Musings on Christianity 32

Musings on Christianity 32

Why Aren’t There Miracles?

That question has a connotation that might not be accurate. I, for one, don’t think we have a lack of miracles in the world; we have a lack of faith. If one were to credit every improbable act to luck, then there wouldn’t be any identification criteria for miracle. If one defined a miracle as something not possible, then one is expecting God to break the rules of the universe he created. He can, and He did, but with a purpose.

So first I’d like to talk about the epic, obvious miracles we discuss in the Bible: The plagues of Moses, the parting of the red sea, the sun staying in the sky, and the resurrection of Christ. Those mind-blowing, obvious-to-everyone miracles were signs, endorsements of sorts to those God was working through. The gospel has been given to us. The word is there for us to read and see. The time of prophets is at an end. With no prophets to endorse, there simply isn’t need for those sorts of miracles.

That answer seems simple and short because it is. Again, I point to all those who were around for those miracles. Every wondrous, nature-breaking miracle one might point to was directly attached to a chosen tool of God for His purpose in working His will.

What happens though is that people want to state that since an ocean hasn’t turned to blood or a sea hasn’t parted, we can conclude God has left us or that God doesn’t exist because we have no miracles (spoken of as evidence) to point to.

Readers, the lack of some unscheduled eclipse or galactic shift in the universe is only evidence of the lack of prophets, which we, of course, will have because once God’s own Son came down, anyone else would be ridiculous in comparison. Once God’s own Son returns, He will be with us to rule and guide us.

However, none of that really means God’s hand isn’t visible in these days. Indeed, everything that happens is by the permission or action of God. The evil things that man and the devil bring, God turns to His good. The wondrous things that bring us joy and gladness are by God’s sovereign hand. Even things that are worthy of sadness and trembling could be God working His justice on the wicked. Which is which? How should I know? What I do know is the the God who created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1) is in control.

But the absence of signs and wonders shouldn’t come as a surprise to the elect. Jesus Himself was challenged to perform a wonder of that sort, and He rebuked the people saying no sign would be given (Matthew 12:39). If Christ said no sign would be given, why would anyone keep looking for a sign? Think of the logic flow. If Christ is indeed the Son of God (as Christians like me believe), then there won’t be signs and wonders because He said there wouldn’t be. If Christ were not the Son of God, wouldn’t some wonder or sign have happened by now to discredit His words? This, in fact, is further evidence of Christ’s rightful place at God’s right hand because as He has said, it has been. 

That doesn’t mean Jesus didn’t do some amazing things. Again, Matthew 12:39 needs a bit of explanation. The Pharisees wanted an epic sign. They wanted a heavenly sign. They wanted the sun to go down at noon or the sky to turn red. They wanted a creation-event level sign. This is because they wanted to reject the many healings and even resurrections Christ performed.

Isn’t that a bit like what we’re doing now? If we deny the existence of wonders (even if lesser  than the creation week or the works of Moses), how are we any different than the same hard-hearted men who crucified Christ?

Earlier in this book, I talked about the miracle dog. Sure, some could say that those events were a simple pleasant alignment of a series of unlikely events. If you insist on not seeing providence, I’m not going to convince you of otherwise. However, I’d like to remind you just how amazing life seems to me. I pray, and God answers. I need, and God provides. I sin, and God disciplines. This pattern holds in so many aspect of my life.

I look at the answered prayers in my life, and I can’t help but see God’s grace and power at work. The only world-changing event I pray for is Christ’s return. It will happen, perhaps or perhaps not in my lifetime, but when it does, it will be the beginning of Christ’s rule, and the world will be as it should. However, those other prayers, small and maybe a bit short-sighted, are still lovingly, gracefully answered.

I have a wife, and my heart had just truly started to believe it wouldn’t be. I have children, too. I have a home. I truly have a blessed life, and every part of it is a gift from God. Could He take it away in an instant? Absolutely, and it would be His right. But an honest prayer life and love of God yields many blessings, the most important of which are yet to come, but some of which are here on this Earth.

Does that mean every unanswered prayer is a sign God doesn’t love you? No! I prayed for a wife and children for decades. Sometimes, the blessings are held back for the right time. Again, the sequence of events may seem pleasantly random, but I just don’t buy it. Even God’s elect suffer. God’s own Son suffered, so I would strongly speak against any who say, “Well if you’re suffering, God must not love you.”

But when those seasons end, there are so many beautiful, wondrous blessings.

So no, I don’t expect the moon to explode or the sky to turn green. I don’t expect the stars to reshape themselves into the face of the virgin Mary. I don’t expect any of those things, but I look at my pastor, five years diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, preaching the word of God boldly, and I see God’s grace and power. I look at my cousin, told she’d likely not survive bearing a child hold her beautiful newborn son, and I see God’s grace and power. I look at this virus and fear, and I see God’s sovereignty and power.

Those attributes of God are always there and working. The real question is when are you going to open your eyes and see?

For our panel: Is there a bigger distinction between miracles and blessings than I imply above? What are some blessings or moments in your life that gave you comfort and faith? Has something happened to you that you would call a miracle? What was it? What are some other reasons a person shouldn’t consider him-or-herself “forsaken” just because they may be suffering in the moment?