"What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!'"
November 10, 2010
Do miracles still happen today? I'm not talking merely about answered prayer, but about those real "only God can do it" type of miracles that there is no human explanation for. I must admit that although I've heard of healing's and read stories of God intervening miraculously in people's lives, I have never really witnessed a miracle. I have had God answer prayers for me, and know that He's answered prayers for my family and friends; but what about those things where there is no feasible explanation and is something that only God could have done?
I have prayed for a lot of people with terrible diseases and they've died. I've seen people go through devastating circumstances and hardships. I've watched people struggle with various needs, and at times it seems like they are hit with one thing after another in their lives. And honestly, although I know that God loves us and that He does answer prayer, sometime it seems as if it's difficult for me to hold onto faith. I'm not speaking about holding onto my salvation, but about having faith to believe that God will hear and answer my prayers and that God can and will do the impossible.
We read stories in the Bible of how God miraculously intervened in numerous circumstances where there seemed to be no possible solution. When I read of those events I have no problem believing that they are true and that God really did a supernatural work. But it's easy to think of those things occurring thousands of years ago, and that somehow God worked differently than He does today. Not that I think God was more powerful or that He loved those people more, but it sometimes seems as if the miraculous was more common place back then.
What we don't seem to comprehend though is that the Bible spans thousands of years. God did awesome things for many people, but there were also those who struggled and weren't witness to miracles. Jeremiah preached and prophesied to a wicked nation for many years with no revival ever taking place. But then you read of how Daniel was thrown into a den of hungry lions and God spared his life. I don't understand why some are protected and others suffer. I don't understand why some are healed while others die.
I personally believe that miracles did happen more often during the three years that Jesus ministered with His disciples; or at least there are more recorded. We read accounts of blind being healed, lame walking, demons being cast out, people being raised from the dead, food being multiplied, Jesus (and Peter) walking on water, an angel delivering Peter from prison with no one noticing, and the list goes on and on.
But what about today? Does God still work miracles in our day and age like He did while He ministered upon earth? I have no doubt that God can, but when I seldom see or hear testimonies of miracles taking place it's easy to let my faith grow weak. We pray for someone with cancer to be healed, but in the back of our mind we often are thinking "death". And if they do go into remission and get better, we give the credit to chemo and/or radiation.
Honestly, this is kind of where I was spiritually. It wasn't that I didn't believe in God being able to perform miracles, but it was hard for me to really believe that He would. My salvation wasn't in question because I knew that I had asked Jesus into my heart and that I am a Christian. But my faith had grown weak when it came to believing God to intervene and do the impossible. And this had a spiritual affect on me. I had grown somewhat stagnant spiritually and was in a rut, not growing in my relationship with God. I began to pray that God would bring back the closeness that we once had shared. I prayed that God would place a spiritual hunger within me and give me a desire to know Him deeper. I was no longer satisfied with an acquaintanceship with Jesus, but wanted to really know Him in a more intimate, deeper way.
When we honestly pray that, and mean it, we must then open ourselves up to what God wants to do in our life. And it may bring criticism from others. But when we reach a point where drawing nearer to God is our priority, it really doesn't matter what someone may think.
I will tell you that I don't read Christian study books, I don't watch much Christian TV, I don't watch stuff on the internet, and I'm probably overly cautious in many ways in what and whom I listen to. Generally when someone recommends that I should listen to a particular minister or read a particular author's book, I tend to blow it off. Not that I think I'm too spiritual for that, or that I couldn't use help, but for whatever reason that's usually my response.
But something has taken place in the past few days that is changing my life. A revival has broken out in Mobile, AL and God is doing amazing things. My sister had told me about it, and she has been watching a lot of the archive videos of sermons, testimonies and blogs. I decided to look and check it out for myself.
There are short video clips of individuals giving testimonies of how God has miraculously healed them. Many of them have brought doctor's reports to verify their healing. I have watched these over and over, and every time the power of the anointing is so strong that tears run down my face as I hear and see what God is doing. It has increased my faith and made me long for God in a deeper way in my life.
Three clips are of a woman who was in an accident on Christmas day almost 23 years ago and she has been paralyzed ever since that time. She has been in a wheelchair and had a tiny bit of sensation in her legs, but couldn't feel when someone touched them. Again, for almost 23 years she had not walked or been able to stand. As she was being prayed for she could feel their hands on her legs, then she tried to lift herself out of her wheelchair. With the help of someone on each side of her, she stood up and began to move her legs and walk. In another clip it showed them once again praying and her walking with their help, then they let go and she began walking alone. You could tell that her muscles had not been used in years, but she was walking! In the last clip she is walking all by herself, in high heels, and you cannot tell that she was ever paralyzed. It was astounding!
