Why does God perform miracles?

Published 9:58 pm Friday, December 20, 2013

The distance between the miraculous truth of God’s work in the world and superstition is less than a breath. But in the breadth of that tiny expanse, the voice of God echoes like thunder.

A baby trapped in a burning building inexplicably survives, while those around her perish. Unbelievers call it chance. Skeptics are perplexed. Believers call it a miracle.

If it is true that God performs miracles, why does He do it? Recently a Nigerian man was trapped in an air pocket inside a sunken tugboat at the bottom of the sea for three days. When a shocked diver found the survivor amongst the bodies of the rest of the crew that perished, the rescued man praised God.

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In fact, he says that he stayed alive entirely because of his faith in God. He spent the entire ordeal reciting the last thing his wife had texted him on his phone. It was an excerpt — or combination of excerpts — from the book of Psalms that brought him great comfort. Reportedly his wife had texted, “Oh God, by your name, save me… The Lord sustains my life.” It is redolent of Psalm 42:8, 54:1, and others.

I have no problem believing that God saved this man miraculously. But why didn’t God save the other crewmen? Because He is sovereign and can do as and allow what He pleases, for His glory.

Perhaps that is exactly why He saved this man. He saved a servant who now praises and glorifies Him for His life. He saved a servant who is now publicly pronouncing the goodness and worth of God to you and I. Through Him God is speaking to you and me and countless others.

In our postmodern, so-called post-Christian era, popular sentiment balks at the idea of miracles, calling them mindless superstition. But it’s not superstitious to believe in miracles. They are the thread comprising the fabric of the Christian faith.

If Jesus wasn’t born of a virgin, then His origins are not with God. If Jesus didn’t perform healing miracles, then He isn’t the great physician. If Jesus didn’t literally rise from the dead, then Christianity is null and void.

That’s what the Apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 15:14: “If Christ has not been raised, then all our preaching is useless, and your faith is useless.” (NLT) Christianity is a religion of miracles. From the resurrection of the dead to the resurrection of a drug addict’s mind, from the healing of a broken child to the coming of humility in a prideful man, miracles are happening all around us.

It’s just that some miracles are more obvious than others. Chance? Dumb luck? Maybe. But more likely not.

I’m joining this Nigerian man in giving God the glory and feeling really blessed to have this international reminder from God that He’s still involved in the details of our lives.