Elements of a Miracle

Isn't it amazing how God works in our lives! On a Saturday night several weeks ago, this pastor was working late, and decided to call his wife before he left for home. It was about 10:00 PM, but his wife didn't answer the phone. The pastor let it ring many times.

He thought it was odd that she didn't answer, but decided to wrap up a few things and try again in a few minutes. When he tried again she answered right away. He asked her why she hadn't answered before, and she said that it hadn't rung at their house. They brushed it off as a fluke and went on their merry ways.

The following Monday, the pastor received a call at the church office, which was the phone that he'd used that Saturday night. The man that he spoke with wanted to know why he'd called on Saturday night. The pastor couldn't figure out what the man was talking about. Then the man said, "It rang and rang, but I didn't answer." The pastor remembered the mishap and apologized for disturbing him, explaining that he'd intended to call his wife.

The man said, "That's OK. Let me tell you my story. You see, I was planning to commit suicide on Saturday night, but before I did, I prayed, 'God if you're there, and you don't want me to do this, give me a sign now.'

At that point my phone started to ring. I looked at the caller ID, and it said, 'Almighty God'.

I was afraid to answer!" The reason why it showed on the man's caller ID that the call came from "Almighty God" is because the church that the pastor attends is called Almighty God Tabernacle!!

Verse for today:

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Cor 12:9).

One time in one of our Cell Group Bible study, an elderly lady member shared a story about her difficulty of convincing her relatives back home in the Philippines to believe and be converted. She was sharing the gospel every time she goes home for a vacation. Finally, one of her relatives answered because of her persistence, "If my tree started to bear money instead of fruits, then I will believe." There was much poverty in the country that people seem to search nothing less than to fill their stomach. With this, the woman was deeply disappointed. The man was expecting a miracle to believe and he did not get it. Our world today is like that. Our god is our stomach. Read about the topic, Modern Idolatry.

The two examples gives us a contrasting scenario how and when a miracle is granted. Let us study what the Bible says before we can expect a miracle to happen in our lives.

The Elements:

  1. Miracles and grace of God happen only in times of hardships… When emptiness comes and when faith is still strong.

 Ex 2:23-25

Now it happened in the process of time that the king of Egypt died. Then the children of Israel groaned because of the bondage, and they cried out; and their cry came up to God because of the bondage. So God heard their groaning, and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God acknowledged them.

Isa 10:22-24

Though your people, O Israel, be like the sand by the sea, only a remnant will return. Destruction has been decreed, overwhelming and righteous. The Lord, the LORD Almighty, will carry out the destruction decreed upon the whole land. Therefore, this is what the Lord, the LORD Almighty, says: “O my people who live in Zion, do not be afraid of the Assyrians, who beat you with a rod and lift up a club against you, as Egypt did. Very soon my anger against you will end and my wrath will be directed to their destruction.”

Isaiah 54:8:

“In a surge of anger I hid my face from you for a moment, but with everlasting kindness I will have compassion on you,” says the LORD your Redeemer.

Matt 24:6-8:
You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.

If difficulties comes into our lives, don't blame God. He is just preparing our souls to be in the right condition for a miracle. No one can expect a miracle if we are in abundance and feeling complete. We experience hardships primarily because of our neglect of our main purpose of life. We forget to worship God. We prioritize about our earthly ambitions, material possessions instead of giving time and giving thanks to the One who provides all things. That's why Jesus Christ gave us an example of a rich man who had an abundance but in reality, is poor and has no salvation. read in Matt 19:24.

And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."

Matt 17:19-21

Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, "Why could we not cast it out?"

So Jesus said to them, "Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.  However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting." 

  1. God uses every available material we possess. He starts with nothing if we have nothing.

    Let us put it this way: The more we have, the less chances of miracle to happen. See examples in the Bible.
    1. Man created man out of the dust, woman out of the man (Gen 2:7; 22)

When there was absolutely nothing in the very beginning, God has to create the Earth, the Sun, the whole universe from absolutely nothing. Now that's a perfect miracle. But when He created man, He has to use available resources there is to create another. Adam came from the dust of the earth, for the earth was created first. More examples below:

    1. Noah had to use available resources – materials, men, and machine, regardless of time and God brought a great flood.. (Gen 6:14). God could have instantly created an ark and recreated the animals but that will violate the rule.
    2. Moses’ staff  (Exodus 4:2) God asked what he has. Moses could show nothing but a staff. With that, Moses executed miracles after miracles.
    3. Outnumbered, the less equipped army of Israel used their feet and voices against Jericho to collapse its impenetrable walls (Josh 6:2-5). The small army of Israel was no match against the wall of Jericho but God used what the army can do. March around seven times, shout and blast the trumpets and the massive wall of Jericho collapsed.
    4. David’s skills to kill Goliath (Do not be jealous of other’s success and attempt to copy other’s method) (1Sam17:38-40; 47) Armed only with a sling and pieces of stones, David boldly said, "David said to the Philistine [Goliath], "You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied" (1 Sam 17:45).
    5. Loaves and the bread. (Matt 14:17-20; 15:32-36). Jesus could have just created food instantly for the thousands of hungry crowd. Instead He multiplied many times over the quantity of what was available: five loaves of bread and two fishes to feed. Secondly, if the crowd who faithfully followed Him all through the wilderness were full, a miracle could not have happened.
    6. Jesus had to use the same dust to recreate the eyes of the man borne blind (John 9:6-7). The man, about forty years old had to suffer since birth in order to see the great glory of God.
    7. Paul sang hymns and prayers to free himself from prison (Acts 16:25-26). If we have nothing and in deep suffering, God can use our voice to receive a miracle.
  1. God does miracles to manifest Himself among the nations
    Note the prophecies to wicked nations in the book of Ezekiel.
    Ezek 38:22-23
    I will execute judgment upon him with plague and bloodshed; I will pour down torrents of rain, hailstones and burning sulfur on him and on his troops and on the many nations with him. And so I will show my greatness and my holiness, and I will make myself known in the sight of many nations. Then they will know that I am the LORD.'

