This post is published as a companion to Unit 8, Session 4 of The Gospel Project for Adults Vol. 3 (Spring 2022): From Conquest to a Kingdom.
As believers, we know God can do miracles in the Bible. We’ve read it, we believe it, and we know the greatest miracle of all was Jesus dying on the cross for our sins and resurrecting to show us we, too, can have new life.
But it is the 21st century. And for many of us, we do one of two things: deemphasize miracles or overemphasize miracles. Let me explain.
The Problem of Deemphasizing Miracles
God is alive and presently at work in our lives and will continue to be so throughout time. Some of us our so focused on our daily grind or so nervous about the supernatural, that we don’t see the daily miracles that God performs—preventing us from car accidents, keeping us still healthy even if we’re around kids as a teacher, having babies born every day. These are all daily miracles that God performs that are sometimes overlooked as just natural occurrences and not at the hand of God.
Granted, some may say, I don’t consider those miracles, but sure God has His hand in that, but that’s it. And for some, to not lean too liberal in certain camps, we minimize God’s ability even to do the supernatural, like healing and appearing in dreams. Yet there are medical mysteries of healing every year in hospitals. And in countries around the world, more attune to the spiritual realm, we still hear stories of spiritual battles, demonic activity, and Jesus appearing in dreams for those who haven’t heard Christ. God, being all-powerful, can do whatever He wants whenever He wants. He has not stopped performing miracles just because we think our world is more modern or doesn’t need Him to. But His miracles are mainly to display His power and His name on this earth, especially to those who haven’t yet followed Him.
The Problem of Overemphasizing Miracles
On the flip side, sometimes in acknowledging that God is all-powerful and can do all things, we start to believe that He will do all things that we ask for. We pray for miraculous healing as if He will heal and are upset when He doesn’t. We pray for drifting sons and daughters knowing He can miraculously change their hearts as if you will do so and are disappointed when it doesn’t happen.
Also, another problem is that we want too much to see miracles. We are like the crowds in Jesus’s day, just waiting for a spectacle, to be awed as if God was a magician and we have paid for a show. As a church or as individuals, if we overemphasize miracles, as if that was God’s main act and value, we know nothing of faith in a God who is multidimensional and more than just His miraculous acts.
God Does as He Pleases
God performs miracles today but we don’t get a say in when and where He does so. We can’t put God in a box. He appears in dreams for the Muslim but He may not heal our mother with cancer. He brings rain in the desert during a famine, but He may not prevent a tornado in our neighborhood. But who knows the mind of God? He displays His glory for His glory and He does and acts as He chooses when He chooses because He is God, almighty, all-knowing, all holy, all good.
In knowing He does miracles, we can only walk in faithfulness to our God, proclaiming who He is, knowing His plans are beyond our imaginings. God has not stopped performing miracles, but He doesn’t do it on a whim whenever we ask to see one. He meticulously works through the natural and supernatural to build His Kingdom and proclaim His name throughout the earth. As believers, we need to be careful to not deemphasize or overemphasize His miracles in ways that diminishes who He really is. We must remember that miracles are mainly for God’s glory, not ours.