Miracles provide great hope for a hurting world. Discuss
by erinruth99gmailcom (student)
“Miracles provide great hope for a hurting world.” Discuss (15)
Miracles can provide great hope for a hurting world because they can be a last resort when all else fails. If someone has been diagnosed with terminal cancer and doctors have given up on them, the hope for a miracle can be the only thing that keeps them from total despair. When nature seems insufferably cruel, believing that God can overcome nature is infinitely reassuring.
Miracles also reaffirm the believer’s faith, thus providing hope. Miracles by their very nature are sign that reveal God’s great nature. For example, the Bible records that when Jesus was crucified a great darkness covered the land. This miracle has been historically verified by contemporary middle-Eastern historians Thallus and Africanus. Miracles such as this can be used to convert people to God and give them a sense that he cares for them, thus providing hope. Theologians such as Dr Michael Brown assert that miracles are proof of God’s continued presence in this world through the Holy Spirit, and if we pray earnestly we may be able to experience a miracle. Jesus himself said, “ask and it shall be given unto you.”
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Finally, miracles point to an eternal hope beyond this world. They suggest that this world is not all there is; there is another much greater world that we catch glimpses of through miracles. The miracle central to Christianity – Christ’s resurrection – can give a hurting person hope. Christ said that, “In my father’s house there are many rooms, I will go to prepare a place for you.” Even if they are not healed in this world, the miracle of the crucifixion gives them the hope that they can experience heaven.
On the other hand, miracles may not provide hope and happiness because they are so sporadic and seemingly random. Wiles said that miracles were the work of, “a capricious and arbitrary God.” By this he was referring to the fact that God heals some and not others. Why doesn’t God heal all sick children, instead of a select few? This calls God’s traits into question. If he was omnibenevolent he would want to heal everyone, and if he was omnipotent he would have the power to do so. But he doesn’t, so this calls his very existence into question. Therefore miracles do not provide hope.
Dawkins also disagrees with the premise that miracles could provide hope. He claimed that miracles were simply events that fell towards the end of the probability spectrum, and if they do occur they are immense luck. He believes that there is no point in raising people’s hopes for an event that statistically will never occur to them.
Many believers, particularly more conservative ones, would believe that miracles and wonders have mostly ceased in our time and what the hurting world really needs for hope is faith. Scholars such as Dr James White believe that modern churches that place far too much emphasis on needing miracles for hope are pushing people away from true, saving faith in Christ. Jesus himself chastised the people for only wanting to see signs and wonders rather than having true faith.
Furthermore, miracles are not what is needed to provide hope for a hurting world. Science is. Instead of wasting time praying for individual healings, we should pour out time and energy into discovering cures and vaccines instead. Atheists such as Hawking use smallpox as an example. The human race was able to eradicate this disease through effort, intelligence and science. There was no need for divine intervention to cause hope.
Overall, even if miracles are not real, what is wrong with giving desperate people a bit of hope? Nearly all nations have their own accounts of miracles which bring their people hope, it is unlikely they are all wrong.