Another little boy had two brain tumors and the doctor had pretty much told the family nothing more could be done. He was prayed for the night before he had a neurologist appointment. When he went to the appointment both tumors were gone. The doctor said had she not seen them for herself, she would never have known that they had ever existed.
There are other testimonies of miraculous healing. These aren't fake, made-up stories, but verifiable stories of God doing the impossible. There are no explanations other than God. Doctors don't understand what has taken place, but their tests show the results.
So does God still heal today? Yes indeed He does!! Can God work in impossible situations and do what man cannot figure out and do? Yes He can!! Can God take a vile sinner who has committed evil and change their heart? Yes!! God can do the unexplainable. God still saves, heals, delivers and sets the captive free. What seems difficult and impossible to us can change in a split second when God speaks.
If you find yourself wavering in your faith, I encourage you to ask Jesus to help you. He wants to build and increase our faith. He wants us to trust and believe Him for the impossible. We don't have to be content licking the crumbs off the floor, when Jesus has a whole feast prepared for us to enjoy. There are spiritual blessings in store for each and every one of us.
But we have to ask in faith. James 4:2 says that we don't have because we don't ask of God. Do we hesitate to ask because we're afraid the answer might be no, so it's easier to do without than to be disappointed?
If Jon needed to borrow a tool from his dad, how do you think it would make his dad feel if Jon refused to ask, simply because he was afraid he'd be turned down and told no? What if Jon would never ask his dad for help because he was afraid his dad would refuse him and say no? Or if Jon never went to his dad when he had a need because he was afraid of being disappointed if his dad didn't follow through?
We read that and think, "Oh course Jon's dad would be hurt if Jon refused to ask when he needed something!" Yet we do those exact same things to our Heavenly Father. We have a need, but many times would rather deal with the problem than to ask God for help. Instead of praying for miracles when our situation looks dire, we try to handle it on our own. We're so afraid of God letting us down or disappointing us that we would rather deal with our sickness, financial stress, family difficulties, etc. the best we know how. We'll pray for strength but not healing. But I believe that God has so much more for us, if we'll only ask in faith.
I don't understand the timing and workings of God. I don't understand why things happen like they do at times. But instead of questioning and doubting, I want to become filled with more faith and believe that God still works miracles today!!
It's great to see the miracles happening at the revival services in Alabama. But with all the lies we see on TV and the internet, someone who doesn't want to believe can dismiss it.
Some years ago, I saw "Best Evidence of UFOs Captured on Video". It was such a joke. The #2 best "proof" that aliens were visiting Earth was obviously a swinging lamp reflected in a window. You could even see the 60 Watt marking! The #1 best "proof" was much more convincing. It hadn't been seen in the US, but was spotted in many other countries near major airports, military bases, etc. I had seen it myself about two years earlier. But when I saw the craft, it was at a conference on unmanned arial vehicles. It was a US Military spy camera.
Now, there are shows trying to prove the existence of ghosts that are just as humorous. They make it pretty hard to believe anything we see.
Giving a testimony of healing is a lot like the disciples telling others that Jesus was raised from the dead. There are two possibilities. Either they told the truth, and Jesus was raised from the dead, proving Himself to be the Son of God, or they told a lie, and they risked being killed to back up a man they knew wasn't the son of God.
The people giving testimonies aren't risking their lives. But they are risking a lot of ridicule, hatred, and humiliation. I can't imagine why so many people would try to spread a word with so much risk if they didn't truly believe it.
And we can't just say that it was some misunderstanding or an exaggeration. Most of the people giving testimonies brought doctor's tests.
If you get a chance to watch some of the testimonies from the Alabama revival, know it's real. God is doing miracles for people today.
1 pkg. fresh cranberries
8 oz. Cool Whip
3 cups sugar
1 cup chopped pecans
3 cups seedless red grapes, sliced
The night before serving; grind or chop fresh cranberries. Add sugar; stir and refrigerate. The next morning; drain cranberry mixture. Add sliced grapes, Cool Whip and pecans. Stir together and refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving. This is delicious to serve with Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.
My great-niece is 2 1/2 and this was her first big year of understanding the concept of trick or treating. She told her mom, "I want to knock on doors." Her mom asked what she was going to say when the people said hello and she said, "Trick or treat. I like chocolate please!" That girl already has the chocolate thing down! When she actually went trick or treating, after she was given candy she would say, "Oh thank you so much!" Later she and her mom went home to hand out candy to kids. She would say, "Kids I've got candy. Come and get it! Here little boys and girls."
Seven days without God makes one weak.
We love you!
Loretta & Jon