Matthew: Day 5

Jesus Heals


Today's Text: Matthew 8:1-34, 2 Samuel 22:16, Isaiah 53:4-5

Scripture Reading: Matthew 8:1-34, 2 Samuel 22:16, Isaiah 53:4-5

Reading Matthew 8 reminds me of Sunday School. Every story—six of them in just 34 verses—is familiar, conjuring up memories of flannel boards and coloring pages from my elementary school days. Jesus heals a leper, He calms a storm, He casts out the demons into pigs … it’s like a WOW! That’s What We Call Miracles Greatest Hits compilation. If you grew up in the Church, you know these stories.

When we know Bible stories like the back of our hand, we risk missing the miraculous. Perhaps more importantly though, we read them as just that—stories. But these stories are true. And more than true, they are promises. Each story is not just a historical event, something that Jesus did. Rather, they are glimpses of everything that Jesus will do.

In his book The Reason for God, Tim Keller writes:

We modern people think of miracles as the suspension of the natural order, but Jesus meant them to be the restoration of the natural order. The Bible tells us that God did not originally make the world to have disease, hunger, and death in it. Jesus has come to redeem where it is wrong and heal the world where it is broken. His miracles are not just proofs that he has power but also wonderful foretastes of what he is going to do with that power. Jesus’ miracles are not just a challenge to our minds, but a promise to our hearts, that the world we all want is coming.

The miracles of Matthew 8 are about people in a specific place and time. They are about a leper, a centurion and his servant, Peter’s mother-in-law, the disciples on an angry sea, and two men with demons. But each miracle is also about the Israelites who wandered and trusted the God who promised them that one day their King would come. Each miracle is about the Jews, torn away from Jerusalem, listening to Isaiah prophesy that a Messiah would come to take on their illnesses and bear their diseases. And each miracle is about us, with our mix of ancient faith and modern doubt. Each miracle proved to the Jewish people then and teaches us now that Jesus is who He says He is, that He fulfilled God’s promises, and that He will fulfill them again.

I risk reading this passage purely at face value: people needed help, they asked Jesus, and He helped them, healing the dying and rescuing the scared disciples. In my own life, I am tempted to pray with the same expectation for earthly healing and immediate help. Every prayer is my own version of “calm the storm, Jesus!” But my own experience has taught me that Jesus doesn’t always work that way. Matthew is telling us that while Jesus can do all we could ever ask or imagine, He may not always answer our earthly needs in the way we think He should. Is it enough for me to know that the One who makes even the winds and sea obey Him will also makes everything new one day? (Matthew 8:27; Revelation 21:5).

So I continue to pray for miracles, yes. I pray with faithful expectation, and sometimes, with honest doubt. I live in the tension of the already and the not yet.

God has already fulfilled His promises, and we know that we can trust Him. But He has not yet fully restored His kingdom—what Keller called “the world we all want.” So we wait and pray, hope and trust. And we read these stories about Jesus, and take heart because we know they were true then, and they are just as true for us today.


Melanie Rainer is the director of content for JellyTelly, where she writes and edits family spiritual formation resources. She is a graduate of Covenant Theological Seminary, a passionate home baker, and makes her always-messy home with her husband, Price, and their delightful daughter, Ellie, near historic downtown Franklin, Tennessee.

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  • When I read about how the disciples rushed to find Jesus in the storm, it dawned upon me that when trouble or scary things or in general bad thing happen- the first thing the disciples did were to run to Jesus instead of trying to figure it out themselves on how to steer the boat. They seek Jesus first. And Jesus then rebuked the waves and the wind and all was calm. It reminded me that we should always be like the disciples in this situation. To always seek Him first in every situation. For He is the only one who is able to calm the storm in our hearts and in our lives. ♥️

  • Lindsey Bailey

    Jesus’ entire ministry was touching people’s lives through miracles. Sometimes I think our faith is like the disciples in the boat. We don’t expect. We doubt. We see the waves instead of the one who made the water in those waves. My mother-in-law just received a supernatural healing. It was instant, and there was no denying God’s hand was responsible. After two years of unexplainable, debilitating abdominal pain, she was healed. It was like a shot of faith into my life. Jesus met the physical needs of everyday people to show that He was an extraordinary God. The physical healing brought forth spiritual healing. So, although some miracles may only be realized in eternity, I won’t stop asking. I won’t stop believing. I will keep knocking. I believe God desires our hearts and if he has to use the physical to transform the heart, I believe He can. I believe He will.

