DID YOU KNOW (3)
…That miracles do not produce faith – faith produces miracles.
The history of Israel alone is testimony to the fact that miracles have no effect on people to grow faith, who do not believe God. No nation in history has experienced more divine intervention than the Jews. From their illustrious ancestor, Abraham, to their miraculous conquest of the Promised Land and throughout the Old Testament story, God was with them, actively involved in protecting, providing for and nurturing them in preparation for the coming of their Messiah, but they continued to rebel and disobey Him, even to this day.
Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the wilderness where you ancestors tested and tried me, though for forty years they saw what I did. That is why I was angry with that generation; I said, “Their hearts are always going astray, and they have not known my ways.” (Heb. 3:7-10).
Israel’s unbelief culminated in their rejection and crucifixion of their Messiah. John testified that the works Jesus did were so numerous that the world would not be able to contain all the books written Him (John 21:25). Yet, in spite of all the evidence, the Jewish leaders had Him killed for being a blasphemer because His words and works testified that He was the Son of God but they refused to believe.
On the other hand, Jesus did many miracles in response to faith. Time and again, He commended people for their faith and responded to their plea by intervening with miracles.
As Jesus went from there, two blind men followed Him, calling out, “Have mercy on us, Son of David!” When He had gone indoors, the blind men came to Him, and He asked them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” “Yes, Lord,” they replied. Then He touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith, let it be done to you”; and their sight was restored (Matt. 9:27-30a).
Sometimes He healed in response to the faith of another who came on behalf of the sufferer.
When He saw their faith, He said to the paralysed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven…I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all (Mark 2:9).
However, faith was always the trigger that released His power to intervene and restore.
I have two observations from this thought. Firstly, because faith is the vehicle through which God does His miracles, it follows that,
Without faith, it is impossible to please God because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him (Heb. 11:6).
Secondly, God works through His Word.
Jesus said to him “Shall I come and heal him?”…The centurion replied, “…Just say the word, and my servant will be healed.” …When Jesus heard this, He was amazed and said to those following Him, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith.” (Matt. 8:7-10).
He sent out His Word and healed them (Psa. 107:20).
As I have read and studied the Word, I have discovered that God always responds to His own Word. That does not give us the right to hold His Word like a gun to His head. Jesus said:
It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ (Matt. 4:4).
When we wait for God to speak into our spirit, whatever the issue and whatever His decision, He will do what He says.
When we ask for a miracle, we have no guarantee that God will give us exactly what we ask but, when we ask for a word, God always fulfils His promise.
Miracles are not the reason for faith but the fruit of faith. God asks us to trust Him, no matter what the outcome which is not always what we expect. He wants us to trust Him, not our expectation of the outcome. Like Job, we must say, “Even though He kills me, yet I will trust Him.”
From where does this faith come? Our faith in God is kindled and strengthened by hearing and reading God’s word.
Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ (Rom.10:17).
Scripture is taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
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