We love to sing the lyrics of a popular worship song that says, “A miracle can happen now, for the Spirit of the Lord is here. The evidence is all around that the Spirit of the Lord is here.”[i] But do we really believe it? Do we really believe miracles still happen? Sure, they might happen for some famous preacher or at some popular worship concert. They might happen overseas with global workers and missionaries in third world countries. We certainly have no problem believing that the miracles in the Bible really happened. But can a miracle happen in our lives—right here and right now? Somehow, we have more trouble believing this.
But if we’re willing to sing about it, then we need to believe it.
We love studying Jesus’ miracles in the Bible. He turned water into wine. He healed the lame man who was lowered through the roof. He demonstrated power over nature by calming a violent storm with a single word. He fed five thousand men (plus women and children) with only five loaves of bread and two fish. He even walked on water just because He can!
If Jesus demonstrated His power through His miracles in the Bible times, who are we to believe that He ever stopped? The book of Hebrews teaches us that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (13:8–9a, NKJV). The same Jesus who did miracles in the Bible is the same Jesus Who can and will do them today!
What are you praying for? What are you believing God for? Did you know that your faith can actually move the heart of God to do the miraculous? No, this does not mean that we can have any kind of control over God. Nor does it mean that if miracles don’t happen, it’s because we didn’t have enough faith. Neither of the above are aligned with a biblical perspective. However, what this does mean is that there definitely is something to be said about the power of our faith.
Think about Jesus’ first miracle. When His mother Mary came to Him and informed Him that the wine had run out, His response was basically: “That’s not My problem!” He knew it was not yet time for His miraculous ministry to begin. Yet, within seconds, His time had suddenly come! Why? Because Mary demonstrated her great faith, telling the servants to do whatever Jesus told them to do. Mary knew Who Jesus was, and she knew what Jesus could do; and the demonstration of her faith moved the heart of God in such a way that it propelled Him into beginning His earthly ministry. That’s powerful.
Other people have moved God’s heart throughout history as well. For example, God wanted to annihilate and completely do away with the people of Israel, but Moses’ prayers and faith led God to change His mind and spare the people from death. Likewise, Abraham prayed and bargained with God, convincing Him to spare the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah if He could find at least ten righteous people in the cities.
What’s the point?
The point is that we too often set our expectations way too low. Call me crazy, but sometimes, I think God wants us to change His mind. But in order to do that, we have to step out in faith. We need to be like Mary, who would not take “no” for an answer. She asked Jesus for a miracle, Jesus said, “No,” and then she proceeded to prepare for the miracle as if He had said yes. And guess what? His no changed to yes because of the activation of her faith.
Certainly, there are many times when God’s “no” is a firm “NO.” But have you ever wondered if sometimes we give up too easily? The first time a prayer isn’t answered, we stop praying. When someone we know needs a miracle, and the situation actually gets worse instead of better, we tend to lose faith and give up hope. But what if we’re missing an opportunity when this happens—an opportunity to press in a little harder, to pray until something happens, and to persevere until we see a breakthrough? We cannot give up at the first sign of defeat. The men with their paralyzed friend did not give up when they could not get into the house where Jesus was teaching. They just found another way.
When we are praying to God for a miracle, do we actually believe He can do the miraculous? Do we actually believe He will do the miraculous? We know that God is sovereign—that He is God over everything and has complete control and authority. We know that He sometimes answers “yes” and sometimes “no.” But if you take anything away from this article, take this: Don’t be too quick to take “no” for an answer. Don’t back down at the first sign of defeat or struggle. That is when you need to press in all the more. Pray like you never prayed before. Believe that God is working on behalf of those prayers. Expect a miracle. And realize that the miracle might not look like what you thought it would look like—but it will be good.
Finally, when it all is said and done, regardless of the outcome—praise God in all circumstances. Trust His character. Know that He works all things together according to His divine purposes. Live like you believe it.
[i] “Here as in Heaven” by Chris Brown, Mack Brock, Matthew Ntlele, Steven Furtick, and Wade Joye. © 2015 Music by Elevation Worship Publishing (Admin. by Essential Music Publishing LLC).