The miracles are manifestations of God's greatness and His authority. It is an anathema for the sinners but a blessing for those who believe. It is also meant to strengthen our faith as this passage in John 12:30 tells us.

Jesus answered and said, "This voice did not come because of Me, but for your sake. 

Check this video out about a Muslim covert to Christianity who witnessed a miracle from God.

  1. Miracles are not meant to test God. It is by His own discretion when and how He uses His power.
Satan tried to test God by tempting Him three times.

Matt 4:3-10
The tempter came to him and said, "If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread."
Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'"

Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. 6 "If you are the Son of God," he said, "throw yourself down. For it is written:
"'He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.'"
Jesus answered him, "It is also written: 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'"

Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. "All this I will give you," he said, "if you will bow down and worship me."
Jesus said to him, "Away from me, Satan! For it is written: 'Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.'

Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.

The Devil tried to tempt Jesus by taking advantage of man's weakness and clever manipulation of the Scriptures. Jesus fasted forty days and therefore very hungry. Like the man I mentioned above who wanted to have his tree to bear money, Satan capitalized on hunger to test the power of Jesus to produce bread out of the stones. He also used Scriptures to support his testing of Jesus. However, all the temptations were for the wrong purposes and none was granted. Testing God is good but we should not do it by doing evil. We should test God by doing good. See this passage in Malachi where God was encouraging His followers to test Him by doing good with emphasis mine.

Mal 3:10
Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the LORD Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.

Matt 6:33-34
But seek first
the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 

Do not follow what the ancient Israelites did by always putting God to the test just to satisfy their wants.

Ps 106:14-15
In the desert they gave in to their craving; in the wasteland they put God to the test. So he gave them what they asked for, but sent a wasting disease upon them.

  1. Miracles are given in great faith and total surrender. We must be saved, we must have faith.

a. Examples of total surrender and great faith:

Matt 8:7-13
Jesus said to him, "I will go and heal him."

The centurion replied, "Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, 'Go,' and he goes; and that one, 'Come,' and he comes. I say to my servant, 'Do this,' and he does it."

When Jesus heard this, he was astonished and said to those following him, "I tell you the truth, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth."

Then Jesus said to the centurion , "Go! It will be done just as you believed it would." And his servant was healed at that very hour.

Acts 14:9-10
He listened to Paul as he was speaking. Paul looked directly at him, saw that he had faith to be healed and called out, "Stand up on your feet!" At that, the man jumped up and began to walk.

Luke 17:6
He replied, "If
you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, 'Be uprooted and planted in the sea,' and it will obey you.

The mustard tree has a very small seed. What is implied here is a seed of faith that grows like a mustard tree that when it fully grown, becomes a giant tree. God wanted us to have little in the beginning but grows like a mustard tree.

b. Example of little faith

Matt 14:28-31
"Lord, if it's you," Peter replied, "tell me to come to you on the water."

"Come," he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!"

Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. "You of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?"

Matt 17:19-20
Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, "Why couldn't we drive it out?"

He replied, "Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."

Then we ask ourselves, why can't I perform miracles? Make sure we have the elements necessary to perform one. We need total surrender, we have to live by faith and make sure the miracles has only one purpose--to bring glory to God through our salvation. It is done in manifestation of God's power as a testimony to many. All the miracles done by God were either witnessed by many people or written for generations for us to believe Him that He is the maker of all things, that nothing is impossible for Him. What is impossible sometimes is, mankind lacks the faith for God to work a miracle in us. No one looks up unto Him. That is the reason why God is bringing us calamities, disaster, economic recessions in order for us to seek Him and also for us to become weak and therefore we can receive blessings. Paul experienced an example for us today why we should delight in weakness instead of abundance.

2 Cor 12:7-10
To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me 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. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

In one occasion Jesus' apostles asked Him if the man being born blind was a curse due to his parent's sin. Jesus said, the man was born blind so he can experience the miracle of God and see salvation. Jesus restored his sight and that was the miracle he received.

John 9:1-4
As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned , this man or his parents, that he was born blind?"

"Neither this man nor his parents sinned," said Jesus, "but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.

God still performs miracles today. He remains the same forever. However, in as much as He wants to perform miracles, people refuse to seek Him. There will come a time in the last days that God will perform so many miracles.

Joel 2:28-31
And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams ,
your young men will see visions. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days. I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and billows of smoke.

The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD.

However, those will also be the times of great confusion. That is time when many will be confused because of Satan's deceit. without proper guidance, men will believe the lies by Satan instead of the message of the miracles by God. Watch out and remember this. Satan can also perform miracles!

2 Thess 2:8-12
And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming. The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.

The time to get prepared is now. Do not be overtaken by perilous times that is coming so near. Start by receiving Jesus Christ today and be saved. Have a faith like mustard seed that grows to a giant tree and see that God will perform the greatest miracle of all... your salvation. Listen to this invitation of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Matt 11:28-30

Come to Me , all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."

In order for you to get saved and become a Christian please follow these simple steps.