Faith Believes in Miracles
Physicist Albert Einstein once said, “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” True. Every day, all around us, God’s supernatural, miraculous workings are evident. As Paul states in Romans 1, even creation declares God’s glory and workmanship.
Jesus is the exact representation of our heavenly Father. Jesus explained to Philip and the other disciples, “… Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father…” (John 14:9 NIV)
Jesus went about proclaiming the good news of God’s Kingdom and demonstrated God’s love and compassion toward humanity by healing the sick, delivering the demonized, and performing miracles—including raising the dead. As the writer of Hebrews states, “Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” (Heb. 13:8 NKJV)
God is a miracle working God, yesterday, today, and forever! While we may not see dramatic healings and miracles in every situation, we need to live from faith believing anything is possible with the Lord.
Through His resurrection, authority of His Word and name, and empowering of His Church by the Holy Spirit, Jesus is still doing miracles today. Paul declared in 1 Cor. 4:20, that “God’s kingdom is not in word only, but in power.” (NKJV)
One of the most notable miracles I’ve heard of occurred in Brazil several years ago. There was a ministry team from our parent organization, Global Awakening, ministering in a church where there was a blind man who received prayer for new eyes. When he was 9, muriatic acid went into his eyes, destroying his corneas and pupils, leaving only scar tissue. A woman on the Global team prayed for the man for 5 hours – with no sign of healing. She and the Global team left the next day for home. Three days later, the man’s pastor contacted Global saying how the man woke up on the third day with new eyes! Jesus, the same yesterday, today, and forever!
Today, I want to examine the story of the Shunammite woman in 2 Kings 4:8-37.
God, through the prophet Elisha, worked notable miracles for this woman. In this story, I see three key points: 1) Faith is Bold; 2) Faith is Often Tested 3) Faith Believes in Miracles.
Understand that faith persists despite impossibilities; this is the realm for miracles to occur. Faith denies hopelessness and believes God for the impossible to occur.
Faith is Bold
Elisha prophesies a son (2 Kings 4:14-17)
The Shunammite woman had a good heart, and she served out of love. Elisha wanted to bless her in return, but she wanted nothing. She didn’t need special treatment, she was humble. It’s important to have a heart that is more concerned about others. We should guard our hearts not to maneuver for selfish ambition.
Elisha’s servant Gehazi tells the prophet, “Actually, she has no son, and her husband is old.” (vs. 14) With no son in Jewish culture, it was shameful for a woman. But she said nothing.
“Her husband is old.” Hope often fades in the face of impossibility. Perhaps she didn’t ask for a son because her hope had completely faded. She heard about the miracles that Elisha had performed, but she really didn’t believe that God would work a miracle for her.
Perhaps you are reading this today, and hope is faded. I want to remind you that God is no respecter of persons; what He will do for one He will do for you. He is a God of miracles, a God who breathes on that which appears dead, brings it to life and causes hope to abound.
How? By His presence with us. To embrace anything less misses the essence of “I am with you always.” The Holy Spirit is with us, and His presence is manifested through impossible situations as they bow in the name of Jesus. We have His imparted authority and the authority of His Word. We live from Him, in Him, and confident that He is above all—always!
Elisha calls for her, and she stands in the doorway as he declares, “About this time next year you shall embrace a son.” (vs. 16). However, her response is one of disbelief, “No my lord. Man of God, do not lie to your maidservant!”
In other words, “You are a man who hears from God, but don’t lead me on! I have been disappointed before, I can’t take another disappointment.”
I witnessed over the years many like this woman, out of fear of disappointment, hold back in pursuing God for their miracle. It’s safer to stay in hopelessness than to risk another disappointment for some.
The woman doesn’t appear to have much faith. But, as Elisha foretold, she conceived and bore a son (vs. 17). Her story is like that of Abraham and Sarah. They were promised a son but were well advanced in years. When it was beyond hope in the natural, Sarah conceived and gave birth to Isaac, the son of promise. In like manner, the Shunamite woman also gave birth when it seemed impossible.
Elisha evidently heard from God and declared God’s purpose for this woman. Faith declares what God is revealing. Prov. 28:1 says that the “righteous are as bold as a lion.” (NKJV) Faith is often bold and tenacious.
Often, it’s a bold confession of faith which releases God’s miracle in situations.
The bold declaration of the gospel of the Kingdom provides a point for the God of miracles to operate. I’ve personally observed healings and miracles at the declaration of conditions.
For example, in one meeting, someone gave a word of knowledge that there was someone present who had a deaf right ear. It turns out that a young man was there, who was born deaf in both ears. He couldn’t hear what was spoken in the meeting and released by faith. But suddenly, his deaf right ear opened, and he could hear! It frightened him at first! A family member brough him forth to give a testimony. The room erupted in praises to God with this testimony! As he was prayed over for his left ear to be healed, God opened that ear too! What a miracle, and what a meeting that night! Faith is bold, and often declares what God is revealing!
Faith is Tested
The child dies (2 Kings 4:18-28)
The child grew, we are not sure of the age, but some commentators believe the boy was 4 or 5, as he was susceptible to the morning heat. As he visited his father in the fields, he was overcome by heat, had sunstroke, was taken to his mother, and died in her arms.
