And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness, while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus (Acts 4:29-30).
There is a phrase that you don’t really find in the Bible. That phrase is “small miracle.”
The very idea is preposterous. A miracle is God’s Kingdom overcoming the broken universe and making it run right. Something just happens right, despite the fact that there isn’t really any reason it should.
But when God’s Kingdom breaks the status quo, that is no small thing. It can never be a small thing.
It might seem small, or even inconsequential. Especially when compared with other, more visibly astounding miracles.
But that is like saying that the atom bomb dropped on Hiroshima wasn’t really a bomb because it was nowhere near as strong as Tsar Bomba, the most powerful nuclear weapon ever detonated. They’re both nuclear weapons. They’re both tremendously huge explosions.
A miracle may not look impressive, especially when compared with really impressive miracles. But that doesn’t make them any less impressive.
Because you shouldn’t compare one miracle with another. The standard of a miracle isn’t against other miracles; it’s against the way things are without them.
There is no such thing as a small miracle.
God healed a friend of mine from more than a decade of chronic back pain. But some might try to claim it wasn’t a miracle. After all, it’s not like God wrote in the sky “Take that, atheists!” And it’s nowhere near as big as God feeding thousands of people from a kid’s meal. The sun didn’t go dark and the earth wasn’t shaken. He didn’t glow, there was no heavenly choir flooding the room with their song. So how can you call healing chronic back pain a miracle?
Because the natural way of things was for my friend’s back to hurt non-stop, and then it stopped.
Try telling someone who’s had chronic back pain for more than a decade—more than ten years of your back hurting every time you moved or even if you didn’t move—that their healing wasn’t a miracle. If they’re kind and patient, they’ll just laugh at you and call you foolish.
The reality is that my friend couldn’t carry his kids on his shoulders for more than a couple of minutes, couldn’t run and play with them. And then suddenly he could, by the grace of God.
It doesn’t look like a big miracle, but it changed my friend’s life hugely.
So often, we ignore miracles because they look mundane. They don’t look spectacular. They don’t make you say, “Either I’m crazy or God is real.”
But when we do that, we commit blasphemy.
You are denying the work of God. You are saying that his power isn’t really his power; his deeds aren’t really his deeds.
Don’t overlook miracles. God is doing amazing things all around you!
What’s more, we need to expect God to do miracles.
The fact is, miracles are a sign of God’s presence. If they are God’s Kingdom breaking into our fallen reality, then they aren’t just proof that God is real (which people who don’t believe will reject anyway), but that God’s Kingdom is there.
Miracles show the advancing of God’s Kingdom on earth. That’s why they’re called “signs and wonders”: a sign indicates something. Miracles—signs—point to the Kingdom of God.
If you are doing God’s work, if you are serving him in his ministry, then there will be miracles.
They may not look amazing. They may not seem that big. They may not be wonders—things that grab your attention and make you just gape in dumbfounded awe—but they are signs, pointing to the Kingdom of God.
So expect God to do miracles. Look for them! And when you see them, don’t try to explain them away. CELEBRATE them! They are confirmation that God is with you in what you’re doing!
God does miracles among his people so that they will be encouraged as they share the Gospel. Signs and wonders are seals of God’s approval. When God performs a miracle among you—whatever form it takes—he is saying, “I am here with you! Keep it up!”
This is exactly what the Christians in Acts 4 were praying for. They were saying, “God, encourage us with signs of your presence and strengthen us as we share your Gospel!” They realized they needed God’s strength to continue sharing the truth of the Gospel, and they asked God for it.
And they expected it.
So expect miracles in your ministry. Don’t deny them; celebrate them. Because God is putting them there to build you and your ministry up, to encourage you in the ministry he’s given you to do.