Earlier this week, I highlighted the experience of the wilderness generation, finding that their failure to enter the land was a product of their minimal view of God and their maximal view of their problems. I argued that two of the spies looked at the situation from the opposite perspective; viewing the significance of God and the insignificance of their problems (in light of their big God). Here I want to draw out a few principles for modern believers.
Trusting in this big God includes two main principles:
- Where God is Clear About your Future, you can be Sure that He will Fulfill His Promises
God will finish the work that He has started in you. God will vindicate you in the end, and destroy His enemies. God will make your life of momentary affliction worth it all. God will reward you when you endure. Jesus will return in great power and glory. These promises are your promises, and you can find them in the Scriptures, and cling to them. These promises should give you great hope and assurance of God’s goodness and power.
But what about when God is silent? What about this cancer that wrecks our body? What about this job loss? What about the strife in our home? What about the unrest in our nation, or the imminent threats that we all face? God has not made promises regarding the specific outcome, so what do we do?
- Where God is Silent about your Future, you can Rest in the Promises of His Faithfulness, Goodness, and Presence
The principle of the inverse relationship between the size of our God and the size of our problems is still true even if we are not guaranteed a specific outcome. Consider Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. They had no promise they would be spared from the fiery furnace. Prior to being thrown in, they said to the king, “We know that our God is able to save us from the furnace and deliver us from your hand, O king, but if not, we will still not bow down to [your] idol” (Dan 3:17-18). Did you notice those three words in the middle, “…but if not”? Do you see what is going on here? The three Hebrew young men were confident in God’s power without knowing the outcome. They saw their God as big, and therefore they could face the fiery furnace, even if God did not deliver them. Believers, this is faith! They saw a big problem, but they saw a bigger God.
I cannot guarantee that God will remove your cancer or protect you from the greatest evils. But the worst thing that cancer or any person could do to you is to kill your body. But even in death, you have victory if you are in Christ. Isn’t that true? Paul said it this way in Romans 8:31-39,
If God is for us, who can be against us?…who will bring a charge against God’s elect?…Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written, ‘For your sake we are being put to death all day long; we were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.’ But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
When my God is big, my problems are small.