“You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples.” Psalm 77:14(NIV)
As a kid, I thought magnifying glasses were great. They enlarged images so you could observe something in detail and gain a different perspective. As an adult, I still think they are great, but my use has changed from fun to need. I need them to read the shrinking print found on medicine bottles, frozen food cooking instructions, and restaurant menus.
Words can also be magnified verbally. It is humorous to hear children or fishermen magnify stories with exaggerations. However, exaggerations distort the truth and can lead to problems. This happened with the spies that Moses sent into Canaan. Ten of the twelve scouts reported the impossibility of Israel defeating the powerful giants living there. They claimed Israel was grasshopper-sized compared to the Canaanites. The two other spies had the right perspective. They magnified their God instead of the predicament. They argued that Israel had the Lord who would give them the victory.
How often do we magnify our problems and minimize God’s power? We tend to focus on the crisis instead of the One who can help us. We view our troubles with an attitude of defeat - a result of our limited perception. When we dwell on our difficulties, we become depressed or absorbed in self-pity, and the situation magnifies into hopelessness. This occurs because we forget how big our God is. We fail to remember that God does the impossible.
Christians who place their faith and trust in God and view their problems in light of God’s sovereignty are not easily overwhelmed. They acknowledge God is in control and can change any situation. He created our bodies so He can heal them. He knows our innermost thoughts and can give insight or guidance. He is aware of our physical and spiritual needs and can fill them. When a problem is compared to God, God is always bigger.
Those two spies, Caleb and Joshua, were rewarded for their faith. They were the only scouts who entered the Promised Land. The Israelites grumbled over the ten spies’ exaggerations instead of trusting in God’s power and promises. Choosing to ignore God’s miracles they previously witnessed, they focused on the magnified problem. Consequently, they were not allowed to enjoy that fertile land but died before experiencing Israel’s victory over the Canaanites.
Instead of becoming anxious when we encounter difficulty, let’s focus on our powerful and compassionate God. Remember past experiences of His love, faithfulness, and answered prayers. Trust Him. Magnify His power, not the problem; His sovereignty, not the situation; His trustworthiness, not the trouble. This attitude keeps the proper perspective that allows us to exercise our faith, which God rewards. Go ahead and tilt that magnifying glass upward.