Do You Want to See a Miracle?

I’ve seen some genuine miracles.

I’ve prayed for needs that were beyond reason and seen answers beyond explanation.  Yep, I’ve experienced full up, no kidding miracles.

I’ve also prayed for people to be healed and they died.  So no, I wouldn’t call.

I’ve prayed for answers that God in a blink could have provided and he didn’t.  And it left me or others bewildered and frustrated.

So why the difference?

I think there are innumerable answers, most of which comes down to, we really don’t know God’s mind that often.  Heck, if we did he wouldn’t be God would he?

But the one indispensable key is faith.

Jesus promised, “If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”

Frankly, I find that promise a bit scary.

I mean, what if God really gives you what you ask?  What if he doesn’t?

Yet, that brings you back to the core of Jesus’ promise.  When you approach God in faith that he loves you and wants to bless you it unleashes amazing power.  And when you pray with that faith you’ll see his miracles in a way you simply never will otherwise.

I think it’s worth the gamble.  What about you?

*Matthew 21:22 (NIV)

How to Experience a Miraculous Healing

I was sitting in my office chatting with a friend when he told me a story of his amazing healing.

He’d dropped by after golf and desperately needed cold water.


Child Healing


We got to talking about a mutual friend whose daughter is addicted to drugs.  He’s known her since she was a little and said, “She’s a lost soul.”

He went on, “I know what that’s like.  I’m a recovered alcoholic.”

Then he told me his story.

“I’d been sober for about 15 years.  Then I retired and started playing golf a lot.  Every day we’d smoke cigars on the course then come in and my buddies would have a few beers.”


“Pretty soon I found myself back smoking cigarettes and drinking.”


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4 Keys to Seeing God Work the Miraculous

I suffered with a misdiagnosed sickness that ravaged my body.  My digestive system imploded and I continued to lose weight uncontrollably.  Yeah,I know, that was a problem I wished I had all my life too.  But this was for real and serious.

Friends later told me they thought I was dying.  Honestly, there were days I wondered.

I prayed for God to heal me but I grew worse.


Walking Sunrise


After a couple of months tracking the symptoms and researching on line I figured it out.  I’d mysteriously and suddenly become lactose intolerant.

I was so extremely lactose intolerant that even a hint of butter on some green beans would wipe out my system.  I was trapped in an ill functioning body and chained to the vicinity of a bathroom.  For an outdoor adventurer I felt like I was living in a suburb of hell.

I prayed, “God why me?  Why won’t you heal me?”

At times I felt God had deserted me.  I’d prayed for and watched others on occasion be healed miraculously.  Yet, when I needed it most God was silent.


I struggled to understand and felt frustrated and at times angry with God.


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How to See in the Dark

All of us have lived through some pretty dark times haven’t we?  Times when it seemed there were just no answers.  Times when we wondered if God was even there and if he was why he wasn’t answering.

Times when we needed an answer yet felt helpless and hopeless.

This story of Jesus and his disciples gives hope and some clues for seeing in our darkest times.

The disciples are sailing in the Sea of Galilee at night and are caught in a ferocious storm.  They’re about to sink when Jesus comes walking on the water to them.

Several miracles occur in rapid order which we talked about last time in depth.  Peter walks on the water, Jesus helps Peter when his faith falters, and the storm finally subsides miraculously.

All things we need at times aren’t they?

So why did they see God’ power in the darkness yet so often we don’t?

We looked at some of these in previous posts but let’s outline them all.

First, Peter asked Jesus for what Jesus offered.  We have the opportunity to look up those promises in the Bible.

Second, Peter responded boldly to the offer from Jesus.  No second guessing.  No hesitating.  Full out expectation.  I wonder what we’d see if we did the same?

Third, Peter faltered and we will too.  But that isn’t the end of the story.  He got back up.

Fourth, the disciples expected Jesus to calm the storm.  He’d once before so they knew he could again.  Our faith often grows in the same way.  Baby steps of faith lead to more.

Fifth, when all of these miracles occurred the disciples acknowledged God’s intervention and thanked him for it.  They couldn’t comprehend it but they accepted it and they would see more.

The same offer is made to us.

(Matthew 14: 32-33)

Finding Light in the Darkness

We all face times when the darkness closes in and it seems there just isn’t any light don’t we?  We stare into a crisis beyond our solving.

