It’s not wrong to expect a miracle. The danger is to believe it’s the only way God works.
- New Testament has about 30 different miracles where Jesus healed people of sickness in their body. It’s implied that there are hundreds and hundreds more miracles of healing.
- The most controversial of all the miracles in the New Testament though, was when Jesus healed Peter’s mother in-law. Which many scholars believe is precisely why Peter denied Jesus three times, he just couldn’t let it go.
- When somebody is dying and somebody says, “Do you believe God can heal them?” “Yes, I believe he can.” “Well, then let’s ask in faith believing and trust him for a healing, and he will.” But then maybe they die. And the implication is there was something wrong with our faith. And so we’re inclined to just kind of step back and say, “What I believe or trust, God probably already knows and whatever he’s going to do I’ll just watch and wait and accept.” But then we encounter verses which tell us you can ask God and he’ll do anything you ask him.
- What do we do with a God that we know can and doesn’t always do it? And at the same time, how do we let our faith grow to continue to ask him for miracles of healing?
Examples of when God doesn’t heal
- Our God is a God who heals, but he doesn’t heal everyone all of the time. You would know that to be true because most of you have prayed for something to happen and then it didn’t happen. But a lot of people don’t realize that this is incredibly true of people in scripture, those who faithfully served Jesus.
- Trophimus got sick, 2 Timothy 4:20. God not only didn’t heal him, but Paul left him behind. God could have and God didn’t.
- Same with Timothy, 1 Timothy 5:23. God could have healed him but God didn’t so Paul told him to use whatever he could to make it better. God could have but God didn’t.
- Apostle Paul had a thorn in his flesh, 2 Corinthians 12:7-9. We don’t know for sure what it was. But we do know Paul pleaded three times and when he pleaded God says No, I could but I’m not going to. In this case, what I’m going to show you is that my grace is going to be enough for you.
- Jesus also didn’t do miracles where there was no faith. When he went to his hometown, people were not impressed with Jesus perhaps because they grew up with him.
- Doubting dad, Mark 9:14-24. A dad who is desperate to believe that Jesus can help, but he doesn’t want to get his hopes up so high and so he just like “Jesus if you can do anything, please do”. “If you care if you can if you can do anything, please do”. And Jesus says, “Anything is possible for those who believe”. And the father said something that honestly so captures where I live so much of the time. “If you can do anything.” Jesus says I can do anything. And the father exclaims “I do believe”. And then he says “help me overcome my unbelief”. I’ve seen you do it before, and I think you can do it for my son but I’m just not sure you will.
Examples of when God did heal
- Woman healed of bleeding, Mark 5:25-34. Centurion, Matthew 8:5-13.
- Jesus was amazed by one thing, do you know what amazes Jesus? Our faith amazes Jesus.
Belief of medical doctors
- “One of the objections people sometimes raise against miracles is that belief in them is unscientific, because science must always find a natural explanation,”
- Lending more credibility to this worldwide phenomena, a survey of 1,000 American doctors found 73 percent believes healing miracles actually occur and 55 percent said “they have seen treatment results in their patients that they would consider miraculous.” More than 80 percent of Americans believes in the “healing power of personal prayer.”
3 Ways God Heals
- We could go around this room this afternoon, and some of you could tell of times in your life when God reached down and took you out of the difficult situation or took the situation away. It’s not wrong to expect a miracle. The danger is to believe that is the only way God works or that is the major way God works.
- There certainly are times that God does something supernatural or impossible for mankind to do. It’s what we usually mean when we talk about a miracle. Example of Dan Pinheiro’s patient with esophageal scarring.
2. Medical Healing
- There are other ways in which God keeps his promises. Sometimes God doesn’t perform a miracle as such, but instead empowers people with particular skills to make a difference in our situations. Example of miraculous recovery or prolonged life??
3. Perfect Healing
- Sometimes God doesn’t perform a miracle; God doesn’t even enable us to get out of the situation; but God leaves us pretty much where we are and instead does something beautiful in our lives—until we receive his perfect healing.
- Let me share one example of many. Last December my cousin died of breast cancer. In the midst of her chemo-weakness, she attended my mother’s funeral. When I saw her I was nervous and afraid about her situation. I didn’t know what to say to her. But I didn’t need to worry because as soon as I started talking to her, I saw more life in her than I did with anyone else around. It was a beautiful display of God’s power and grace. I have seen this repeatedly. As my dad regularly says, “As your day is so shall your strength be” (Deuteronomy 33:25). God did not intervene. God did not allow my cousin to benefit from modern medicine. He left her exactly where she was and did something beautiful in her life.
- Most of us have certain expectations about how God will work in our lives, and when those expectations are not fulfilled, we become angry, confused, and maybe even somewhat hostile. But at some point, we turn from our expectations of God to our experience of God.
- Isaiah 40:31, God keeps his promises. According to his purposes and according to our needs, sometimes we mount with wings as eagles and soar among the clouds and almost touch the stars at great events in life. Other times we run and are not weary; we have the second wind of grace. At other times, we walk one step at a time, and we don’t faint. But know this: They who wait upon the Lord will renew their strength. Sometimes they mount up with wings as eagles. Other times we run and are not weary, and at other times we walk and we don’t faint.
- I believe God can heal and I believe he will. And even if he doesn’t do what we think he should, we still believe because our faith isn’t based on what he does or doesn’t do. Our faith is based on who he is. So what I want to do today as a church, is I want to give you the chance to join me in belief that God will do miracles today.