  • Liz Baylus

    Amanda’s comment brought up something the Lord has been laying on my heart. In 2015 I suffered two miscarriages shortly after finding out I was pregnant. The second one happened a week after Mother’s Day that year. Anger, fear, frustration, and anxiety clouded my mind to the exclusion of all else, my relationship with God included. I was so angry, and I acted like a petulant child. I threw a temper tantrum my four month old son would be proud of.

    You see, a little over a year ago I got my yearly flu, or so I thought. When my period was late I chalked it up to my body being out of whack due to being sick. Until it was a week late. When I read that dang digital test a couple days later that said I was pregnant, I lost it. All those feelings came flooding right back. I was so scared. When I started spotting around the same time I lost my other two babies, I lashed out at God. What kind of a good God puts one of His children through this? We made our way to the ER to confirm what I thought I already knew.

    When the nurse told me I was still pregnant and my baby was very much alive I hugged her. The ultrasound technician got one too when she pointed out his tiny little heartbeat. Eight months later, I got to hold him in my arms for the first time, though he’s a had a hold on my heart since I found out I was pregnant. And yet I haven’t thought to seek forgiveness for how I acted towards God in the weeks after I found out I was pregnant.

    I’m not really sure why. God didn’t want me to lose those babies. That’s just the reality of living in a fallen world.

  • But he was pierced for Jinny’s transgressions;
    he was crushed for her iniquities;
    upon him was the chastisement that brought her peace,
    and with his wounds Jinny is healed.

  • I’ve been praying for the Lord’s healing for over 3 years. 3 years of infertility, miscarriage, and dashed hope every. single. month. 3 years of bleeding and pain and surgeries and thousands spent on medicine and supplements. I wish Jesus would show up and touch me, or offer me the corner of His robe. I wish He would hear from one of His disciples of my suffering, say something profound, and rush to my house and heal me with a single word. I will be honest and say that I have begun to really lag in the belief department, and often allow my doubts to overrun everything else, till I am incapacitated and unable to pray at all. Or even WANT to pray at all. I doubt in His willingness to heal, in His desire to heal ME, in His love for me. But this reminded me that infertility, miscarriage, and the failings of my body are NOT His doing, it isn’t His plan, and even if I never get to hold my babies here on earth, He will restore these days that the “locusts have eaten away”, and will heal me and restore me to the point of this earthly pain not even being remembered anymore. It’s almost impossible to wrap my head around that truth. But it is TRUTH! So thankful for this post. <3

    • Jeannette Walti

      Oh Amanda, I am so sorry. Thankful that you know His truth…like you wrote that He will restore these days. My heart aches for you… Yet I will believe with you. Sending a big hug.

    • Lynn Michelle

      Praying for you Amanda! God’s timing is always perfect. Hoping you have peace and joy as you wait on HIM to make you a mother in whatever way HE chooses! ❤️

  • Alex Gonzalez

    So difficult. How can you pray and hope for the world that you want, yet be unsure as to whether Jesus will answer your prayers? Torn between belief and disappointment/rejection :(

  • Paige Betterton

    I’m a middle school counselor in North Alabama and this year has been a year of tragedy and chaos, sadness and fear it seems for my 437 charges. They have so much hurt and it’s hard for their adolescent minds,that are growing and changing faster than any other time in their life, to make sense of it all. This week it has been me praying for the storm to calm, for them and for me, as I try to help them navigate it. A great reminder for me that he is present in the midst of it and I just need to call his name.

  • Stephanie

    YES!!! So good today! So good!

  • “We modern people think of miracles as the suspension of the natural order, but Jesus meant them to be the restoration of the natural order.”

  • Alex Yearley

    So many different women here, battling many different things. The beauty of it all, even the seemingly tragic events, is that we all have a Father providing for each and every one of us. I feel so blessed to know that regardless of the journey, I will never be enduring it alone. Praying for healing, grace, and love for you all! ♥️

  • When we try to make sense of unanswered prayer we can often come up with the wrong answer to why. Was saddened by some of the perspective here.

  • Kim Pullman

    What a blessing this is to study together with all you wonderful ladies, even though we’re not together in person we are together in heart. It is so inspiring to me with my own health issues to see what other people are going through and how they’re dealing with it. I firmly believe that one of the main reasons why God allows difficulties and health problems for people who trust him is to bring us closer to him, because he is looking out for our immortal soul and understands in a way that we can’t comprehend how temporary our bodies are. thank you for sharing everyone!