It can leave us scared and alone.  Feeling hopeless and desperate.

That’s what I love about this story of Jesus and his disciples.  The disciples are sailing across the Sea of Galilee at night when a fierce storm attacks them.  They’re capsizing when Jesus comes walking on the water to them.

We see multiple miracles occur.

First, Jesus walks on the water.  No one ever had done that before.

Second, Peter gets out of the boat and walks on the water.

Third, Peter suddenly freaks out and sinks.  Jesus grabs his hand and Peter’s faith returns.

Fourth, they walk back on the water to the boat together.

Fifth, when Jesus climbs into the boat the storm subsides immediately.

So what does this all mean for us?

First, there’s no problem beyond God’s power.  He created all things he can recreate them as he wants.

Second, Jesus never leaves us alone in the storm.  No matter how ferocious he comes to us.

Third, Jesus offers that we can walk on the water with him.  Sometimes we just need to get out of our comfortable boat to experience it.

Fourth, when our faith wavers, and it will, Jesus understands.  He won’t condemn us but reaches out his hand to get us on our feet again.

Fifth, faith will return.  It ebbs and flows but it’ll come back.

Sixth, then the power returns.

Seventh, the storm will finally subside.  It may not seem like it but it will.

And the only requirement is to look toward God instead of ourselves.  And acknowledge the miracle when it unfolds.

We’ll look more in detail at that next time.

(Matthew 14: 32-33)

Why Some People Never See God

When I pastored a church I dealt with people going through crises often.  Illnesses that defied medical resolution.  A marriage collapsing.  Addictions which destroyed lives and families.

Often people asked for prayer.  Sometimes the one destroying their life would ask.  Frankly, I never quite understood that.

So we’d pray and expect God to answer.  And he did sometimes in miraculous ways.  Answers that simply couldn’t be explained any other way.

Yet, occasionally I heard responses like, “Wow, that was lucky.”  Or, “Huh, the doctor must have misdiagnosed my illness.”  Or “Well, I’m just not sure about it all.”

Occasionally, I watched people relapse after truly receiving a miraculous gift.  Sometimes because they suddenly weren’t the center of attention.  They actually needed to become productive now.

Sometimes, people really didn’t want to be well.  They preferred their addiction thank you very much.  Oh, they talked about wanting to be well but deep inside they liked their life style.

But when they walked away from the miracle or excused it away they never saw it again.  See I think God rarely gives repeat performances.

Yet, the final state left them worse off.  Because now not only did they still struggle with the same problem but they lost hope of God giving them another miracle.

See I believe God does offer to us answers to our deepest problems.  And sometimes those answers come in miraculous ways because frankly that’s the only option.

I’ve seen and experienced enough to know.  Sometimes they’re big in your face miracles.  Sometimes the quiet every day kind.

And when we acknowledge them we give ourselves hope of seeing more.

When we’re thankful for them we open ourselves up to more of God’s power.

When we share the good of God’s blessings they will flow fuller in our lives.

What a Messy Miracle Looks Like

Have you ever prayed for God to give you a miracle?  You or someone you love face an impossible situation so you pray and you pray.

Yet, it seems like your prayers are powerless.  Or an answer comes but it’s not the one you were asking for.  And you wonder, “Is this really all there is?”

Last post we looked at a story of Peter asking Jesus for a miracle.  We looked at steps to see a miracle.  Peter did pretty well overall even though he failed miserably in the middle.

But let’s look at what a real miracle actually looks like by viewing a few snapshots of this story.  Surprisingly, they’re often pretty messy.

First, Peter who was quaking with fear suddenly became bold.  Frankly, I’ve experienced this on more than one occasion.  Inner confidence takes over where fear had reigned.

Second, Peter walks on the water.  A real miracle occurred.  But notice the storm hasn’t ended yet. So often when the miracle occurs the storm still rages challenging our new found faith.

Third, Peter suddenly realizes the storm is still blowing and focuses on that.  Then he starts to sink.  In the midst of the miracle we can have set backs.  We can have times we think, “This just isn’t working” and we want to give up.

Fourth, Peter cries out for Jesus to save him.  Jesus lifts him back onto the water.  It doesn’t say he carried him to the boat.  I think when Jesus touched Peter’s hand another miracle occurred.  Often this happens in our own setbacks.

