Are miracles real and still happening today? In other words, if you
believe for a loved one to be healed of a certain disease, the miracle can
take place?


The short answer to your question is “yes.” God is the Sovereign Creator
of heaven and earth (Genesis 1:1), so He possesses all the power necessary
to heal people today and the wisdom to use this power appropriately. The
Jesus who traveled from village to village “healing every kind of disease
and every kind of sickness” (Matthew 9:35) is “the same yesterday and
today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8).

A close inspection of God?s Word (and God?s World) tells us that God?s
normal way of working is through natural processes, and He is free to
intervene with miracles at any time He chooses. For example, the apostle
Paul, who had a God-given gift to heal people miraculously (Acts 28:8-9),
counseled his disciple Timothy to “No longer drink water {exclusively,}
but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent
ailments.” (1 Timothy 5:23) Why would Paul give Timothy a natural remedy
for Timothy?s “frequent ailments” if Paul could cure them supernaturally?
It seems clear that God expects us to get the best medical care for
ourselves and our loved ones and not rely exclusively on miracles.

But we are not limited to natural means alone. James advises us that “the
prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord
will raise him up” (James 5:15). A Christian should always pray for the
sick, but this does not guarantee a supernatural healing for everyone for
whom we pray. Paul later mentions to Timothy that “Erastus remained at
Corinth, but Trophimus I left sick at Miletus.” (2 Timothy 4:20) Why
would Paul leave his brother in Christ Trophimus sick if Paul had the
power to pray for him and heal him? Clearly God does not always answer
our prayers with a miracle.

Why would God choose not to heal a sick person? God alone knows the
answer in each individual case. Paul himself prayed three times to be
delivered from a chronic condition he suffered from, but Paul shares that
his prayer of faith was answered in a different way: “Because of the
surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from
exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of
Satan to torment me–to keep me from exalting myself! Concerning this I
implored the Lord three times that it might leave me. And He has said to
me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.”
Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that
the power of Christ may dwell in me.” (2 Corinthians 12:7-9) Sometimes
God?s supernatural grace to bear up under suffering is better in the long
run than a miraculous healing.

Christian philosopher Richard Swinburne sums it up well: “In Christian
doctrine God hears our prayers and answers them ? if it is good for us ?
in a way that is best for us. Yet when we pray for another person, God
knows far better than we do whether it will be best for that person and
others affected by him that he should recover immediately or later or not
at all.”

Dan Conder

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