  • I especially took notice of the line where we are “stuck in the tension of the past and the future.” I am in the midst, and want to encourage others, to live in the moment, paying no attention to that tension, but thriving where we all are at this exact point. God has a plan for each of us now, in the moment, and we don’t have to wait to show His goodness, experience His love. Live in His love now.

  • Ashley Gray

    Praying for you all today and every day ❤️

  • Love the excerpt from Tim Keller…never thought of miracles that way!

    I also think it’s important that we notice HOW Jesus healed. Think about those who had leprosy or illnesses. In that time people would never touch someone with leprosy. In fact, the lepers were required to announce themselves unclean as they walked through the streets so that people wouldn’t get anywhere near them. But what did Jesus do? He could’ve said “You are healed” and healed him from across the street, he’d healed from much greater distances than that. But no, he TOUCHES him. Someone who had bee starved for human contact for who knows how many years. Someone who people would avoid talking to or even looking at. Jesus touches him to heal him. How knowing, how intimate, how free.

  • Love this!! Melanie, this was amazing! God makes everything new again. He doesn’t throw away the old, he restores what is there to make it NEW again. The leper didn’t get a totally different body, it was restored to what it once was.

  • Rhonda J.

    So we wait and pray, hope and trust. Love this.

  • Thank you Jesus for giving me miracles everyday, thank you for lifting me everyday, thank you for loving me and loving my family. Please Jesus, teach me to pray!

  • Lori Lalonde

    This was a “Wow”, moment for me too!

  • I am praying now dear sister. Know that we are all a mess, thank you for sharing with us so we can pray with you. I am so grateful to hear you are turning to the one who knows you best but loves you most. What a comfort that we can never lose His love. much love to you

  • Love, love, love! “So I continue to pray for miracles, yes. I pray with faithful expectation, and sometimes, with honest doubt. I live in the tension of the already and the not yet.“

  • Jennifer Jones

    Wow. My word for the year is healing. I lost my mom in July and just 3 days ago, my husband asked for a divorce. I had rejected the Lord after my mom passed because I was angry He didn’t heal her like i thought He should. But when my husband told me I was no longer loved by him, I found myself turning to the only One who will always love me. And so now I pray for healing. Healing in my heart to fill those spaces of my mom and a husband, healing for my marriage, and healing for our hearts. Please pray with me for healing during this season of immense pain.

    • I am praying for you, sister. I’m so sorry about your loss of Mom. I’m especially praying for your marriage… I don’t know your circumstances but, I DO know that I have seen more marriages attacked in the past two years than ever before in my life. We all certainly have our faults and legitimate grievances but, I’m seeing (in my own experience) that something beyond us, the enemy is inflating and adding to our problems.

      I’m trying…. get behind me Satan…you are not welcome in my marriage, my home, or my life.


        I am so sorry Jennifer. Significant loss is really hard. Tim Keller’s book,”The Meaning of Marriage”, is excellent. I hope it will give you some encouragement. One of the most profound points he makes is that even when you don’t “feel” like it. Love anyway.

    • Lara Castillo

      I am praying for you Jennifer.

    • Chrystal Senter

      sorry my comment above was intended for you but it got posted in the main feed sorry -” I am praying now dear sister. Know that we are all a mess, thank you for sharing with us so we can pray with you. I am so grateful to hear you are turning to the one who knows you best but loves you most. What a comfort that we can never lose His love. much love to you”

    • Haylee Roberts

      Praying for you Jennifer. Divorce is so hard and so messy. Praying for the reconciliation only the Lord can bring to broken relationships.

    • Natalie

      Said a prayer for you Jennifer. That you can fully trust in the Lord and his plan for your life.

    • Sandee Clark

      So true Jennifer, “the One who will always love you”. Praying for you, for healing and peace.

    • Kelly Chataine

      Praying for you, Jennifer.

    • Lauren Ward

      I am praying for you too, Jennifer!

    • Sarah Abraham

      God will never leave you alone. Lean on Him in this time of pain. I’ll be keeping you in my prayers.

    • Victoria Velez

      Praying for your peace and healing, Jennifer.

    • Paige Betterton

      Praying for you Jennifer.

