God, You do not seem big enough for all my problems!

There have been times when the problems in my life seem so significant that God seems small!

Of course, the reality is that God is bigger than all of our problems combined. However, when the world collapses around you, it may be hard to see this reality! So, how are we to respond to this type of situation? (1) I have learned in my Christian journey that if I do not know what to do in a situation, then I need to look at our example – Jesus – the author and finisher of our faith! (Hebrews 12:2) How did Jesus handle situations that seemed to be overwhelming?

For example, recall the story of the feeding of the 5000 men (add in the women and children, and you quickly double that number) with the five loaves and two fish provided by a young boy. (Luke 9:12-17. John 6:9) Jesus was looking upon the thousands in need of food and the small amount of food available to feed them. Even if prior arrangements for catering were made feeding this many would be an enormous problem today! Problems like this can make our God seem small – if we keep our eyes on the issue! So, let us discover what Jesus did and do that!

He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. (Mark 6:41 NET)

Jesus accepted the gift of the food from the young boy, said a blessing over it, and started multiplying it. Incomplete, we missed a step where Jesus looked up to heaven. The Greek word used here for “looking up” means to “recover (lost) sight” (i.e., have your VISION restored). Jesus had been watching the problem of feeding the large group with such a small supply and needed to recover His sight or have His VISION restored by looking to Heaven. So, let us do what Jesus did!

I have found it helpful in restoring my VISION to consider the heavens and the works of His hands when faced with seemingly significant problems.

In the words of King David:

When I look up at the heavens, which your fingers made, and see the moon and the stars, which you set in place, (Psalm 8:3 NET)

In the words of King Solomon:

“God does not really live on the earth! Look, if the sky and the highest heaven cannot contain you, how much less this temple I have built! 1 Kings 8:27 

Since the heavens (i.e., 1st Heaven = Sky, 2nd Heaven = Outer space, 3rd Heaven = God’s dwelling (2 Corinthians 12:2)) cannot contain all of God, knowing the size of our universe can help us begin to comprehend the magnitude of God. Consequently, we will see how small our problems are in comparison to Him. So, let us look up to heaven together!

We will get a feel for the size of our universe by measuring how long it would take to travel the distance at the speed of light. Albert Einstein proved that light is the fastest moving thing in a vacuum, with its speed being 186,282 miles per second (299,792,458 meters per second or approximately 3.0E8 m/s). Why stated, “in a vacuum”? That is because the speed of light varies depending on the medium through which it is traveling, and outer space is essentially a vacuum. In water, light slows to 140,000 miles per second, in glass 124,000 miles per second. Through a diamond 77,500 miles per second. It is the slowing down of light in a diamond that helps give its distinctive look!

Exploring the universe traveling at the speed of light in a vacuum (186,282 miles per second) would require the following amount of time to reach these heavenly bodies (also listed is the necessary time for a plane traveling at 550 mph or a car at 55 mph to go the same distance):

Earth to Moon – 1.28 seconds (18.1 days by aircraft, 181 days by car)

Sun to Earth – 8 minutes 20 seconds (19 years by plane, 192 years by car)

Sun to Pluto – 5.47 hours (761 years by aircraft, 7,612 years by car)

Sun to Proxima Centauri (nearest star after our Sun) – 4.22 years (5 million years by plane, 51 million years by car)

Sun to Andromeda Galaxy (nearest galaxy) – 2.52 Million Years (3 trillion years by aircraft, 30 trillion years by car)

Sun to Edge of Universe – 13.7 Billion Years (17 quadrillion years by plane, 167 quadrillion years by car)

Furthermore, if the Sun (our closest star to Earth) were the size of a soccer ball (27.5 inches), then the following would be the scaled diameter, distance from the Sun:

Earth – 0.25 inches, 81 yards

Proxima Centauri (nearest star to the sun) – 4 inches, 12,376 miles

Andromeda Galaxy – 645 million miles, 7 billion miles

Universe – 272 trillion miles, 40 trillion miles (to the edge)

For reference, 0.01 inches is about the size of a grain of sand; 0.1 inches is the thickness of a pencil point.

If the universe is that gigantic then how big (i.e., powerful) is the God that made it?

Who has measured out the waters in the hollow of his hand, or carefully measured the sky, or carefully weighed the soil of the earth, or weighed the mountains in a balance, or the hills on scales? Who comprehends the mind of the Lord, or gives him instruction as his counselor? From whom does he receive directions? Who teaches him the correct way to do things, or imparts knowledge to him, or instructs him in skillful design? Look, the nations are like a drop in a bucket; they are regarded as dust on the scales. He lifts the coastlands as if they were dust. (Isaiah 40:12–15 NET)

The answer – infinite!

God has declared one principle; two principles I have heard: God is strong, (Psalm 62:11 NET)  

Compared to God all our problems are too small to be measured!

Consequently, when things are making God look small while you are fighting against seemingly massive problems.

