I remember when my children were young trying to teach my them things like long and short, up and down, and big and little. Children have a hard time distinguishing between these things so it's good to use visuals. So like a good mommy, I would use my creative skills to teach them. Big and little always seemed to be the most confusing to them. I thought it might be fun to see just how well we adults do at it. So if you're up for it, here we go (I'm trusting that you can use your imagination!).
Can you tell me which one is bigger: A baseball or a softball? A softball or a basketball? A rocking chair or a couch? A car or a house? A flower or a tree? The earth or the sun? A pond or a lake? Your problems or God?
How'd you do? Bet you got them all right. But do you believe that last one? One way you can tell what you really believe is to listen to what you are saying. Are you talking about your problems and your situation more than you are talking about God? Are you re-calling God's faithfulness to you in past situations? Sometimes we need to be reminded that even though we can't see Him, God is bigger than anything we face.
Psalms 34 is a wonderful passage that gives some great instruction when dealing with problems. The first thing it says is to MAGNIFY THE LORD and exalt His name. Magnify means to make bigger and promote. To exalt His name means to promote who God is and to talk about His reputation. We need to be sure that we are promoting God's greatness, His goodness and His mercy, especially when our circumstances aren't good.
Psalm 34:4-10 goes on to say that as our praises and promotion of God goes up, God responds by delivering us. While the meaning of the word deliver means to remove, draw out and withdraw, it also means to EQUIP and arm for war. Hmmm! That tells me that sometimes God's way of deliverance is to EQUIP us to go through circumstances. One of the ways we go through is by continually praising God and promoting His reputation!
There is something about praising God that affects us in the physical, but it also affects things in the spiritual realm. As our praises go up to God, God hears and responds to our cries (Psalm 34:6 & 15). That doesn't always mean that our circumstances will change immediately; sometimes we have to walk through the valleys of the shadow of death. But while we are going through, we must be careful that we are not murmuring and complaining about our circumstances.
Paul and Silas are good examples of what can happen when we choose to praise God when things aren't exactly comfortable for us. These two were bound in the middle of a jail cell with no hope of escape. Their circumstances looked bleak, but they chose to do something that in the natural seemed ridiculous. They began to sing, praise and magnify the Lord. Their hearts were so full of the goodness of God and who He was that even in the middle of deadly circumstances they couldn't keep from promoting Him. The Bible says that not only did their chains fall off, but all the prison doors in the jail were opened. Their praise helped set others free too! (Acts 16:16-31).
As we face what looks like hopeless and dire circumstances, it is imperative that we magnify the Lord and who He is. It is not something that we can wait until we feel like doing. It is a decision that we have to make and stick with, no matter what comes our way. The devil wants us to be full of fear and believe that God has abandoned us. But the truth is that God has promised to never leave or forsake us. He is great and greatly to be praised.
Oh let us Magnify the Lord, tell of His goodness, promote His faithfulness and tell of His wonderful acts of grace towards us. He is on our side and He is able to do exceedingly, abundantly, above and beyond anything we can hope ask or think (Ephesians 3:20). God is bigger than any problem, any circumstance, or any obstacle you may face. Start praising and magnifying Him and you'll soon discover that nothing is bigger than Him!
Prayer: Dear Lord, there are times when it seems like there are giants all around me. Help me to have the same testimony as David when he faced Goliath, that with Your help I will prevail! You have given me mighty weapons to bring down anything that exalts itself above You. Teach me to use these weapons so that in all things I will know that with You by my side, I am more than a conqueror. I choose to magnify and bless Your name, because You are worthy of all honor and praise! In Jesus Name, Amen
Cinde Lucas is an ordinary person, who happens to LOVE to encourage and motivate people! She has a passion to share the Love of God with people and to let them know that God is GOOD and He has an AWESOME plan for their lives! Cinde truly desires to lead people into a closer relationship with God through music; her prayer is that the ministry we share will uplift and encourage people to be all that God created them to be. Visit Overflow Ministries at www.CindeLucas.com.
Original publication date: June 10, 2009