    • Jennifer Creech

      Praying for you Jennifer!

  • Tricia Cavanaugh

    Susan, I am praying for you. God’s got this. He’s got a plan. Ours is to wait and see. So hard, but with your sisters praying, you can do it.

  • Thank you for the “accounts” clarification.

  • Candace Hoskins

    Betty, I will certainly lift you up in prayer! This passage was perfectly timed for me, too. My husband lost his job this morning, and my carnal mind instantly wants to start worrying and crunching numbers, but God has got us. He will heal our brokenness and provide as He always does.

  • Jo Gistand

    Loved this devotional. I admittedly sometimes forget how miraculous these things actually were. When I slow down to read—I can see that Jesus is performing these miracles still today. They not be as obvious as they were then, but he is performing miracles in hearts.

  • Alexa Madeira

    Praying for complete healing, Betty. And that you would feel the comfort of His arms around you as you step forward.

  • Elizabeth

    My favorite account of faith in the Bible is the centurion and his servant. He tells Jesus that he only needs His word and will know his servant is healed and “Jesus was amazed.” ….JESUS was AMAZED! I want a faith like that. I want Jesus to be amazed by MY faith in Him. In His ability. In His word. In His plan. That passage always speaks to me. What great faith that man had to amaze The Lord.

  • Kait Chase

    In Matthew 8:34, it says “ they begged him to leave their region”. Is this because they were afraid of His greatness?

    • Hannah Zeller

      Chances are the herdsmen talked more about the loss of the pig herd than the men freed from demons. The people were likely afraid that Jesus would cause them economic ruin to because they did not understand His power.

    • Amanda Rockett

      I wondered this too!

    • Sarah Cieto

      Years ago my pastor mentioned that in this region pigs were often involved in pagan worship . As a result, Jesus was demonstrating his superiority over their false gods by allowing the demons to enter these unclean animals

    • Lauren Hultz

      My understanding from other teachings is that pigs were sometimes used as currency in that area – so the fact that Jesus allowed the demons to enter, and that they drowned, directly affected the livelihood of that region that depended on agriculture.

  • Heather Ahlgren

    Its beautiful to see and be reminded of the power of Jesus and that He can perform miracles and I know that this is true even today in 2018! God is making a way through healing of souls and bodies, but also pain in circumstances and events.
    I pray that I would never loose the wonder of the gospel ✨

  • I agree!

  • Kenya Highes

    Hi sweet friend Betty! I’m praying for God our healer to have His will, but to also comfort you in such a scary time.

  • Lisa Olsen

    What a great devo! Thank you!

  • This is a beautiful way to look at these familiar stories! As I read the passage from Isaiah, something struck me: it begins by saying that he healed our wounds, but continues on to say that he was pierced for our sins! It not only describes the temporal healings in Matthew 8, but also foretells Jesus’ death and our redemption. Its inclusion in Matthew 8, amidst healing accomplished by faith, wonderfully foreshadows our Ultimate Healing that we must claim only by faith. The Bible’s beauty as literature never fails to amaze me.

  • Pam Ingold

    This is beautifully written, an expression of what is in my heart today. As Pastors, people watch how my husband and I respond to life’s troubles. Today I live in that tension as we find out if his stage 3 renal carcinoma that has spread to his lungs and spine continues to grow. Thank you for giving permission to sit in the tension.

    • Debbie Lanier

      Oh, Lord Jesus, I add my prayer to the prayers being said for Pam and her husband. Thank You, Father, for the ways in which they have served You and Your Body. Thank You for giving them a heart for and the love to shepherd Your people as pastors. I pray for healing from this cancer. I ask for Your Mercy and Peace to surround Pam and her husband. I ask for Your strength to help them through each day. I pray that in spite of the circumstances, they will have hearts of thanksgiving and joy for the work You are doing thru them in this difficult season of their life together. In Your Mighty and Compassionate Name, Jesus, we pray, Amen.

    • Kara

      Pam, may God hold you and your husband close today. ((Hugs))

    • Kim Whelan

      That is an extremely large burden to bear, but thankfully, our God is big enough to shoulder it all. Sending prayers and hugs from Idaho – that God would bring inexplicable peace as you wait for answers. ❤️

    • Tricia Cavanaugh

      Sending prayers form Pennsylvania. Peace to you and your husband, and family.

