If you’ve ever been to Disney World with kids, you’ve probably experienced the ride, “It’s a Small World.” Sitting in a boat-like car, you travel on a river through a fantastic display of characters singing over and over (and over again), “It’s a small world after all.” In some ways, the song has got it right. With the advance of travel, technology, and communication, the world seems smaller. But in other ways, we’re only still discovering how vast this world is. And more significantly, we’re discovering how big our God is. To put it bluntly, God is bigger than you think.
Humans are weaker than we think.
If we’re truly honest with ourselves, we humans are weak and frail. Admittedly, humans have done great things. From great engineering achievements, to astonishing scientific discoveries, to the composition of musical and artistic masteries, mankind has done things worthy of some admiration. At the same time, each of these “great things” are simply the product of created humans working under the existing laws, with the materials, and by means of a mind created by God. These human achievements are but a pale reflection of the incredible glory and infinite majesty of God.
God is bigger than we think.
It’s often a big view of self that gets in the way of a big view of God. When we think of ourselves as great, powerful, wise and sufficient we view God as not-so-great, not-so-powerful, not-so-wise, and not-so-sufficient. Our pride shrinks God to a mere genie or wizard who is not all that great, but can lend some magic to help us along the way. Such a view of God is offensive to who he really is.
Just take a look back through biblical history. When people failed to have a lofty view of God, God would show them just how great he was.
- Abraham. God gave Abraham a promise that seemed both too good and to big to be true. Abraham was having trouble believing it. He took things into his own hands. God took Abraham outside one night and told him to look up into the sky, “Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.” Have you ever been outside on a clear night, miles away from any cities or lights? That night, Abraham was. This view of the heavens was enough to jar his mind into the realization that God is big. God is capable. And the inestimable number of those stars would rival the eventual and inestimable number of his descendants. “I am the Lord,” God told Abraham that night, and he showed Abraham that he was indeed bigger than Abraham thought…much bigger.
- Moses. Israel was at a critical juncture in their history. So critical, in fact, that God was prepared to annihilate every one of them. Already God had given them miraculous deliverence, miraculous food, miraculous water, miraculous military victories, and miraculous preservation of life. Moses needed some encouragement: “Please show me your glory,” he asked God. God responded in a soul-shaking display of glory. God’s glorious display was so potentially destructive to human presence that God had to hide Moses in a rocky shelter and cover Moses with his hand while it all happened. And then, God could only reveal his back. God had to explain to Moses, “man shall not see me and live.” Simply being around God’s glory meant that Moses’ face would shine, literally shine with light, for the rest of his life. Moses actually had to cover his face just to be around people. God was far bigger and greater than Moses ever imagined.
- Elijah. Elijah was prone to discouragement. He had a tough job. He might have even thought he had a pointless job — talking about God to a group of people and a cantankerous king that wanted nothing to do with God. It didn’t help that Elijah was on the king’s most wanted list for several years in a row. Meanwhile, famine was crushing the entire land, leaving people more desperate than usual. This is when The Contest took place. Elijah challenged King Ahab and the prophets of the false god, Baal, to a contest — a God contest. Everyone in the nation was invited. The point was to determine which God was more powerful — Baal or Yahweh. To say that Yahweh was more powerful would be to understate the event entirely. God not only won the competition, but he also caused the entire nation of Israel to see a fireworks display that they would never forget, to fall on their faces in humiliated reverence, and to send the false prophets of Baal packing. God was bigger — far bigger — than Elijah, the nation of Israel, ornery Ahab, or the prophets of Baal ever thought.
God is Bigger than…
In a world far removed from starry desert visions, wilderness wanderings, and God contests, it’s easy to lose our vision of a big God. After all, life is tough. We face discouragement. We face incredible disappointment. We face tragedy. We see a world rocked by disease, war, famine and human suffering. We wonder. We question. We doubt.
God doesn’t judge us for our confusion and questions, “for he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust” (Psalm 103:14). But at the same time, God wants us to have that glorious view of himself.
- God is bigger than your problems. Yes, your problems are big. They are severe. They are not to be minimized or scoffed away. But God is bigger. Far bigger. He is so big that his ruling throne can’t even fit on the earth; it is “established in the heavens” (Psalm 103:19). His reign will have no end. He is eternally compassionate, loving, and just. Take the collective size of your entire life problems, place them beside God, and see how they compare in size. They don’t. God is infinitely bigger.
- God is bigger than your sin and failure. Your sin is serious, of course. It is serious enough to warrant punishment. But God took care of that punishment and sin through Jesus Christ. God, in his infinite holiness, is bigger than sin. God in his majestic perfection, is greater than failure. God, in his inestimable power, is bigger than death. Place your personal shortcomings and weaknesses beside God, and they disappear in his grandeur.
Look to Jesus
The biggest vision of God is seen in Jesus Christ. One day, two thousand years ago. God revealed himself in an epic revelation of grace and love. He sent Jesus his Son to earth. Jesus lived a life of perfection, and he revealed in the clearest way the character of God, because he was himself God. Jesus gave his life willingly for us. He rose again. And by his death and resurrection, we can be made new.
Take your problems, failures, discouragements, and shortcomings to God. Set them down for a moment while you gaze at God’s immense and infinite character.
We may live in a small world. But we have a big God. As we see him for who he truly is, we are changed by the sight. God is bigger than you think.