“Man, born of woman, lives but a few days, and they are full of trouble. (Job 14:1 NET)
for the wicked seem to be everywhere, when people promote evil. (Psalm 12:8 NET)

Remember in the spiritual world the opposite is true. So, we must look to heaven and have our VISION restored!

“Because of the violence done to the oppressed, because of the painful cries of the needy, I will spring into action,” says the Lord. “I will provide the safety they so desperately desire.” (Psalm 12:5 NET)
You prevail over all your enemies; your power is too great for those who hate you. You burn them up like a fiery furnace when you appear; the Lord angrily devours them; the fire consumes them. You destroy their offspring from the earth, their descendants from among the human race. (Psalm 21:8–10 NET)

Realize your problem is not unique

No trial has overtaken you that is not faced by others. And God is faithful: He will not let you be tried beyond what you are able to bear, but with the trial will also provide a way out so that you may be able to endure it. (1 Corinthians 10:13 NET)

The phrase “faced by others” is a translation of the Greek word anthropinos, which literally means commonplace to humans. So Paul was telling us that no matter how overwhelming, suffocating, and insurmountable your problem that has trapped you might seem, it is merely a common human problem that has already been faced and overcome by countless people and believers in the past. (3)

Every human being has the same basic needs and faces the same type of problems and temptations in life. However, it is an insidious trick of the devil to plant the false assumption in your mind that youneed is a special case. If he succeeds in doing this, it will be vastly more difficult for you to overcome your obstacle since you’ll view it as a one-of-a-kind problem that you alone have to face. You’ll assume that none of God’s principles apply to your situation because it is so hugeunique, and specialAnd when someone gives you an answer for your situation from God’s Word, you’ll just nod and say, “Yes, I know that’s what the Bible says, but my case is an exception. It has all kinds of unique complications that make it especially hard to deal with.” (3)

How you look at the problem will determine how quickly you get out of it! If you look at it like it’s huge, unique, and special, you’ll have a hard time getting over it. (3)

So how shoulyou look at your problem? Simply address the trap that is holding you hostage and declare, “This is noa special problem. In the history of mankind, I’m not the first person to face this type of challenge, and I won’t be the last. There are countless other people facing problems far more difficult than mine, yet they smile and maintain their joy in the midst of the challenge and end up victorious on the other side! This is just a common problem that many people have conquered before me — and I’m going to be the next to do it!” When you adopt this attitude, you position yourself to quickly escape the trap you’re in by reducing the size of your problem in your mind into something manageable and conquerable. (3)

Paul concluded 1 Corinthians 10:13 by saying,

No trial has overtaken you that is not faced by others. And God is faithful: He will not let you be tried beyond what you are able to bear, but with the trial will also provide a way out so that you may be able to endure it. (1 Corinthians 10:13 NET)

God is faithful to make a way out for you. He will show you how to get out of any trap you might find yourself in right now. There is a way out, and God has given you His Word and His Spirit to guide you every step of the way. (3)

Make the decision today to align your thoughts, words, and attitudes with God’s Word about any problem you are currently facing. Then, step by step, begin walking out of that trap — until that glorious moment when you arrive on the other side, free and victorious! (3)

That is, when things look down, look up!

Discipleship for Wounded Christians

(Security, Wholeness, Success)

Dear friend, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, just as it is well with your soul. 
(3 John 1:2 NET)

(1) Select the link to open another article with additional information in a new tab.

(2) The image is called the Hubble Ultra Deep Field. Starting in late 2003, astronomers pointed Hubble at a tiny, relatively empty part of our sky (only a few stars from the Milky Way visible), and created an exposure nearly 12 days long over four months. The result is this fantastic image, looking back through time at thousands of galaxies that range from 1 to 13.7 billion light-years away from Earth. Observed in this tiny patch of the sky (a tenth the size of the full moon) are some 10,000 galaxies with each galaxy home to billions of stars. Go outside tonight, take a ball-point pen with you and hold it up in front of the night sky at arm’s length. The tip of your pen is about 1 millimeter wide, and at arm’s length, it would cover the 10,000 galaxies seen in the Ultra Deep Field image. That’s how unbelievably massive the visible universe is!

(3) Renner, R. (1) (2003). Sparkling Gems from the Greek 2 (1): 365 New Gems to Equip and Empower You for Victory Every Day of the Year (p. 654). Institute Books.

Hal has taught the Bible for over three decades. Through an interdenominational ministry dedicated to helping the local church build men for Jesus, Hal trained men, the leaders of men’s ministries, and provided pulpit supply. Before that, he was a Men’s Ministry Leader and an Adult Bible Fellowship teacher of a seventy-five-member class at a denominational megachurch. Presently, Hal desires to honor Jesus Christ through this Internet teaching ministry, thereby glorifying the Heavenly Father in the power and presence of the Holy Spirit. He believes, second to cultivating his relationship with God that raising his family unto the Lord is the most significant task for him while on Earth. Furthermore, Hal believes that being a successful leader in the church or workplace is no substitute for failing to be a successful leader at home. 

One Comment

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