  • Kayleen Welch

    Oh, this is what I needed to read this very morning after receiving some devastating health news about a loved one. I can pray with faithful expectation over this situation, but must remember that God has already fulfilled his promises and will restore His kingdom someday.

  • Rachel Lynn

    This touched me as I am dealing with some health issues right now and desperately praying for deliverance from the pain and dizziness caused by it.

    • Hannah Webb

      I am dealing with the same issues. Seeing different doctors, wondering if I will ever be the same or not have to live in fear of the vertigo coming on.

      • Hannah Webb

        Sometimes I feel so alone. I don’t even know who I am anymore, thanks for sharing Rachel.

        • Alexandria Buttgereit

          Dear Hannah, your response struck a chord I am quite familiar with and I just feel the need to tell you…even when you go about the motions of life, just one distraction after another to keep you from remembering you feel lost wondering who you are…I PROMISE you He is there. My world was turned upside down for awhile when I was hit in France by a car while studying abroad. I’ve never been brought through deeper waters or darker times. I felt so alone. So muxh changed and transitioned I have also been wondering who I am. But I can assure you, as I look back through the pain, the why’s, the darkest moments I know and have seen Him holding tight right beside me. Out feelings love to dictate truth…but the actual Truth is His word! When I began to dive in obedience into what God says and not just how I felt, it started a process I am still in to see who I am and who He is. You are not alone. He lays with you in pangs of loneliness, when doubt is a storm above your head haunting you, and when your mind spins circles trying to figure things out. You are His BELOVED daughter. Here for a purpose we don’t see right away, trust me I wish I knew why I was still here. But that’s part of the journey to trusting Him. These people in the bible tool time to fulfill there purpose and so will we. We see the faithfulness of the finished product so we know and can rest He will do the same for us. You are a truth seeker, a person made for giving His love, you are a light, filled with talents designed specifically for you and what He has in store. I am still walking this path myself, but know you are so not alone in the journey! For those praying for healing I have been there…and His timing and goodness to us through the pain are perfect. Keep trusting His strength to care for you. Praying for each of you this morning dear sisters. ❤

          • Hannah Webb

            Thank you for your testimony for Rachel and I, it’s blessed my spirit. Thank you Lord that you are good all the tme.

    • Alexis

      Praying healing for you Rachel!

  • Ebun Oshikoya

    It really is so easy to miss the WONDER in the WORD when we are very familiar with it. Thank you for revealing the WONDER to me. Jesus is and has always been the reason for the Word. I am truly grateful to have learned today that miracles serve a larger purpose in our lives and the world. May we never lose the WONDER! So in awe!

  • Wow, this takes me back to my Sunday school days as well. I can almost smell the stale room, the freshly printed coloring lessons, and I find myself craving fruit punch and donuts! How wonderful it is to read these accounts of Jesus again, but with fresh eyes. When I was young, these did seem just like stories, and I remember asking if those things actually happened. Today, it’s good to know that they weren’t just fairytales we were told in order to pass the time before mass started. It happened–every story. Love this devotion today!

  • Pam White

    I love it when someone takes a verse or passage that I have read many times and they bring in new insight…a fresh perspective. What a wonderful reminder that God’s Word is alive and applicable to our current day and age.

  • Alyssa Anthony

    Loved this devotion today!

  • Melissa RimmerCrawford

    Powerful devotional this morning-thank you!

  • Mandi Bartlomain

    “When we know Bible stories like the back of our hand, we risk missing the miraculous.” YES. That was a really great reminder for this former Sunday-School-kid-who-heard-all-of-these-stories-before. Thank you for this wisdom!

  • Courage, mama. There is no pain quite like when children make sinful choices! Thank God their physical lives have been preserved so their stories are not fully written. Rest in this…Jesus loves them, He watches them, His heart breaks too.

