own minds that they are priming the pump of faith, and that there’s nothing wrong with fooling people to increase their ability to believe, or to support “the ministry of faith”– that’s something I believe is worth thinking about together.

But before I go on, let me ask you where you are on the subject of miracles…

When you see something in nature, like a butterfly emerging from a chrysalis, or later dancing on the wind, would you agree that the most exhaustive scientific explanations can’t begin to explain something like a common house fly, or a humming bird, or an ostrich?

Have you seen a miracle equivalent to what Jesus did in healing withered limbs?

Have you ever been burned by a false claim of miracles?

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19 Responses to “Miracles”

  1. hal.fshr says:

    I appreciate what has been said here about the awe that is expressed in the design of nature. But I really don’t think it qualifies as a biblical miracle. The argument from design in nature is central to the Christian faith (Romans 1:18-25). However, miracles are in a different category. They are the expression of divine power which alter the laws of nature inorder to endorse the message of someone God has sent or to uniquely accomplish God’s will. Turning water into wine, walking on water or raising the dead are the not the same as the awe we fell when we see a butterfly or watch the change in vegetation brought about by the four seasons.

  2. Mart De Haan says:

    I hear your point. Sign miracles have a specific function in the unfolding story of the Bible. But what was their “sign” or “story”? It’s my understanding that what made the miracles of Jesus so powerful is that they bore the signature of the Creator. Are you saying creation was not a miracle?

  3. Gale L. Jarvis says:

    i believe God never changes, thereby God Creating life will always be a Miracle, i believe there is no such thing as circumstances, and things happening by chance, these little things many times throughout our lives are miracles from God on our behalf, but very few see them, because they do not see God as God desires for them to see Him. the god of many is very small, but when we can see God as he really is, we see The Great I AM, every thing God does is a Miracle Humanly speaking, if we could just see God in this light, we could not help but worship Him.

  4. BJ says:

    I not only believe in miracles, both my daughter and I have been recipents of God’s miracles as well as other members of our family.

    My daughter as an infant was born without a “soft spot” in the top of her head. In fact her skull had formed an unusual hard shell all the way to her forehead…

    After waiting a few months she was scheduled for surgery to open and re-form her skull and on the day of the scheduled surgery the nurse offered to take my daughter in for another x-ray just before the surgery.

    My family and I along with a few friends had been praying and believing God for a miracle and minutes after taking my little baby in for a another x-ray, the nurse came running down the hospital hallway carrying my 8 month old daughter exclaiming – “It’s a miracle… look! Look!”

    I examined my daughter and found a “normal soft spot” beating in the top of her head as if it had been there all along! The doctor then carefully examined her and after examining her simply said – “I don’t know what happened. Once there was no soft spot and now there is.”

    Was it an error? Did the doctors miss it during the first x-ray? No.

    The first x-ray clearly showed the harden skull fully formed to my daughter’s little forehead and the last one did not. It was clear to see even with the naked eye that God had done his handy work and given my daughter a soft spot!

    My daughter is now 30 years of age and a successful attorney here in New York.

    I must admit though, she is now pretty “hard headed” but that doesn’t change the fact that God worked a miracle in her life!

  5. RKinear says:

    While I have not seen a totally inexplicable miracle by the understanding of my worldly education and experience, I do sense and believe in the ongoing miracle of God’s presence in virtually everything. This miracle continues by his power for most things and by his tolerating the folly of man for the remainder.

    I base this on my limited (not nearly what it should be) study of God’s word and the observation of the multitude of things that left to the world’s definition of nature and man’s abilities and tendencies, simply would not be.

    Such as the following possibly profound and not-so profound:

    * On a personal note, why am I given another day, a good job, a home, a loving wife, more stuff than I deserve let alone can manage? I’m not that profitable, the world would have eliminated me a long time ago.

    * Why, after decades of a cold war with tens of thousands of strategic and tactical nuclear weapons at the whim and will of “men”, were we not obliterated? The safeguards were not that profound nor failsafe. Literally thousands of military personnel on both sides had the ability to “fire one off”, yet no one ever did, not once. If people cannot see God’s miraculous hand in that, then blind indeed they are.

    * Why is the earth the only blue planet? Still? All the colors of the rainbow and only one blue planet.

    * How is it possible that this discrete little orb cannot sustain 6 to 7 billion people let alone all the animals and plants? Although, the 2 or so billion “well off” could do a much better job of taking care of the other 4 billion. I’m sure that illustrates God’s providence and man’s inability to manage wisely. A miracle provided – a miracle abused.

    * Why does the Church still exist after two millenniums of persecution, indifference, and misconduct? Ouch!

    * Why are there still true believers who hold to God’s word as their sole source of information? People who can differentiate God’s word from anything counterfeit?

    Personally I believe that were it possible, should God cease to be, so immediately would everything else. The fact that we are is a miracle.

