Written By Juan Carlos Tulalian, Philippines
For the past few days, I had been down with a bout of flu. Fortunately, I was cured after taking some medication. I thank God for healing me; I believe that divine healing can take place through medicine. It got me thinking, however, about miracles—and why God sometimes doesn’t heal us.
When I was young, I followed a Christian television program that featured an evangelist-faith healer. His miracle-healing ministry caught my attention and gave me hope that God would heal me of the abnormality in my right abdomen. Once, the pastor said that if we were to give such and such amount, the Lord would pour out His blessings, there would be divine healing and great revival, the gates of heaven would open to a flood of blessings, and so on and so forth. “Wow!” I thought. “This is awesome!”
I felt my faith come alive, and immediately gave a pledge of 500 Philippine pesos together with a prayer request. I followed the pastor’s prayer and believed wholeheartedly that God was going to heal me and solve all my problems. I was expecting a great miracle, together with signs and wonders.
But nothing happened. I received no healing, no deliverance, no revival, and no change . . . nothing. I didn’t stop believing in God, but I was most disappointed, frustrated and discouraged. “Why was God delaying?” I asked. “Why didn’t He answer my sincere prayer for a miracle or divine healing?”
Over time, I became skeptical about miracles. I became someone who needed evidence before I would believe something I was told. I would not easily believe claims of a miracle—that the blind could see, the lame could walk, the deaf could hear—or anything involving supernatural power. I would not believe anyone who said he saw heaven or hell, or claimed to have seen signs and wonders.
Years later, I was still asking the same questions. “If God is sovereign,” I asked, “then why does He seem to limit His power regarding miracles, divine healing, divine interventions, or signs and wonders?”
Why we don’t get more miracles
Some believe that God doesn’t give us what we want for two main reasons: we lack faith, or we have sin. But these reasons didn’t seem to explain why God doesn’t always give us divine healing. Perhaps, I thought, there were other reasons.
I started to wonder, do miracles really make our faith stronger? Do signs and wonders really convince more people to believe in God or in His existence?
In the four Gospels, we can see that Jesus didn’t always heal or perform miracles, signs, and wonders. When He did, the miracles were shown to selected people and were purposeful—they demonstrated the Kingdom of God, or showed that helping the poor, sick, or oppressed people had to be holistic.
In the book of Acts, too, Jesus’ disciples performed miracles, signs, and wonders in a very purposeful and significant way. The miracles convinced many people to believe and follow Christ. I do wonder, though: Did their faith become more rooted? Did all the witnesses of the miracles take up their cross, deny themselves and follow Jesus?
The right motivation
We may not know or understand why God chooses not to give us miracles or divine healing. But I do believe that if a heart longs for God’s power rather than God himself, then it misses the point. If our relationship with God is based on signs and wonders, we will not have a true, intimate relationship with Him.
Many of us today are thirsty for miracles, signs, and wonders. We long to see God’s supernatural power manifested. But we need to avoid portraying Him like the genie in the bottle who tells its holder, “Your wish is my command.”
Instead, we need to seek God himself rather than His miracles. Our relationship with God needs to be based on obedience and not demands.
God can give us miracles if He wants, according to His own will and purpose. But if we believe in God or love Him only because He performs miracles, provides healing, and gives us signs and wonders, then we miss the point. God may use miracles to evangelize, but what is more important is that people seek Him—with or without any miracle. What matters to Him is that we worship Him simply because He is God, and have an intimate relationship and fellowship with Him.