  • This came up in conversation with my 12 year old the other day. Right now, we have several friends who are truly enduring, life and death type of enduring and my girl was so bothered that our God would “let this happen”. We spoke at length about His design for our world and that disease and heartache was never part of the picture. How sad it makes Him to see us suffering under the wrath of destruction. She wanted to know why some folks get miracles and others don’t and that’s a hard conversation to have because there is no way to really know but we have to take it all with a grain of salt and believe that God’s plan is ultimately so much better than ours. It led to a statement she heard that left her feeling offended. Someone recently said God provided a miracle and spared her loved one in a car accident and my daughter didn’t understand how God could “choose” to do that but in the same situation, not save my own father. Why one of our friends is desperately trying to beat the odds of disease so that he can see his one-year-old grow up, when another friend has a father that wants nothing to do with her. The conversation was so hard and I reminded my daughter of Adam and Eve in the Garden and the Fall. Her response, “Eve is so terrible, I can’t stand her Mom” …. That broke my heart because I know that I am Eve, she is Eve, we are ALL Eve. And I think our lack of empathy to her reveals so much deeper about our own shame and ourselves. I explained this to her, asking her if she struggles at times to obey and she put her head down and nodded, she understood but was still angry. What I realized is that she just wanted to be angry and it’s okay, so it just took some redirecting to help her know “who” to be angry at. My girl has her own struggles and I hope that the conversation left her thinking, I hope that conversation left her asking God more questions and readying her heart to hear His answers and seeing clearly His miracles. It served as a good reminder for me to choose to know His love over me versus any belief that the bad things that come in life are a result of His lack of. So thankful today for the world that is to come and for a God who loves us so greatly He created a way for reconciliation.

  • Trina Beebe

    Jesus miracles are not just a challenge to our minds but a prime to our heart

  • Carrie T Greus

    I have prayed for 3 miracles for the last 15 years, I have 3 drug addicted sons and it is my only desire to see them completely healed, completely restored from all that the enemy has stolen from their youth. My oldest has given his life to the Lord this past year but still struggles with the medications used to keep him from using street drugs. This is not Gods best! Reading today that the miraculousstories I cling to in the bible are not just stories but promises gives me so much hope. My faith is strong but when others are healed instantly and my boys continue year after year in this torturous life it seams as though miracles only happen for others. They have had praying grandmothers and family strong in their faith for years. I know that I know the only reason they are still alive is because of those prayers. Today’s reading gives me a renewed hope that my faith and the miracles of yesterday are still available today…I stand on my promise that what God has done for others HE will do for them.
    Thank you for your teachings they enrich my life with understanding and truth everyday.

    • Jenn

      Bless you Carrie. I will say prayers for your sons to be healed also. Keep the faith. I know sometimes it seems hard. But miracles do happen every day.

    • JoMarch

      praying for your sons, Carrie.

    • Diane

      Carrie, I understrand your frustration. I have 2 sons, one was daily user of canibus and the other of alcohol. I have prayed for years for them and continued saying, “I’m giving them to you Lord.” Yet, I kept pleading with Him to help my sons. One spring morning as I was walking my dog, I was praying for them again, pleading. Finally, the Lord said, “If you truly are giving them to me, why are you pleading for my help.” I thought, “Yes, Why??” I still pray for them but now it is for the Lord to bring something/someone in their life that can show Christ’s love to them. I ask the something wonderful or beautiful is shown to them. Things have changed in their lives. The “drinker” is not working in a position that requires him to work nights, so his drinking has changed due to this. He hasn’t stopped, but I’m still praying. My other son has met someone he cares for, she has children and he has stopped smoking dope. I am trusting in the Lord. He is doing work in them and I am praising for the changes that are coming. Praising Him for His love and hand on my sons. I am praying for you and your sons. May they see a glimpse of Christ is something and draw closer to Him.

      • Diane


      • Carrie T Greus

        Diane Thank you I will also pray for your sons. May God richley bless this who he blessed us with. They are His sons and daughters in the first place.

    • Jen K

      Praying for you and your sons, Carrie.

    • Glenda Alonzo

      oh how I feel your sorrow! My oldest son has autism n depression n my youngest also has suffered from depression at such young ages! I too felt that miracles were for someone else but this has given me hope for their healing as well as my own, praying for u n ur sons. God will heal them in His way n timing. trusting in God…

  • Valerie Cupo

    Some Books of the Bible, more than others are almost overly familiar for me, Matthew is one. I am so happy I chose to read it again with SRT so I can see what I miss by just rereading familiar words. Reminds me I need Him and His Love, promises and lessons every day.

  • Liz Oliver

    I can so relate to, “I live in the tension of the already and the not yet.” Constantly needing reminding of God’s promises but not expecting them to always come in the way we want/the way it will be one day.

