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October 27, 2020

Miracles of Faith

A compilation

Audio length: 10:12
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To have faith can sound cliché. Like what does it mean and how do I use it?

A couple of months ago, I read through the book of Matthew and had my viewpoint on faith refreshed. Several stories stood out to me in such a dynamic way, including the story where Jesus is asked by a father to heal his dying daughter,1 Jesus’ encounter with two blind men that begged Him to heal them,2 and Jesus’ meeting with a Canaanite woman who sought healing for her daughter.3 It was as if I was reading them for the first time. In reading these stories, I noticed a common thread.

In each account, individuals were begging Jesus for healing either for themselves or for their child. They were saying, “Have mercy on us!” In other words, “Sympathize with us and heal us because You can.” But in each situation Jesus turns around and puts the ball right back in their court by telling them that He didn’t heal them because He could, but He healed them because they believed He could.

I like the story of the blind men in particular. In this story, the whole time these blind men are crying out “Have mercy, have mercy.” And when Jesus does address them, what does He say? “Do you believe that I can do this?”4 He didn’t want to heal them out of pity, it seems. He wanted to heal them because of their faith; He wanted them to know that. When He asked the magic question, they got the point. Yes, they believed He could do it. And because they believed, He healed. As simple as that.

That made me look at the story of the Canaanite woman differently. Jesus responded to her request for healing by saying that He had been sent to the lost children of Israel, and it wasn’t right to “take the children’s bread and toss it to their dogs,”5 telling her that she was not fit to eat at the master’s table. But in reading this again, I wondered, Was He putting her down, or rather, was He giving her an opportunity to prove to Him that she had faith, an opportunity to gain a great reward for having faith at that critical moment?

He didn’t answer her request right away. He had her persist and prove that she had faith in Him before He granted her what she asked. Afterwards He told her, “You have great faith!”6 And at that moment, her daughter was healed.

In another story in Matthew 17, Jesus rescues the disciples from their failed healing attempt and explains why they couldn’t do the miracle. He said, “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.”7

I love how Jesus makes it so simple. It was just a matter of faith. Did they believe not only that God could heal the boy, but more importantly that when they prayed, God would hear them, and answer their prayer? They knew Jesus could do it, but did they know that they too could do it?

He also gave them a size comparison—faith as tiny as a mustard seed is potent enough to receive a mammoth miracle. Think about that.

Jesus also said, “According to your faith will it be done to you.”8 In other words, “If you have the faith for it, you will have it.” Quite a promise.

All this talk of faith can make faith seem nebulous, like, “What is it exactly?” Here’s a simple definition of faith that works for me: Faith is knowing God can and will act according to His will.

After I read these accounts from Matthew, it made me stop and ask myself if there were any prayers I was praying that I didn’t really have faith for the answers. Was I expecting less from God than He was able to give? Was I confining Him to a tiny work space because of my tiny faith?—Joykie Walters

Faith for miracles

It took a miracle to put the stars in place.
It took a miracle to hang the world in space.
But when He saved my soul,
Cleansed and made me whole,
It took a miracle of love and grace.
—John W. Peterson

I cannot understand how anyone cannot believe in miracles, when the Bible contains so many accounts of miracles. Of course, you meet some intellectuals who contend that the miracles recorded in the Bible either never happened or can be explained scientifically, or if they did happen, such miracles are impossible today. Well, those miracles did happen just like the Bible says they did, and in every case it took two elements: the power of God and someone’s faith. The power of God hasn’t changed, so you can expect to see miracles today.

Faith in the Bible creates faith in the miraculous. The Bible not only reveals the acts of the supernatural God, but it also imparts faith to anyone who reads it with an open heart.9 The Bible has a miraculous, transforming effect on our lives, and that gives us faith for other miracles. Faith in God and His Son Jesus Christ, faith in the Christ of the Bible, makes for faith in our everyday lives. That’s because real faith believes in the changeless Christ and His power.

Shortly before His crucifixion, Jesus promised, “He who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.”10 Then after His resurrection, when He appeared to His disciples, He said that signs (miracles) would follow those who believed in Him, and miracles did follow.11

It wasn’t long before others were saying of the first Christians, “These who have turned the world upside down have come here too.”12 Those first followers and the ones who were to come had such confidence that the supernatural power of God was at their command that they dared to challenge the mighty Roman Empire and shook it to its very foundations.

If Jesus is “the same yesterday, today, and forever,”13 why is it so hard to believe that He, in answer to prayer, can do the same kinds of miracles today? Wherever you find real faith manifested, you will find miracles. If you live in His Word, if you dig out His promises and build your faith on them, if you trust Him to keep His word even when it seems impossible, you’ll see God at work in the realm of the supernatural.

“With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible.”14

It’s been my practice for many years, whenever some desperate need arose, to trust God to work a miracle. I didn’t always get the miracle I was praying for, but He did send answers to prayer many more times than He kept me waiting or said no.

His compassion and love for you, His willingness to come to your rescue in times of need, and His faithfulness to His promises are just the same today. He longs to see faith and meet your needs.

The next time you are facing an impossible situation or need, claim this promise in utter confidence: “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?”15 His power is the same today, and God is still on the throne, and prayer changes things!—Virginia Brandt Berg

Published on Anchor October 2020. Read by Reuben Ruchevsky.

1 Matthew 9:18, 23–25.

2 Matthew 9:27–30.

3 Matthew 15:22–28.

4 Matthew 9:28.

5 Matthew 15:26 NIV.

6 Matthew 15:28.

7 Matthew 17:20 NIV.

8 Matthew 9:29 NIV.

9 Romans 10:17.

10 John 14:12.

11 Mark 16:17–18, 20.

12 Acts 17:6.

13 Hebrews 13:8.

14 Mark 10:27.

15 Romans 8:32.