We love stories of miracles. Those miraculous events, brought about by the power of God where His power is revealed, where, at times, the occurrence makes no scientific or human sense, and where the normal order of things is temporarily interrupted. It’s miraculous, and we love those stories.
Like the Bible story of Naaman (2 Kings 5:1-27) where this valiant warrior is healed of leprosy by the famous prophet of God, Elisha. We also love the humbling twist as proud Naaman almost misses the miracle of healing because he expected the miracle to be done in a certain way, with actions that equaled his desires. Naaman’s unmet expectations seem almost foolish for as heroic as Naaman was, who was he to tell Almighty God how this miracle should happen, let alone feeling entitled, expecting God to do what he asked. Nonetheless, we love the miracles recorded in the Bible and are intrigued by them.
We are also captivated by stories of God’s miraculous action in present day. Like when we hear of someone who was struggling with a difficult medical condition and either immediately or over time they are healed. Now, sure, the more immediate the better, because not only were many of Jesus’ miracles immediate (here is a list of a few: John 2:1-11, 4:43-54, 5:1-15, 6:1-15, Mark 1:21-34, Luke 5:1-26, 6:6-11, 7:1-17, 8:22-25) but, well, though we don’t want to be presumptuous like Naaman, it feels more miraculous if it happens immediately or at least within our time frame.
So, what happens when God does not do the miraculous, when God chooses not to answer our heartfelt earnest prayers, even our desperate prayers? I know many people who have struggled greatly with faith because of unanswered miracles. They stretched out and placed their hope in God and He did not grant their desperate desire.
Their disappointment and disenchantment with God due to the lack of miracle brought about a choice to walk away from belief in God. Some even turned vindictive or indifferent towards God, thinking either there must not be a God or if He does exist, He must not share the same value, so why be connected to Him?
The truth is God does not always miraculously heal, help, fix a desperate situation, provide the needed funds, mend a relationship, or stop death. I know I have been greatly disappointed when God chose not to miraculously act. Even more disheartening was I know He was capable of doing the miracle, and it seemed to me to make great sense for Him to act in the way I desired, besides, that action was even in line with biblical truths. Yet, He did not act as I had hoped and yes, that is a bit discouraging.
There are no easy answers when we are disappointed when miracles don’t happen. There should be much discussion as we process through the emotions around desired and desperate miracles that don’t happen. If that is where you are, please seek out help and connect with a qualified counselor, or a wise and godly pastor.
I know in my struggles when miracles have not happened, it really helps to talk it though with godly, wise people. I have also found great comfort as I have thought through some solid truths of God from the Bible.
One foundational truth to dwell on when miracles don’t happen is that God has a deep love for us.
Deuteronomy 7:9 Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations,
Psalms 86:15 But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.
God’s ‘steadfast love’ is His loyal love, His favor-giving love, His faithful-without-condition love, His kind and good love. It is an active love that God has chosen to bestow on us. So regardless of what happens in this world and irrespective of requests for the miraculous, His love is constant! We may not always understand this kind of pure love, but it is sure, real, and deeper than we can imagine.
When miracles don’t happen it helps to remember God is sovereign and He has plans greater than our understanding.
Psalms 135:6 Whatever the LORD pleases, He does, in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all deeps.
Isaiah 55:8-9 For my thoughts are not your thoughts,neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.For as the heavens are higher than the earth,so are my ways higher than your waysand my thoughts than your thoughts.
It also helps when miracles don’t happen to remember that God is eternal (He always has been) and He sees our whole story, and yes, He has good plans for us.
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
It does come down to trust and belief. I know for me, I have chosen to place my trust in a miraculous God, and who am I that I know better than God? Sure sometimes that trust is difficult and requires humility. Yet, for me, there has been miraculous peace and a settling deep down in my soul, even when what I hoped for did not happen. It comes down to trust. Will you trust in a miraculous God, who does His will in His time?
Church can be a place of help when miracles don’t happen as hoped. If you do not already have a church where you attend, we would like to invite you to Cypress Church or any of our branch churches. Our website has all the information you would need. You also might enjoy our new teaching series called “Living Proof”, a biblical study of miracles. We would love to connect with you.