When Jesus talked about the miraculous—drinking poisons which would not hurt, handling deadly serpents which would not harm, speaking with new tongues, laying hands on the sick and seeing them recover—it’s important to see that these wonderful, miraculous operations and expressions were in connection with the Great Commission (Mark 16:15).
Thus, I believe one of the best ways to see the miraculous happen to a greater degree is to be involved in radical evangelism. The miracles of Mark 16 are not intended for us to huddle together in the sanctuary so we can see a miracle. No, it’s as we’re going into the jungles, into the inner city, throughout the community sharing the Lord that He will confirm our message with miracles. Consequently, as you study the Book of Acts, you see the operation of miracles most closely linked with the office of evangelism because the operation of miracles is primarily for the unbeliever.
Why? Because the believer’s faith is not increased by seeing miracles. In fact, it’s stunted. The Lord dedicated an entire segment of history to prove this point. Read Exodus and Numbers, and you will see God continually performing signs and wonders for His people. The Red Sea parted before them. Manna came down from heaven to them. They were directed by a huge cloud each day and a pillar of fire every night. They were bitten by poisonous snakes and miraculously preserved. The earth opened up and swallowed the rebellious among them. They were a people who witnessed miracle after miracle daily. And yet what was the end of the story? They couldn’t enter the Promised Land because of unbelief (Hebrews 3:17–19).
People think if they could just see a miracle or 2 or 10 or 20, their faith would soar. Not so. Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God (Romans 10:17). For the believer, the way to grow in faith is not to see the miraculous but to take in the Scriptures. It is for the unbeliever that God will confirm His Word with signs and wonders. That is why it’s as we’re involved in missions, in evangelism, in service to the unbeliever and the skeptic that the Lord will most often confirm His Word through the arena of the miraculous.
Courson, J. (2003). A Day’s Journey: 365 Daily Meditations from the Word. Santa Ana, CA: Calvary Chapel Publishing.