She laid the child in Elisha’s bed (possibly for healing or because she was angry with Elisha) and set out to find Elisha on Mt. Carmel. The child of promise has died, her hope was once again fading, and her faith was being tested.
She found him, and simply told Elisha, “Everyone and everything is ok.” However, as she got closer, she grabbed his feet. Elisha now noticed she was deeply troubled – yet God didn’t reveal this to him. (2 Kings 4:26-27)
Often many are troubled, the promise has faded, faith is crushed, and we try and act like everything is okay. But when she got close to Elisha, he then discerned there was a problem. We must be honest with ourselves, others, and God.
She was angry with Elisha, and most likely with God. Her faith was being tested., “Did I ask a son of my lord? Did I not say, ‘Do not deceive me’?” (vs. 28 NKJV)
In my words, “I didn’t ask for more heartache pastor!” Or “Why God?! Why are you allowing this, why has my hope died once again?”
The child died as a result of external circumstances in which she had no control over. Situations happen in life, most of which we have no control over. The result, these situations can rob us of life, peace, and joy in God.
If we allow them to, they can even move us from steadfast faith and trust in God and from His promise to us. We can either become better or bitter. Stronger in God, or weaker in faith. In moments like these, we learn how great God is.
King David said in Psalm 27:13, “I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord In the land of the living.” (NKJV) David was filled with faith and knew he would see God’s favor and blessing in his life and circumstances.
Believed is from the Hebrew word ’Aman which means to be firmly persuaded. ’Aman is used in Gen 15:6 when Abraham “believed in the Lord, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.” This is the passage where God promises a son (see Rom. 4:3,9).
How steadfast is our faith? How deep is our trust that God is for us no matter what the circumstances dictate?
We must have a revelation and firm belief in the goodness of the Lord during suffering, this is essential to walk a victorious Christian life. This doesn’t mean that all will be healed, or miracles will occur in every situation. But we must hold fast in faith, believing God is good and wanting to move miraculously in our lives.
People often lose faith and even give up on God because of a misunderstanding of hardship and suffering in this life. Theodicy is the #1 reason people give up on God (thinking if God is good, why is there suffering). There is a belief among many that God brings people closer to Himself through blessing them. This is a wrong understanding—both blessing and suffering are used to develop us into Christlikeness and God’s image.
Has a promise died? Have you lost hope in God’s goodness and mercy? If so, your faith is being tested, and like the Shunammite woman, you are in a good place for a miracle.
Faith believes in Miracles
The Shunamites son is raised from the dead (2 Kings 4:29-37)
Possibly to calm the woman, Elisha tells his servant to quickly go on ahead of them and to lay his staff on the face of the child. He does so and discovers the child isn’t speaking or hearing and goes back to Elisha and tells him that he hasn’t awakened (vs. 29).
In other ancient Near Eastern texts, prophets also send items that belong to them in order to accomplish a miracle. In 2 Kings 13, we read of how Elisha has died, and someone who also died are placed on his bones and they come back to life!
When Elisha comes into the house, he discovers the child is lying there dead. He leaves the mother and his servant outside the room, closes the door and prays to the Lord. The key is prayer and obedience!
Jesus does a similar thing in praying for the daughter of Jairus (Mark 5:22-24, 35-43). Word comes that his daughter died, but Jesus tells him, “Do not be afraid; only believe.” (Mark 5:36 NKJV) Jesus brings along, Peter, James and John, takes the father and mother only, prays for her and she is raised from the dead – and they are overcome with great amazement!
Fear wants to masquerade as reality in situations; God tells us not to fear, but rather to believe. Over the years I have met people who have been used by God to raise the dead. There is no formula for this.
For example, I met an African pastor’s wife who God used to bring two babies back to life on separate occasions. She simply held their lifeless bodies all night and prayed, sang and worshipped God. In both cases, at the break of day, the babies opened their eyes and were alive! She simply became a conduit of God’s love and grace in an impossible situation.
Elisha prays, and then begins to lay upon the child, his mouth on his mouth, his eyes on his eyes, his hands on his hands and the flesh of the child becomes warm – the miracle begins to unfold (Vs. 34).
Elisha then goes and walks back and forth in the house, probably praying but we aren’t sure. He then goes back up, starts the process again and then the child sneezes seven times (God’s perfection) and opens his eyes – it’s a miracle! (Vs. 35)
Keep in mind that Faith is Bold; it declares and acts upon what God is revealing.
Faith is Often Tested; therefore, we must trust God during suffering and disappointment, knowing that He has our best interest in mind. God will and does work all things together for the good to those who love Him! (Rom. 8:28)
Faith believes in Miracles, even when the promise has died, and hope seems lost.
What promise has died that is causing you to lose hope or fear today? Do not be afraid, only believe! Learn to make a bold confession of God’s nature, feed on His promises, and declare God’s goodness in the face of trial and impossibility.
For a deeper look at this topic, watch the Passion Church message “Faith Believes in Miracles”