  6. Oli says:

    I appreciate your point (implied) that our complete healing (indeed health and strength in its fullest sense) is still future, in the new creation. In general, we need to be far more future-oriented, like the New Testament.
    Thank you.

  7. hliverance says:

    Mart, are you saying that you believe that God can still perform miracles, but just chooses not to? The application of miracles is at His discretion. Just because you or I have never seen what we would consider to be a bonafide miracle doesn’t mean they don’t happen? And we shouldn’t dumb down miracles by calling the wonders of creation miracles. By definition, a miracle is something that transcends the natural laws.

    Yes, miracles are used by God to validate his message. However, just as in the case here of the baby whose soft spot miraculously appeared, He also performs miracles for His good pleasure. Jesus made God’s plan for miracles clear in Luke 4:23-27. Sometimes our lack of faith prevents the display of miracles in our own lives. Just because we have a need for a miracle, and cry out to God for it, doesn’t mean God will necessarily act on our behalf. There were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, but only one saw the miracle.

  8. mutisadele says:

    I am a firm believer in miracles. God is the same God he was to Abraham, Issac, and Jacob as He was to the first apostles and believers in Jerusalem. Many of us like to say ‘Oh, that was in the bible days’, but we as His children who are filled with His Spirit have the capability to experience God’s miracles daily. It only takes faith and obedience to His word. My godsister was diagnose as having an extremely low white blood cell count and she wasn’t given much time to live when she was born. Her mother took her back and forth to the doctor for months after her birth and at around the age of two or three, she recieved healing in the Mighty Name of Jesus! All her tests came back normal and to this day the doctors are dumbfounded. God took what we call wisdom and turned it into something foolish for His glory. I agree when said that the miracle of nature and the miracle of healing can be seen as the same because I know when I am feeling down and I can appreciate something in nature I feel the divine healing in my soul and am refreshed…Glory to God, Hallelujah!

  9. limbaugh says:

    I was diagnosed with Raynaud’s Disease in 1998. However, the medicine for it also drops blood pressure and my blood pressure was already excessively low. So the elders of my church anointed me with oil and prayed over me at our Wednesday night Bible study/prayer meeting. I have not suffered from Raynaud’s since then!

    I think it is sad that so many Christians today lack the faith to believe that God still heals in miraculous ways. People have not changed over the centuries. If sign miracles were needed in the post-resurrection years, how much more are they needed today?!!!

    God has used miracles since the beginning to show Himself. Why would He stop once the apostles died?
    Praise God He never changes even when people try to deny His power because it doesn’t fit their theology!

  10. persian72003 says:

    I have seen many healings in my years of walking with the Lord. To me, God is Our Physician. If a person has faith to believe for the small stuff, then nothing is impossible in the miracles that God can do in peoples lives, no matter how big or small. Nothing is too big for Him to do for His children and it’s the faith in that person who is the one that is going to receive the miracle. Heb. 11:6 is a scripture I pray and stand on when believing for a miracle. All things are possible with the God we serve each and every day.

  11. Mart De Haan says:

    Good comments! I’m not suggesting that God does not or will not do “first century” miracles today. My concern is with those who are exploiting human need, leveraging the name of Christ, and selling expectation of the supernatural. When the miracle of financial relief or physical healing doesn’t happen– disappointed people are left to think that their faith (or financial gift) must not have been enough.

