Faith and Miracles

The Gospels record many miracles wrought by Jesus. In almost every case, Jesus responded to someone’s request for help. In other words, He rewarded faith. He also explicitly stated the necessity of faith for all who want some benefit from God: “Ask, and it will be given you” (7:7). “Go your way; and as you have believed, so let it be done for you.” (8:13). “Be of good cheer, daughter; your faith has made you well” (9:22). “Do you believe that I am able to do this?…According to your faith let it be to you.” (9:28, 29). “All things are possible to him who believes” (Mark 9:23) On more than one occasion, He rebuked His disciples for their “little faith” (16:8). When they asked why they had not been able to cast out a certain a demon, He explained, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you”(17:20). We must balance these statements with others which teach that God only answers prayers that are according to His will; that believing in Jesus solely for the sake of miracles is not enough; that we must seek Christ and His kingdom, not signs and wonders; that all who follow Christ must trace the steps of His suffering; and that even Satan and his messengers can work miracles. Nevertheless, the fact remains: Jesus promised that “These signs will follow those who believe…” (Mark 16:17). Christians in China have experienced God’s wonder-working power. Is unbelief keeping mighty works from “following” us?