“Choose what you magnify…”

August 15, 2008

There’s no better way to face trials than to focus on our awesome God and savor His greatness… I am convinced. And I am convinced that this is the primary reason God allows His children to go through trials – so that they will set their sights fully on Him and realize that He really is all they need. Consider 2 Corinthians 1:8-9:

 “We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.”

I remember hearing my good friend, Gunner, preach on that passage when I was a sophomore in college. I’ve passed on an illustration he used in that sermon probably dozens of times: “The stars are always in the sky, but we can’t see them when we stand in the city, surrounded by other lights. It’s only when we’re in the desert, when we have all those other lights stripped away, that we see the stars for all they always were: glorious, gorgeous. God is always great and glorious – but sometimes we need everything else to be stripped from us in order to see Him for being as great and glorious as He truly is.”

I remember a time when I was absolutely rocked. I remember singing along with a CD in my bedroom, at the top of my lungs, seeking to set my eyes on God and find joy in Him. And I remember tears of joy as I sung these words and realized their truth on a level I never had before:

“Perish every fond ambition,
All I’ve sought or hoped or known.
Yet how rich is my condition!
God and heaven are still my own.”

Truly, to have God – great, glorious, wise, loving and holy – is everything. Will we magnify God (like a telescope does – seeing Him as great as He actually is), or magnify our trials (like a microscope does – seeing them as greater than they actually are, in light of an awesome, all-powerful, all-glorious God)?   

~ Donovan


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