How to know the gift of miracles when you see it

Brenna McCormick

As a teacher, I would consider it a miracle if all of my sixth graders showed up to class with complete homework and sharpened pencils.

As a wife, I would consider it a miracle if I went to sleep even one night with an empty laundry basket and unloaded dishwasher.

As a member of a large family that claims to put the “fun” in “dysfunction,” I would consider it a miracle to celebrate a drama-free holiday.

But, as a Christian, I wonder, “What makes a miracle?”

What Makes a Miracle?

Miracles are supernatural events that occur outside the bounds of what is natural. By definition, miracles are rare and out of the ordinary.

Those who have the gift of miracles have the ability, by the Holy Spirit, to do powerful and miraculous things, such as raising the dead or restoring the blind to sight, speech to the mute, hearing to the deaf, and the use of limbs to the lame.

The gift of miracles initiates, restores, and strengthens faith in God.

The Bible provides several examples of believers who were empowered by the Spirit to use miraculous powers. In Acts 3, Peter healed a crippled beggar. In Acts 20, a young man died after falling out of a window and was raised to life by Paul. From these examples and others, we can understand the purpose of the spiritual gift of miraculous power.

The gift of miracles initiates, restores, and strengthens faith in God.

What the Gift of Miracles Does

1. Initiates faith

In Acts 9, God asked a disciple named Ananias to go to Saul and restore his sight. Knowing that Saul had been sent to the area to arrest anyone who followed Jesus, Ananias followed God’s commands. Immediately upon placing his hands on Saul, Saul’s sight was returned, he was baptized, and he began to preach in the name of Jesus.

Ananias chose to listen to God and do what He said, and Ananias’ faith was strengthened as he was empowered by God to perform a miracle. And, because of his faithfulness, Saul began to follow Jesus in a way that “astonished” and “baffled” those who knew the person he was before he met Jesus (Acts 9:21-22).

2. Restores faith

In Acts 9, a disciple named Tabitha became sick and died. Her loved ones called for Peter to come and pray for her. He was empowered by God to bring Tabitha back to life, and because of this miracle, “many people believed in the Lord” (Acts 9:42).

God used Peter to perform a miracle that led to the restoration of physical life for Tabitha but also to the restoration of a spiritual life for many others.

3. Strengthens faith

In Acts 16, Paul and Silas were arrested after casting a demon out of a slave girl. Despite being stripped, beaten, and thrown in jail, the men “were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them” (Acts 16:25).

The miracle was a catalyst for an opportunity for Paul and Silas to strengthen their faith in God through prayer, praise, and petition, and their attitudes allowed the other prisoners to truly see the strength that accompanies faith in Jesus.

Do Miracles Still Happen Today?

Many people believe Christians are empowered to work miracles and can expect to experience the fullness of that gifting at any time. Others believe the miracles in the Bible were ways to validate and prove the truth of the Gospel in its earliest days, so they are no longer needed.

God is able to work through His people to perform miracles whenever He wants.

Miracles may be less common now than when Jesus walked the earth, but that doesn’t mean they don’t happen. God is the same today as He was then, and the same Holy Spirit that existed in the early church is the same Holy Spirit that lives in us now.

God is able to work through His people to perform miracles whenever He wants. Paul writes about spiritual gifts as a normal part of life in the church (Romans 12:6-8, Ephesians 4:11, and 1 Corinthians 12:7-11). We should be open to the possibility that He may want to give us the gift of miraculous power to initiate, restore, or strengthen someone else’s faith.

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