Miracle “Grocery” List. In every human heart, there are longings for release from inner troubles: addiction, chronic worry, anger, fear, or depression. There are longings for healing from difficult relationships, for the courage to go on in the face of loss, maybe multiple losses. And we need tangibles: a job, a place to live, groceries, childcare. We need healing from cancer, we need our car’s sputtering transmission to hang on just a little longer. You might have just checked every item listed! For the Christian, these longings and needs, large or small, become prayers or even pleadings for miracles. And we are not alone in our pleadings: “…the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.”1 Jesus Himself “always lives to make intercession for them.”2 This kind of assurance requires a mindset on our part that is dependent on faith and trust, not feelings and circumstances.
Miracles in “Cans.” If you could go to the grocery store and buy a miracle in a can, would you do it? Well, miracles do come in “cans.” “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”3 Amazingly, Paul was in prison, chained to a rough guard in Rome when he penned this testimony — a testimony of God’s miracle-working power in the presence of trouble, not in the absence of it.
Trust in the Midst of Trouble. We can trust God and rely on His unfailing power, promises, and plan to see us through every trouble and provide every need: “God is…a very present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear.”4 We might be tempted to prefer finding a winning lottery ticket in the parking lot. That’s the quick and easy fix, but quick and easy rarely grow character, strength, patience, obedience, compassion, love, or loyalty. They just don’t. Apparently, Heaven has a different accounting system of what constitutes real treasure.5
Truth. The truth is, if Christ brings you to it, He’ll bring through it. As the song goes, “My Lord knows the way through the wilderness; all I have to do is follow — Strength for today is mine always, and all that I need for tomorrow!”6 After all, did the Lord suffer His disciples to get caught in a storm in the middle of the Sea of Galilee just to watch them drown?7 No, He yearned to grow their faith, trust, and obedience. “Faith grows strong in earnest conflict with doubt and fear.”8 Paul was still in prison tethered to that rough guard when he penned this sure promise: “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”9
Don’t Miss Your Miracle. We plead for answers — even miracles — and what are those miracles going to look like? We are boldly invited: “Call upon Me in the day of trouble: I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.”10 Some miracles are very obvious, dramatic, and “now!” Others are disguised in time and circumstances that don’t budge so quickly.
- May not look like one. Paul was shipwrecked by a violent storm and escaped drowning by floating on a piece of board, later to be bitten by a viper. As promised, he and the prisoners on board escaped death and Paul was not killed.11
- May be a process over time. The prodigal son’s father spent perhaps months or years praying that his boy would return from the pigpen of the world. He prayed in hope and patience; his prayers were answered.12
- May be different than what you asked for. Many of God’s heroes lost their lives, their loved ones, and their fortune — only to receive the reward of faith — eternal life. “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, were assured of them, embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.”13
- Will yield faith, trust, security, and peace. The Ancient Job had his worst things first and his best things last. He lost family, possessions, position, and health. The curtain is pulled back so we can see the Instigator of evil, pain, and suffering. His faith survived, then thrived, and all was eventually restored. He declared: “I know that my Redeemer lives, and He shall stand at last on the earth; and after my skin is destroyed, this I know, that in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself…and not another.”14
The Greatest Miracle. Yes, Christ promises to supply all our needs. But the greatest miracle is what God does in you, not for you as your faith is tried in the fire. These trials are allowed for a purpose, and what the devil would use for our destruction, God will use for good. He will reproduce His own image in us, as “gold refined in the fire”15— the currency of Heaven. As we pray for miracles, let’s never forget that the most important miracle of all comes in a simple “can.” I “can” do all things through Christ who strengthens me!
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
- Romans 8:26
- Hebrews 7:25
- Philippians 4:13
- Psalm 46:1-2
- James 1:2
- Children’s hymn, Author Seth Sykes, 1892-1950.
- Matthew 14:22-33
- 4 Testimonies, p.117
- Philippians 4:19
- Psalm 50:15
- Acts 27, 28
- Luke 5:11-32
- Hebrews 11:13
- Job 19:25-27
- Revelation 3:18