Fifth, Jesus keeps encouraging Peter like he does us when we look for it.

In my experience miracles are rarely straight forward.  They’re almost always convoluted and sometimes confusing.

Yet they are real today and we can see them.


(Matthew 14: 29-31)

5 Steps to Seeing the Miraculous

Let’s be honest, we all could use a miracle sometimes.  You may be facing a crisis right now that you just can’t get a handle on.

No matter what you try it’s not enough.  You’ve been going after this for a long time and tried everything you know.  And now you’re left still facing the emptiness and wondering, “Where’s God?”

A story of Jesus and Peter give us some steps and encouragement in seeing the miraculous.

The disciples are caught in a storm and about to drown on the Sea of Galilee.  Suddenly out of the darkness Jesus comes walking on the water.

Peter yells to Jesus, “Lord tell me to come to you.”

Jesus responds, “Come.”

So Peter scrambles over the side of the boat and starts walking on the water.  Suddenly he looks around, realizes what he’s doing and has second thoughts.

As he starts to sink he cries out, “Jesus save me.”

And he does.

A few key takeaways.

First, Peter asked Jesus for his invitation.  He didn’t tell Jesus what to do.  So, for us, first look in the Bible for God’s promise that solves your problem.

Second, when Jesus said “come” Peter focused only on that promise not on the impossibility of the challenge.

Third, Peter acted boldly on the offer Jesus made.

Fourth, Peter suddenly focused on the impossibility and lost sight of Jesus.  Then he started to sink.  Frankly, this will probably happen to us as well.  It’s part of the challenge.

Fifth, Peter gathered back up his faith and prayed boldly all over again.  He just wouldn’t give up and neither should we.

What I love about this story is that Peter faltered.  He even failed.   Yet, he was the one who climbed out of the boat and walked on the water.


(Matthew 14: 29-31)

What Keeps Us From Seeing the Miraculous?

When I pastored the church, after the morning service, we invited people who needed prayer to go to the chapel.  There a prayer team met with them and later I’d join them.

Sometimes we were asked to pray for seemingly impossible challenges.  Situations honestly with little hope.

So we prayed, yet frankly at times I felt unnerved.  Praying for what seemed impossible sounds exciting yet is terrifying.

I’d think sometimes, “But what if it doesn’t work?  What if God doesn’t answer?  What if we fail?  God will look like a failure.  I’ll look like a fool.”

Yet somehow we boldly prayed anyway most of the time.

Perhaps you’ve felt the same way occasionally.  You want to pray boldly but you’re just not sure.

So we pray a “hedge your bets” kind of prayer.  “Well God I’d really like for you to do this.  But I understand if you don’t want to.”

Then we end with the very spiritually sounding phrase, “Not my will but yours be done.”

But the problem is we rarely see the miracle working power of God.

On the other hand that doesn’t mean we treat God as some kind of genie in a bottle.  Pray three times and he does what you command.  God has a way of showing us that system doesn’t work so well.

So what do we do?

It comes down to figuring out what God truly promises then praying boldly with faith for what we know he says he will do.

We’ll look in detail at how to do that in the next post.

I’ve seen God answer miraculously some of those feeble prayers I’ve prayed.  Heck I still do.

His power is real.  We just need to learn how to pray to see it unleashed.

One Thing That’s Impossible for God

We all at times face the impossible don’t we? We face a mountain so big there doesn’t seem to be an answer.

A debilitating illness with no cure.

An imploded marriage with no reconciliation.

A terminated career with no direction.

Yet, in this darkness Jesus promises, “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.”*

Even an almost imperceptible amount of faith is enough to change the impossible.

Jesus says, “Whatever mountain you face simply say, ‘Move out of my way’ and it will go.

I want to qualify something here. Jesus didn’t promise, as too many claim, that we can dictate to God the details of how we want him to answer.

But he does say we have God’s unlimited power to move the mountains that block us.

Second, he says, “Nothing is impossible when we ask.”

The only mountain that won’t move, the only challenge we can’t overcome is the one we don’t ask God to solve.

When you think about it what could we face that God doesn’t have the power to overcome?


Matthew 17:20 (NIV)