Signs and wonders are focusing our view on the main issue – the gospel. Therefore the gift is connected with tasks: The Gospel is to be underpinned and affirmed.
In the first part, I mentioned that the gift of working of miracles still takes action today, just like back then. Based on this, I would like to pick up the thought in this article that the church still needs this gift today. At the same time, I take myself into the discussion and ask: How do I personally contribute to the fact that I can live with this gift?
and he send them (the Twelve) out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. …
he (Jesus) welcomed them and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who needed healing.
These and other parts of the scripture illustrate how the message of the Kingdom of God is associated with signs and wonders in Jesus and his disciples. Like a road sign, the wonder points to something else, but not to itself. Thus God uses signs and wonders to make clear that he himself is at work in the proclamation of the gospel.
Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ”The kingdom of God has come near to you.“
The kingdom of God is already there. Yes, it is already dawning, even if not yet in full. On the one hand, signs and wonders confirm the reality of the kingdom of God. On the other hand, they let us already know how it will be when the kingdom of God has come fully. That encourages me. It arouses my anticipation for the return of Jesus and thus the completed unfolding of his kingdom. As a participant of the dawning Kingdom of God, I therefore strive for the gift of working of wonders so that it might be effective in the proclamation of the Gospel. How can I contribute to make this desire a reality?
I noticed that I am quickly ready to pray for miracles when I am in a hopeless position. In doing so, I put my shoulder to the wheel, show perseverance and persistence. Why? Because it affects me personally. When it comes to the gift of working of miracles on the other hand, it is about my neighbor. Is it about facing the suffering of man, just as Jesus did. In this way he comes into contact with the kingdom of God and can react to it. This encourages me to pray for this gift with the enthusiasm just described. It would be great if it were no wonder that God works wonders in our lives.
I cannot make a miracle myself! So how does it happen? God is the one who does the miracle for a human being, sometimes directly, sometimes with the involvement of a third person. If the latter is the case, the third person is actively involved in God’s activity by acting in faith. Here are some things I can personally do to become such a third person:
- Ask and be zealous, according to 1 Corinthians 14, 1
- Be close to God. I need to raise awareness about what God wants to do.
- Have a heart for the distress of the other. God uses me to work wonders for other people.
- Expect it. Is it really possible that I am meant to be involved in God’s gift of working of miracles? Yes! So I remain in an active expectation and look for what God does in my environment.
That is why I decide not to go after the miracles but strive that my life will be accompanied by miracles. And I do it not fort he sake of miracles, but for the sake of the people who God wants to reach with his saving message.
Finally, I would like to share the short version of a life story with you, which is an example of how God works through a miracle of man. On another occasion the testimony appears in full length:
Alexandra (name changed), a young wife, had had cysts and tumors removed from her abdomen at regular intervals since adolescence. As a result, she suffered from severe pain and was regularly ill. After another surgery in the autumn of 1985, the Münster University Hospital confirmed that Alexandra was sterile with a 99% probability. In her despair Alexandra cried to God: “If you really exist … .”. God heard her prayer. After a short time, Alexandra and her husband were already expecting their first son, then a daughter. Another son and two other daughters made their family complete. Alexandra’s, cysts and tumors were never found again in the abdomen, and she was also painless. Today, all of her five children know Jesus. Alexandra and her husband serve together with four of their children in the mission in France and Western Europe.