Miracles And Faith

There are a number of ways to build our faith in God and the truth of His Word. Recent archeological finds, fulfilled prophecy, internal Bible evidence and the ring of truth are all sources that can restore our confidence and provide us with the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1).

Reading about Bible miracles or actually witnessing the powerful hand of the Almighty working in the nations or perhaps in our own lives can be a marvelous faith builder. Miracles provide evidence to support the existence of a Creator and that His word is true. Even beyond the Bible record, there are many documented historical events that testify to the power of God, such as the restoration of His people Israel to the Promised Land and the providence associated with the rise and fall of the kings of the earth - the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will (Daniel 4:17).

Many of these accounts are clearly the ways of divine providence (using natural methods to manipulate outcomes); others may be true miracles - involving divine intervention (events that defy natural laws, such as the resurrection or feeding thousands). Whether we interpret any particular event as divine providence or a miracle really matters very little; the hand of God was involved and His power produced the outcome. Recognizing the providential hand of God can strengthen our faith in this age where true miracles are certainly not as prominent as they were when Christ walked on this earth and healed the blind and the lame. The interesting thing is that even when Christ performed his miracles, many of those who witnessed the events found ample reason to doubt that this man was using the miraculous power of God; they allowed themselves to be blinded to the truth that was being demonstrated by his miracles and wonders and signs (Acts 2:22). In today's sophisticated world men are even more skeptical about the hand of God working both in the world and in our lives. It is often only through the eye of faith that we are able to truly appreciate the miraculous power of God in its many manifestations, and allow the demonstration of His power to fortify our little faith.

The greatest miracle in the latter days has been the restoration of the Nation of Israel in its own land. Not only are these events a marvelous testimony to the fulfillment of Bible prophecy, but there have also been a number of incredible happenings throughout recent history that are surely a demonstration of the hand of God working with this people to fulfill His purpose. Some will recognize this work with the Nation of Israel as a miracle and it will strengthen their faith; others will remain skeptical, either they willingly are ignorant (2 Peter 3:5) or their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed (Matthew 13:15).

The miraculous nature of the restoration of Israel is evident in the words of Isaiah: Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children (Isaiah 66:8). On May 14, 1948, in one day, the modern Nation of Israel was born at once. The providential hand of God was working behind the scenes, persuading President Harry S. Truman, against the advice of some of his counselors, to openly recognize the birth of a nation; and remarkably, on the same day, the Soviet Union also declared their recognition of the State of Israel in the UN. When we consider both the fulfillment of prophecy to the letter and the unlikely events that allowed it to happen, our own eyes would be blind if we could not give the glory to God.

The prophets had all spoken and the credibility of Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel were all firmly established by this remarkable restoration. God's Word was true and it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it (Isaiah 55: 11).

The miraculous power of God has been manifested many times during this restoration process. There are numerous accounts of Divine providence (perhaps even miracles) during the sixty years of war that have transpired since the Nation was born in one day in 1948. No servant of God can hear or see these historical events presented without being choked with emotion. These incidents combine to echo praises with Isaiah as he spoke of the time when these things would come to pass: Sing unto the LORD; for he hath done excellent things: this is known in all the earth. Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee (Isaiah 12:5-6).

Isaiah had prophesied: As birds flying, so will the LORD of hosts defend Jerusalem; defending also he will deliver it (Isaiah 31:4-5). This protection has been manifested in at least these two incidents:

The hand of God in the restoration and protection of Israel is testified to in a recent DVD series called "Against all Odds: Israel Survives" They proclaim in their promotional literature: "Modern day Israel is truly a divine wonder of the current age. How has it triumphed through four major wars and survived relentless terrorist attacks? Meet the actual people who lived through what can only be described as miracles of Biblical proportions.... This series dramatizes awe-inspiring incidents that pose the question: Does a divine power continue to uphold the country?" Among the "miracles" that are reported:

Our natural reaction may be to view these accounts and the many more like them as a little far-fetched. But then, how would we have reacted when it was reported that Christ had been raised from the dead?

In the 1967 victory there were a number of recorded factors that seem to be logical miscalculations, accidents, or mistakes, but when we consider them all happening in close proximity we must recognize divine providence. To name a few:

Moshe Dayan is a secular leader who (with his eye patch) appears as a symbol of "blindness in part". However, after taking the old city in 1967, he quoted from the Psalms at the Western wall in 1967: This is the LORD'S doing; it is marvellous in our eyes (Psalm 118:23).

The Hand of God in the Weather: There is another arena in which the eye of faith will see miracles still happening. History has recorded a number of events where extremes in weather played a major role in the outcome. One classic example was on D Day near the end of World War 2, when the allied troops crossed the English Channel with unusually calm seas to invade Europe and bring about an end to Nazi power.

More recently there have been a number of comparisons drawn between "Major Acts of God" in the US bringing judgment on this nation for their political blunders in lack of support for God's people. A book entitled God's Final Warning to America suggests that Hurricane Katrina of August 2005 and eight other events starting with the Perfect Storm in October of 1991 were all warnings from God closely linked to adverse US actions relating to Israel. Another similar book called Israel, The Blessing or the Curse offers the same evidence of divine judgment.

How do we understand these things? Scripture does verify that God uses the weather for such purposes and there may well be a connection in some of these events.

God working in our lives: Perhaps one of the more difficult areas for us to appreciate God and His mighty power is when it comes to our own lives. We read in Philippians 2:13: For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure, but we may have trouble understanding how this works. We profess that God has the power to intervene in human events and to change the outcome, but perhaps wonder, who am I that He would actually work in my life?

In spite of our little faith in these matters, I would guess that we all have had circumstances relative to our health or welfare that we felt certain that God was involved in. If we can believe in miracles - and that God still works in our lives, our faith will be increased. God may allow time and chance to help us grow, or He may intervene according to His will.

Do we believe? It is not difficult for us to identify with the man who wanted his son healed and was told by Christ: If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. His reply and ours: Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief (Mark 9:19-24).

Jim Millay, Springfield, VT