The word for difficulty in Hebrew is peleh. The word for miracle is the very same word, peleh. Every difficulty in your life is a potential miracle.
A miracle is defined as, an effect or extraordinary event in the physical world that surpasses all known human or natural powers and is ascribed to a supernatural cause. Such an effect or event is considered a work of God.
In Isaiah 9:6, Messiah is called Wonderful Counselor. We all need good counsel during difficult times and who better to seek advice from than our own Creator? He is the counselor of difficulties.
“For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6 (NKJV)
Difficult times are often used by God to test our faithfulness. He checks to see if we are applying what we know of His grace to our circumstances. Times of adversity are opportunities for us to glorify God and witness to unbelievers. They mature our spiritual walk and can serve to encourage the Body of Christ. Miracles are often in response to our prayers. Miracles in Scripture are acts of God that proclaim His sovereign power over creation as well as His commitment to the good of His people.
“There is nothing inappropriate in seeking miracles for the proper purposes for which they are given by God: to confirm the truthfulness of the gospel message, to bring help to those in need, to remove hindrances to people’s ministries, and to bring glory to God.” ~ Wayne Grudem
“GOD does not sell himself into the hands of religious magicians. I do not believe in that kind of miracles. I believe in the kind of miracles that God gives to his people who live so close to him that answers to prayer are common and these miracles are not uncommon.” ~ A. W. Tozer
In the Bible, we find miracles ever present with those who are in great need. Consider Elijah and the widow of Zarephath (1 Kings 17:7-16). She was desperate, ready to eat her last meal and die. Yet, she obeyed Elijah’s request for food and found her faith rewarded with a miracle of provision. God promised that her jar of flour and jug of oil would not run out until the Lord ended the drought on her land.
“Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first, make a small loaf of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son. For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the Lord sends rain on the land.’” 1 Kings 17:13-14
In both the Old and New Testaments we read of remarkable miracles. The blind, lame, sick, crippled, and lepers are healed. In recent times, various polls peg U.S. belief in miracles at roughly 80 percent. One survey suggested that 73 percent of U.S. physicians believe in miracles, and 55 percent claim to have personally witnessed treatment results they consider miraculous.
There are so many miracles written down in the Bible including, the restoration of outcasts (man of the tombs in Mark 5:1-20), protection from lions (Daniel 6), comfort for the grieving (Widow’s dead son is brought back to life Luke 7:11-17), and provision for the thirsty (Ex 17:6/Judges 15:19).
Present day missionaries tell of supernatural protection. (https://www.theblaze.com/news/2016/03/30/god-is-performing-supernatural-interventions-to-protect-embattled-christians-across-the-globe-christian-leader-says-here-are-just-some-of-the-miraculous-stories). I was encouraged by an account of a Muslim converted to Christianity. He was tortured then thrown to the dogs. But like Daniel, the animals did not injure him. Read his account below.
Rev Majed said: “Quite honestly many people don’t believe in miracles and that’s fine but when they released the dogs I sat in the corner and covered my face to the best of my ability. I tried to protect my back and chest, they don’t teach you that in university, it was just instinct. The dogs came and I prepared for pain and agony but I could not feel any. I moved my arms and the dogs were sitting around me. None of them moved toward me. The dogs just didn’t move. The prison guards got another set of dogs and the same thing happened, but this time one of the dogs licked my face.”
There are also accounts of people miraculously coming back to life. The Lazarus Syndrome is a term given to patients who are pronounced dead after cardiac arrest and experience an impromptu return of cardiac activity. Brain cells begin to die after 4-6 minutes of no blood flow. By 10 minutes, brain cells will cease functioning and become dead. Tony Yahle was pronounced dead for 45 minutes, but then his heart started beating again. He returned home with a defibrillator in his chest and no other apparent damage.
We experience hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, and other natural disasters every year. There has not been another parting of the Red Sea, but there are many stories of people surviving incredible natural disasters throughout history, in every land. Timing is an important component when identifying supernatural intervention during weather disasters. Consider what happened when the nation of Israel was poised to enter the Promised Land. Their way was blocked by the Jordan River at flood stage. The Bible account tells us what happened next.
“Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during harvest. Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water’s edge, the water from upstream stopped flowing. It piled up in a heap a great distance away, at a town called Adam in the vicinity of Zarethan, while the water flowing down to the Sea of the Arabah (that is, the Dead Sea) was completely cut off. So the people crossed over opposite Jericho.”
Was this because of an earthquake or landslide? The account does not say. But the timing of this event was miraculous. It occurred exactly at the time Jehovah had said that it would.
“And the Lord said to Joshua, “Today I will begin to exalt you in the eyes of all Israel, so they may know that I am with you as I was with Moses. Tell the priests who carry the ark of the covenant: ‘When you reach the edge of the Jordan’s waters, go and stand in the river.’” Joshua 3:7-8 (NIV)
God’s miraculous works in the church include the forgiveness of sins. Healings, signs, and wonders are extraordinary but no more extraordinary than the redemption accomplished by Christ. Even if we do not see extraordinary miraculous events on a frequent basis, God is still active. He is active in the natural processes of everyday life, in miraculously calling people to Himself (as we are seeing in Syria and with former Isis fighters), thus expanding the church of Christ.
Our God is a miracle worker… He was, He is, He will be. As believers, we are not to demand miracles in exchange for obedience. We walk by faith and accept God’s will even if we do not understand it. Yet, in our adversity we can find comfort in knowing that the Hebrew words for difficulty and miracle are the same.
“Listen now to My voice; I will give you counsel, and God will be with you: Stand before God for the people, so that you may bring the difficulties to God.” Exodus 18:19 (NKJV)
“If a man believes in the unalterable natural law, he cannot believe in any miracle in any age. If a man believes in a will behind law, he can believe in any miracle in any age.” ~ G. K. Chesterton