Can you trick God into a miracle?

Lately I’ve been thinking about miracles. As a part of that, I’ve been looking for patterns in the New Testament stories—particularly the ones about healing.

Yesterday I talked about (a) how desperate many of the people were who came to Jesus, and (b) how convinced they were that he could actually help. [You can read that devotional here.]

The risk with finding patterns, however, is that you can mistakenly think there’s a magic formula.

Take faith, for example. It’s a part of the “pattern.” A person’s faith often plays a significant role in their healing. That’s the case in Matthew 9:22 where Jesus says, “Take heart, daughter, your faith has healed you.” As far as we know, she didn’t have a theology degree; she just desperately trusted in Jesus’ ability to help her.

But in another story, the Apostle Paul—one of the most influential believers OF ALL TIME—had an ailment that God didn’t cure in 2 Corinthians 12:7-10. So even though his faith was huge, it’s wasn’t a magic potion that could get God to act the way he wanted him to.

Let me highlight two key learnings from all this:

The first is that your faith doesn’t need to be perfect for God to act. Phew! 

The second is this: Our job isn’t to trick God into working miracles. Our job is to trust the God who works miracles. 

Sometimes we can see clearly how God is responding to our prayers and lives—sometimes dramatically, sometimes subtly. But sometimes we simply can’t. Either way, God is still God.

His job is to simply be God. And our job is to simply (and boldly) trust that God is God.

Any other way, and it wouldn’t be faith.

By Matthew Ruttan

  • Today’s “Up!” is based on my Sunday podcast which was Part 2 in the Miracles series: “Is God Actually God?” Listen in here. Enjoy!

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