By Clarence L. Haynes Jr., Crosswalk.com
If there is one thing that we see throughout the pages of Scripture, it's miracles. What is a miracle? One of the definitions of the word miracle I really like comes from Merriam-Webster. According to them, a miracle is "an extraordinary event manifesting divine intervention in human affairs." To rephrase, it is when God interrupts and intervenes in your human situation. He comes in with his power to do something that would never have happened unless he stepped in. With all the different examples of miracles that we have read about or possibly experienced, what does the Bible really tell us about miracles? Do they tell us more about the ones who experienced the miracle or about the one who performed it?
What Does the Bible Tell Us about Miracles?
The most important thing the Bible tells us about miracles is not about the miracles themselves but the God who performs them. If there is one thing you should learn from looking at the miracles in the Bible, it is that nothing is impossible with God. In fact, he says so himself.
"For with God nothing will be impossible." – Luke 1:37 (NKJV)
This is the central thing you need to know about miracles. The source of all miracles is God. He is at the center of them and is the reason miracles happen. Since there is nothing that he cannot do, that means a miracle is when the impossible becomes possible. Not because of who you are but because of who God is and his omnipotence. If nothing else, this one thought alone should build your faith.
Examples of Miracles in the Bible
Miracles come in all shapes and sizes. To understand the limitless power of God's ability, consider these miracles.
Creation – Read Genesis 1, and you see the God who speaks and creates everything from nothing.
Reproductive miracles – The Bible tells us about miracles of women who could not give birth but who did after God performed a miracle. Among them are Sarah, Hannah, Rebekah, and Elizabeth, to name a few.
Healing miracles – There are too many to list here, but God has shown his ability to overcome any physical ailment with a touch or even just a word. We see this all throughout the Bible, and Jesus modeled this when he walked the earth as well.
Death – Because there is nothing impossible for God, that means he can even overcome death. From the prophets of the old testament to Jesus and the apostles of the new testament, there have been moments where God has shown his power over natural death in the lives of people.
The 3 Conditions for a Miracle
When you look at the miracles in the Bible, you will discover that usually, there were three conditions necessary for a miracle to take place.
1 - You Need a Problem
When you really think about it, in the Bible, a miracle was an answer to a specific problem that someone had. Therefore, if you want to see a miracle, then you need to have a problem. To be even more specific, you need a problem that requires divine intervention. The problems we discover in the Bible varied in degree, but nevertheless, they were problems. If you are facing the Red Sea, that is a problem. If you're sick with leprosy, that is a problem. If you cannot walk because you are paralyzed, that is a problem. It does not matter what it is; if there is going to be a miracle, the first thing you need is a problem.
2 - You Need Faith
The key to seeing God work in a miraculous way is faith. Here is a Scripture that we often quote, especially when we need a miracle or answer to prayer.
"Jesus said to him, 'If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.'" – Mark 9:23 (NKJV)
God works in our lives through faith. As you put your faith in him to work on your behalf, then it is true that all things are possible. However, there is one thing that you should note that often gets overlooked when people are praying for miracles. There is a higher plan or purpose than God just doing a miracle in your life. That is God's will for your life. Sometimes we assume that if God does not work or move or answer the prayer the way we want, then it is a lack of faith. It is possible that could be the case, but that is not automatically the case. Whatever God does will be in accordance with his plan and will for your life. Sometimes that may include him doing something miraculous, and sometimes that means he will give you the grace to endure. Regardless of his choice, you must trust that he is working in your best interest. Remember Paul's words in 2 Corinthians 12:7-9:
"Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.'"
Yes, you need faith but regardless of how much faith you have, it will never supersede the will of God for your life.
3 - You Need God
This is just a simple reminder that the source of the miracle is God. Sometimes we forget that the power to perform miracles does not rest in the hands of men. Yes, God used people in the Bible to perform miracles; however, if he did not empower them, they could not make it happen on their own. Since God is the source of your miracle, should it happen in your life, make sure that he gets all the glory.
Can We Still Experience Miracles Today?
The answer to this question is yes because God has not changed. He is still the same God with the same power. Anyone can experience a miracle. However, no one can tell you why or when you will experience a miracle in your life because they do not know. Since no one can produce miracles on their own, they will only happen when God causes them. God does them as he deems necessary and as it correlates with his will and his perfect plan. However, there is one miracle that God will always deem necessary, and I call it the greatest miracle.
Photo credit: ©GettyImages/mbolina
What Is the Greatest Miracle?
You cannot talk about what the Bible tells us about miracles without talking about the greatest miracle of all. This is the miracle of salvation. I don't know if you think of salvation as a miracle, but it meets all the conditions. You need to have a problem. You need faith, and you need God. Well, we had (and still have) a sin problem. God created a solution, and by putting faith in Christ, that is what produces salvation. The reason this is the greatest miracle is because of what we all were before Christ found us. I am often amazed when I hear testimonies of people talking about what they were like before Christ. I am usually shocked because the person they are today bears no resemblance to that old person. God does such amazing work that the only way to describe it is to call it miraculous. I want to share with you two Scriptures that remind you of how miraculous salvation really is.
"But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy." – 1 Peter 2:9-10
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new." – 2 Corinthians 5:17
Since salvation comes from God and only he can do it, I think it qualifies as a miracle. This is the ultimate example of divine intervention manifesting in human affairs.
Do You Need a Miracle?
If you need a miracle today, this is what you must do. Pray. Believe. Trust. Pray and ask God. Believe that he can do it. Trust that he will do what is best in your situation. Sometimes the miracle is the best answer. And if it is, he will perform it. Sometimes, like Paul, his grace is the best answer, and if it is, he will give it. Regardless of what he does, know that he will only do what is best for you and what is in alignment with his plan and purpose for your life. Whether it is miraculous power or miraculous grace, God will always work on your behalf and for your good because that is what he promised. I will leave you with one verse that may sum up God's miracle-working power in your life more than any other.
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." – Romans 8:28
Photo credit (top/main image): ©GettyImages B-C-Designs
Clarence L. Haynes Jr. is a speaker, teacher, author, and co-founder of The Bible Study Club. He has spent more than 30 years serving the body of Christ in various capacities and is the author of The Pursuit of Purpose. If you have ever struggled to try to find God’s will, this book will help you discover the different ways God leads you into his perfect will. To learn more about his ministry please visit clarencehaynes.com.