  • This!…”So I continue to pray for miracles, yes. I pray with faithful expectation, and sometimes, with honest doubt. I live in the tension of the already and the not yet. “

  • Jeanna Swann

    I’m so glad Isaiah 53:4 was included in today’s devotional. I, too, grew up with these Bible stories, learning all about Jesus. As we move through life, our roles change, our perspective shifts. However, Jesus doesn’t change. “Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried…” Christ ‘carried’ the grief and sorrows of Peter’s mother in law, the centurion, the demoniac, and He still carries. He carries my aching heart. He carries the grief that we experience from loss. Grateful, so grateful, He still carries….

  • Jennette Nye

    Beautiful reminder this morning!

  • Tarin Obbink

    Love this! Jesus’ miracles aren’t just stories; they happened. But more than that they are a promise. I’ve never thought of them as a promise. Thank you for sharing!

  • Earthly troubles and irritations are filling my brain these days, and I am having trouble concentrating on my devotions and prayers. Yet I know that because Jesus performed these miracles – because He gave us a preview of what is to come – He knows I have not lost faith just because I am distracted. He has forgiven me already and so my invitation to live beside Him forever still stands. His promises are eternal. At some point soon, my mind will allow me to fully turn over my current worries to Him (which is my own personal daily miracle, honestly) and I will have an easier time focusing on the things that really matter. But His love for me will not fade while He waits patiently for me. Christ is steady, He knows my heart, and He has claimed me. Lord, help me to always remember that your miracles are promises. Work in my heart to clear away the junk so I can focus on You. My soul longs for You, even while so many other things are getting in the way. Thank You for Your love, patience and steadfast forgiveness, no matter how many times I struggle to turn my worries over to You. You are my rest and salvation, always. Amen.

  • As I continue to read through all that Jesus did….WOW!! So Amazing! It just continues to give me the confidence to know that He CAN and He WILL. I just have to continue to pray and watch Him work it out!!!

  • This was so convicting to me today! So often I look at sadness and brokenness all around me (sickness, failing marriages, challenging relationships with children, etc.) and wonder why or doubt God’s goodness or feel inadequate to handle it all, when in reality that brokenness was never God’s intent. Like Keller said “We modern people think of miracles as the suspension of the natural order, but Jesus meant them to be the restoration of the natural order.” This brokenness is the consequence of humanity’s collective decision to reject truth and do our own thing. How arrogant of me to doubt the goodness of the one who rescued me anyway. The one who stepped in after I messed it all up. Thank you, Jesus, for your miracle in me.

    • Sarah

      Beautifully said!
      I also felt this and resonate with the line “I live in the tension of the already and the not yet.” It’s all on God’s time.

  • Kristine L

    I’m not used to reading all these stories in one go… each one of them is usually a Sunday lesson in and of itself. Reading in one day leaves me almost breathless as Jesus performs miracle and miracle, boom! Today I’m left wondering about those spaces in between the miracles. What did Peter’s wife say to him as her mother lay sick? What did the villagers do after the pigs disappeared and they begged Jesus to take his chaos and leave? The would-be disciple who needed to bury his father… did he ever catch up with Jesus? And then, how do I live my life, my faith, in this in between space?

    • Erika

      I feel the same way. I want to know what happened! I know that these events made an impact on each of these people’s lives in an unforgettable way.

  • Amy Pullinger

    “Jesus’ miracles are a promise to our hearts that the world we all want is coming” – love this!

  • Churchmouse

    Stories? I call them “accounts.” These are the accounts of Jesus. That word gives them the weight they deserve. That word removes any hint of myth or fairy tale. These are the accounts of what Jesus said and did. These are the accounts that assure me that what He did then He can do now. And if He doesn’t… He has His reason. He has a purpose and a plan. One day all will be accomplished. The garden of Eden will be restored. Until that day… I cherish these accounts.

  • Two things:
    I have always found prayer hard. I agree with C.S. Lewis, “Prayer is an irksome thing”. We pray for healing and help and things don’t go the way we want them to. It was such a struggle and sometimes it still is, but several years ago I read something that said, “Rather than just pray, make it better, learn to pray, make it count.” The hard part of that is to learn to pray that if it’s not going to count then please don’t make it better.
    Second, this made me think of the song my MercyMe, “Even If”. One of the most powerful songs ever. Here’s the link
    Be blessed!

  • Lauren Kress

    This was a refreshing perspective on stories I did indeed grow up with- I totally agree that when you do it’s easy to appreciate them as wonderful historical narrative rather than also promises of the world to come. I’m really enjoying and grateful for this study! Have a wonderful day!

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