Comforting Miracles

And there sat in a window a certain young man named Eutychus, being fallen into a deep sleep: and as Paul was long preaching, he sunk down with sleep, and fell down from the third loft, and was taken up dead. And Paul went down, and fell on him, and embracing him said, Trouble not yourselves; for his life is in him. When he therefore was come up again, and had broken bread, and eaten, and talked a long while, even till break of day, so he departed.

And they brought the young man alive, and were not a little comforted.

Acts 20:6-12

Many people in the church today have a sort of mania when it comes to miracles and spiritual experiences. We see them as signs of God’s presence, of spiritual health, of something big happening. Conversely, if they’re not present, we think there’s a problem.

This is unfortunate. Miracles aren’t the point. The point is salvation–the point is the great truth we’ve been caught up in, that God loves us and has sent His Son to die in our place; that we are reconciled to the Father and have access to Him.

In Troas, Paul raised a boy from the dead. It was the single greatest miracle of his life. And when he had done it, he went back upstairs, ate, finished his sermon, and left.

No revival meetings. No setting up camp; no building an altar. No worldwide announcements that the Spirit had broken out in Asia.

Instead, Acts tells us, the disciples in Troas were “not a little comforted” by the event.

In the KJV, “comfort” is a powerful word. To be comforted is to be reminded of the truth. It’s assurance that the things you have believed really are true; that you’re not going to wake up from this fairy tale. It’s to be touched by the Spirit of God, just enough so that we can press on.

When Paul raised Eutychus from the dead, the miracle did not bring new truth, new spirituality, or a new dawn to Troas. It was just a reminder: a word from God saying “This is real.” The Holy Spirit has been given, in part, to remind us of this. Jesus said, “The Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you” (John 14:26).

My life has been full of comfort: little reminders, little miracles. The list of them grows with every passing year. No one will ever build a theology of revival around my comforts; I won’t be canonized for them. But they’re enough. Their message continually speaks to me.

This is real.






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