I recently delivered a message at the Henderson Hills Baptist Church in Edmond Oklahoma, our home Church, on the water to wine miracle in John 2. In the introduction I gave a brief word about Acts 2:22 and Peters' use of the phrase "miracles, wonders and signs" that God did through Jesus. In that introduction I mentioned that each of those words had a unique meaning in the realm of miracles. Let me explain.
"Miracles" is dunamis [GK] which means 'power' and refers to the actions of God in the natural realm. When God acts it is a miraculous thing and perfectly normal for Him because He is God.
"Wonders" is Teras [GK] which means a marvel or wonder and refers to the awesomeness of God when He acts in the natural realm. When God acts it is a mind-boggling thing and perfectly normal for Him because He is God.
"Signs" is Semeion [GK] which means a token or to make known and refers to the authentication of God in the natural realm. When God acts [miracle] it is mind blowing [wonder] and it is often a making known [sign] of His presence in what is transpiring or being said. [The Gospel of John records seven miracles and calls all of them signs.]
Generally speaking, this just about covers what the scriptures say about God and miracles. [A further word "works" is another study.] He acts, [miracle] it is awesome, and many times it authenticates His presence.
Miracles are relatively rare and are not for the removal of difficult or discomforting situations. [As the water to wine is said to be for the announcement that He was God present NOT to cover the shame of the lack of wine. John 2:11] In fact, difficult and discomforting circumstances are not generally removed by God but allowed by God for the purpose of character development, particularly for the development of patience in believers.
All this brings me to some thoughts about the miraculous acts of God. [Miracles] Some of these thoughts are what I call bible driven speculation. By this I mean it isn't made clear in scripture, so one has to be honest about a bit of speculation. But there seems to be plenty of inference in certain passages or events as we will see.
One, is the thought that if we believe Jesus is God, and we do as Christians, we're not surprised by the miracles He did. [God did through Him.] He was fully man and He was also fully God. But living as man He was fully and truly submitted to the Father and miraculous things were bound to happen. That's just the way God acts.
Two, I don't think we are to view miracles as God suspending or violating natural law at all. He just introduces a new cause and effect. As I would do if I held a book in my right hand, dropped it, and, as it fell, [natural law of gravity] with my left hand catch and raise it up. New cause, [left hand] and new effect. [Raising it.] God simply injects Himself into the natural realm, [From the Supernatural realm remember as He is Spirit after all, and Lord of all.] and causes something to result. [effect]
Peter walking on the water illustrates this. He stepped out of that boat and walked and did not go under water. He did begin sinking momentarily in doubt but was picked up by Jesus and continued walking. But if any other of those guys had stepped out, or if a guy on a boat watching in the distance had assumed he could do the same, he and they would have sunk immediately I would think. This because God, as the new cause for Peter not sinking and the new effect of his walking on water, was not setting aside natural law to do it. It was a new cause and effect for Peter alone. It was a miracle but that's just normal for God.
This shows, to my way of thinking, that there is no lock on a miracle being done for me or anyone else just because God has done it before for someone else. But when He has a specific purpose in mind, He may act in His normal way for anyone He chooses for whatever purpose He might have and we will be caught up in the wonder of it all. If He doesn't act, [miracle] that's OK too since that's His business. Ours is to trust His person and obey His Word while living in this natural realm.
Besides...He has ALREADY performed the greatest of all miracles for us in the giving of His Son as our Salvation. Then He miraculously regenerated us, [quickened us] miraculously gifted us with faith, and miraculously birthed us into His family. ALL OTHER MIRACLES He might ever do on our behalf pale in comparison. If He NEVER does another it matters not.
We believe Him, trust Him, love Him, serve Him, and enjoy Him in a supernatural relationship while in this natural world which is also His gift to us. [As Paul said in 1 Corinthians "All things are ours."]
Third, I also see something else that is a bit of speculation on my part, I admit, but I believe it is informed speculation, as I said. That is that it could be that the DIFFERENCE in the natural realm [where we live and breath] and the supernatural realm [where God's throne is] is not one of distance but dimension.
When God sent Gabriel to Mary I don't think it was past the galaxies, stars, sun and moon to earth. I think God pulled back a veil and Gabriel stepped from the supernatural to the natural in an instant. As when Stephen was stoned he saw Jesus standing at the Throne and that without a telescope. A new realm [Dimension] was revealed to him.
Finally, remember the servant of the Old Testament prophet who was fearful of the enemy surrounding them and the prophet asked God to show him something. The veil was drawn and angels in the supernatural realm were stationed all around in the natural realm.
If departed believers are truly aware and in God's presence after death, their natural body awaiting the resurrection but their spirit with Him, they may not be way up there... but right here... though in a totally different dimension. I'm thinking the reason we can't see or communicate with them is we just don't have the equipment. [Natural people as we are.] Nor do they have the equipment [supernatural/spirit people as they are] to communicate or interact with us, unless God acts miraculously in an unveiling moment as the Mount of Transfiguration. And don't be fooled by any deceiving spirit of our enemy.
But one day when Jesus returns to this natural realm [earth] in full Glory, [manifested presence] from the supernatural realm [heaven] where He is now, this natural realm will pass away and a new heaven and new earth will appear and we will, with resurrected bodies made of heavenly material, in other words new equipment, live in the presence of God in a miraculous fashion that has become the norm.
Man...that will be the final miracle, wonder and sign. From then on that kind of thing will be the norm for all believers. What a day that will be.