Who Is a Candidate to Receive a Miracle from God?
“What is impossible with man is possible with God” (Luke 18:27).
Impossible! It’s a word we have heard throughout human history.
The Wright brothers were told no one can make an aircraft for man to fly in...it's impossible! The architects of the Golden Gate Bridge were told that no expanse that long could be safe...it’s impossible! The engineers that constructed the Hoover Dam were told nothing could hold back that much water...it’s impossible!
Impossible, improbable, or simply insane – it just can’t happen! But it has happened. Time and again, man has been defying what he previously thought was “impossible.”
It’s amazing how much progress people have made for civilization and for themselves, personally, with just a bit of self-confidence and stick-to-itiveness. Even still, there are times we will experience things outside of our immediate control, that no amount of positive mindset or persistence can change. Things like:
Your mother has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s...
The economy tanked, your company folded, and your house is being foreclosed...
Your spouse has given up on the marriage...
You’ve lost your faith entirely, because life has taken such a bitter turn…
Only a Miracle Will Do
We all face bad situations in which nothing we do seems to make any difference and hopelessness fills our hearts. It’s at times like this that we understand only a miracle will do – only the supernatural, divine intervention of Almighty God will get us out of such an awful mess.
But not just any god.
When you survey the landscape of the world's religious systems, there is only one with a history of miracles. Confucius is never credited with doing miracles, neither is Buddha. The Koran clearly says that Muhammad performed no miracles.
But then there is Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
He walked on water and opened blind eyes. He cleansed lepers and made lame men walk. He fed massive crowds of hungry people with five crackers and two sardines, he turned water into wine, cast out evil spirits, raised the dead. In fact, the Apostle John summed it up nicely:
“Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written” (John 21:25).
Jesus Christ is God of the Impossible because He does miracles!
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What Is a Miracle?
Miracles are not just unusual or amazing, like the longest fall a person survived without a parachute was 21,980 feet into snow. Amazing, yes. Miracle, no. Or when researchers split a human hair 17 times. Or even the most children ever born by one woman (sixty-nine!) Amazing yes, exhausting yes. Miracle no.
Miracles are also more than simply good fortune, like winning the Grand Prize, finding a front row parking spot at the mall during Christmas season, picking a great stock portfolio, or being late for a plane that goes down. A miracle is when God purposefully intervenes in your life to do for you what otherwise could not have been done.
When you’ve done all that you can humanly do about your circumstance, and it’s still hopeless, but then something suddenly changes, and you know that you know that you know – only God could have caused that to happen. That’s a miracle!
“And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, because she thought, ‘If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.’ Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering” (Mark 5:25-29).
Now, that’s a miracle – she did all she could, she spent all she had, the doctors did all they could, and her situation was still hopeless. But then God stepped in and did for her what otherwise could not have been done!
Why Do We Need Miracles?
“…many people saw the signs He was performing and believed in His name” (John 2:23).
Have you ever felt like your faith has been on cruise control?
Have you ever found yourself going through the motions of Christianity?
Have you ever felt like you’ve lost your first love?
Have you ever felt like your faith needs a lift?
I think we all find ourselves experiencing this at some time in our lives, and it's then that miracles destroy our doubt, starve our fears and deepen our faith. Remember David's testimony:
“But David said to Saul, ‘Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The LORD who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine’” (1 Samuel 17: 34-37).
David’s faith was deepened by experiencing God's miracle deliverance from a lion and a bear, and his experience laid the foundation to receive a future Goliath miracle.
Miracles are great faith builders for us as well. As Leonard Ravenhill said, “A man with an experience of God is never at the mercy of a man with an argument.” It appears God reinforces our journey of faith with supernatural experiences in order for our beliefs to remain genuine. That is, if we go too long without experiencing the reality of what we believe, our faith will become dull, and doubt can creep in. Miracles provide that experience of God that convince us beyond a shadow of a doubt that God is actually real.
Who Is a Candidate to Receive a Miracle?
Jesus often pointed out that faith was an important factor in people receiving their miracle (Luke 17:19; Luke 18:42; Matthew 9:22; 8:13; 15:28). But as true as that is, there are miracles recorded in the Bible where the person who received the miracle had no faith at all, but simply received the grace and goodness of God (John 5:1-13; Mark 9:24; John 9). So even though faith is usually an important element in receiving from God, there are miracles that have happened to people without faith.
The same could be said of prayer. Normally, prayer is a vitally important in our relationship with God and in the process of receiving what we ask from God (James 4:2-3). But the Bible also records miracles that happened where no one prayed (Matthew 17:24-27; Acts 5:15; 8:39-40).
And we only need to read the accounts of the idol worshipping Syrophoenician woman who pled for her daughter (Mark 7:24-30), the servant of Malchus who came to arrest Jesus (John 18:10), and the crazed Gadarene demoniac (Luke 8:26-39), to realize miracles come to more than just those who are super-spiritual and connected to God.
It All Begins with a Need
“When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick” (Matthew 14:14).
The truly good news is, every miracle recorded in the Bible and experienced in life began with a need that was too big to handle. When God does miracles in the lives of people, it’s first and foremost because there is a problem to be solved, a need to be filled, a question that needs answered, or a wound to be healed. Whenever Jesus did a miracle, it began with a need!
When we face an impossible situation in life, we can be assured that not only is He willing and able in His compassion to provide a miracle, but our need is all that is necessary to prequalify us to receive it. In fact, I'd argue that if you are in need today, you are a miracle in the making, and a testimony waiting to be told! And the bigger your problem is, the bigger your miracle will be. So stop looking at your problem as impossible, and start looking to the God of the Impossible.
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Frank Santora is Lead Pastor of Faith Church, a multi-site church with locations in Connecticut and New York. Pastor Frank hosts a weekly television show, “Destined to Win,” which airs weekly on the Hillsong Channel and TBN. He has authored thirteen books, including the most recent, Modern Day Psalms and Good Good Father. To learn more about Pastor Frank and this ministry, please visit www.franksantora.cc. Photo by Michele Roman.