  12. Sully says:

    I have been a firm believer in miracles all my life. (Mainly because of my absolute faith and belief in every word of the Bible.) However, it always seemed to me that the miracles that I or other people would pray for, weren’t the miracles that happened …. because I was praying for the outcome that I wanted! Now I’ve learned that God is in control of every circumstance in our life. He either ordains or allows every circumstance for His puroposes. (i.e. To strengthen, teach, or purify us…or maybe even to allow us to experience a circumstance so He can lead us through it and then in turn minister to someone else in the same circumstance. It was when I adopted this belief that I received my miracle!
    I had a growth in my throat that was large enought to block food from passing through and it was located right against my voice box. After doing a biopsy, the oncologist told me that because of the location, he could not remove the growth completely in one surgery without removing my voice box. He said that I would have to endure several surgeries where he would slice a small amount off at a time and try not to affect my vocal cords. The number of surgeries would be dependent on how fast the tumor grew. So I was given a month to heal from the biopsy and then he would begin the surgeries. They prayed for me every week in my church and I was on everyone’s prayer list. I asked them to pray that God would give me comfort and strength to endure all these surgeries and that I wouldn’t have to lose my voice completely. The Sunday before my pre-op visit, an elderly gentleman from our congregation (who’s now home with the Lord) came up to me after the service and said that he had been struggling with God for the past two weeks and he was not going to let this day go by without obeying God. Then he proceeded to put his hands on my throat and say; “You aren’t going to need any surgeries.” Being old, I thought that he was confused but maybe he was giving me some good news from God that I wouldn’t need a lot surgeries. So I thanked him and asked him to keep praying because I was going to the doctor in the morning.
    As I sat in the chair with the scope down my throat, the doctor who had been so vocal and so informative during previous scopes…..was now not saying a word. Because he had told me that this series of surgeries would only be possible if this was a slow growing tumor, I though he was just putting of telling me the worst possible news. Still in silence, he removed the scope and was writing notes in my chart when finally with tears running down my face, I said: “Doctor, it’s OK. You can tell me the truth.” With that, he turned around and with an almost expressionless face said: “You aren’t going to need any surgery!” Word-for-word what the man in church said!!!!!! When I asked him why, he just said: “I can’t remove what’s not there!” The tumor was completely gone!!!!
    I asked if he had any medical explanation for this and he said no. He said he had seen cases where doing a biopsy caused a tumor to shrink in size. But he told me this wasn’t the case here. He said that there was absolutely no sign of any thing in my throat…not a mark where a tumor had been….not even evidence that a biopsy had been done!!!! I do not believe that this doctor was a Christian, but when I told him about the man at church, all he said was: “I can’t explain it…but that man was right!”
    So now I carry the x-ray of my miracle in my Bible and show it to anyone who will listen!
    That was seven years ago and I haven’t had another problem with my throat since! So all of this didn’t give me an “American Idol” voice……..but I still have the voice God blessed me with and I can still make a joyful noise to the Lord….so I am now a member of our church choir!

  13. Thomas Brown says:

    I have never witnessed a miracle such as the ones performed by Christ and his disciples. Can God still do this? Yes. He never loses any of his power. He never changes. I have witnessed failed attempts by many Faith Preachers and Evangelists….by fail I mean the person receiving the supposed healing was not healed. The success did come to the one claiming to have healed the person (ie.monetary gain). The person whose healing did not “take” or later receeded is told that it’s because thier faith is weak. We as Christians beleive but we have not seen. That’s faith! We need to be careful who we let lay hands on us and who we watch on TV and the Internet. The Holy Spirit living inside us bears witness to these things. Listen to Him.

  14. Merrie says:

    I enjoyed reading the thoughts of others. I feel very badly when someone says that my faith is not great enough or else my body, crippled by polio in 1944, would have been healed long ago. And I feel so badly for people that are deceived by false “faith healers” and money driven “prosperity preachers”. Every day is God’s gift to each of us. And I truly believe He can perform any miracle that is needed to glorify Himself.
    Jesus did not heal every leper or every blind or lame man. Also, it takes faith to live each day being disabled.

  15. Mart De Haan says:

    I think your comments are giving us such helpful examples. With or without healing, our faith in the Lord can continue to grow and deepen. The Apostle Paul experienced both sides. He saw God do real miracles in the lives of others. Yet when he experienced his own “thorn in the flesh”, he found God unwilling to remove it. Instead of losing hope in God, he ended up with the confidence that God was saying, “My grace is sufficient for you: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (2Cor 12:9)

  16. Ricky says:

    I think anyone who questions if God still performs miracles has never failed to prepare for a science test, gone to bed praying for a miracle for tomorrows test and awoken to three feet of snow on the ground and all of the schools closed the next morning. God seems very simple to me and I think we too often make what is simple more complex or more difficult than need be.

  17. mpoteet says:

    When you see something in nature, like a butterfly emerging from a chrysalis, or later dancing on the wind, would you agree that the most exhaustive scientific explanations can’t begin to explain something like a common house fly, or a humming bird, or an ostrich?
    Absolutely! On a daily basis, as a matter of fact. Look at the beauty of water in all of its forms – the oceans, streams, ice. It is breathtaking to see the many blessings around us.

    Have you seen a miracle equivalent to what Jesus did in healing withered limbs?
    Yes. With the variety of diagnoses I have, I should not feel as well as I do. That is a miracle. It is only because of my church and my church family that I feel so loved and healthy.

    Have you ever been burned by a false claim of miracles?

  18. kairos says:

    I believe science can explain much, but not all that we see, sense, theorize, or long for. Science often provokes my sense of AHH, but it’s different from the AWE I may feel for the very same object or experience; that’s divine.

    Like others,I too have seen miracles “equivalent to what Jesus did in healing withered limbs.” Diseases in remission for no earthly reason; physical survival when death was imminent; the redemption and atonement of many.

    I’m grateful for the diversity of experiences, beliefs and worldviews expressed here. I often wonder what it’s like to live with the certainty some have expressed. My faith is full of awe, but also questioning and doubt. I’m also intrigued by the comments that “God does not change.” How provocative. (Perhaps, Mart, you’d consider this for a future column?)

    May God bless us all.

  19. Mart De Haan says:

    That’s a good suggestion. Thanks.

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