For a very long time, I’ve wondered about why miracles from the New Testament don’t seem to happen much any more (i.e., raising the dead, causing the lame to walk, and blind to see, etc…). It’s been more of a perplexity (if there’s such a noun) than a question of my faith, so I’ve been content to ponder on it every few months for the past many years and wait patiently till an answer comes.
I’ve been studying the New Testament for my daily scripture study (typically on the train ride into work), and have been really enjoying it. I’ve started reading the New Testament probably about as many times as I’ve started reading the Book of Mormon, but typically haven’t made it very far before I get distracted and have to re-commit myself to read it.
Anyways, a few weeks ago, when I recommitted to study the New Testament, I began in the book of Acts (because typically I hadn’t made it there my previous times reading it). I really enjoyed studying the ancient Apostles, and especially learning more in-depth about Paul. He was an incredible man after his conversion on the road to Damascus. As I read more, it was amazing to see just how many people he healed, and how he’d go about healing people nearly every single place he went! His faith was amazing, I guess as it should have been after such a miraculous conversion.
I began to think to myself ‘okay, I know Christ could heal anybody and anyone as long as they had faith in him’, but I was just stunned reading about the numerous people that His apostles healed. I thought ‘why doesn’t it happen like that very often anymore?’ I know it does happen today, I’ve been very blessed to be a part of some blessings of healing for people where a true and obvious miracle has occured, but why doesn’t it happen like that all time?
A quiet voice spoke to my heart and my mind, and in an instant I had the clearest understanding. “Faith precedes the miracle”….
Now this is something that I’ve known all my life, and thought I understood completely; but a deeper understanding of it was taught to me. The best way I can describe it is this…
The purpose of miracles is not to help someone *gain* faith. Faith *allows* miracles to happen. We shouldn’t base our faith and testimony upon miracles; miracles come about because of the great faith that someone already has.
Think of Paul, he had great faith in the Savior because of the events that happened to him on the road to Damascus, and his faith was strengthened because he changed his ways and began to live and teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Because of his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, he was able to perform many mighty miracles. Notice that it was *because* of his faith that he was able to bring about these miracles; the miraculous healings, etc…, weren’t put in place to help him *gain* faith.
Now, I know that there are exceptions to this rule (again, look at Paul and his conversion), but I do know that if want to see miracles in our life — not just healing the sick, but all sorts of miracles — we must first place our Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
I know He lives, and Loves each one of us, and that He desires to bless our lives more abundantly than we can imagine, we just need to first learn of, and hold-fast to our Savior. Then He can open you the windows of heaven, and you will witness miracles in your life which will strengthen the faith you already have.