“When we see God for who He truly is, we can see ourselves as we truly are.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – May 15, 2022
O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together. Psalm 34:3-5
I recently spoke with a dear friend who has been praying with her husband for almost twenty years for a second child, but infertility has been a constant, disappointing companion. During our conversation she said, “Before my daughter was born, I would sit for hours at the piano just magnifying the Lord and worshiping Him and I experienced such peace. But after my daughter was born all that changed. I stopped magnifying the Lord and instead started magnifying the problem that we weren’t getting pregnant. That’s when I lost my peace, that’s when deep grief became my companion—and that’s when my heart broke.”
Our conversation got me thinking about what it means to magnify the Lord and how doing so can mend our broken hearts and disappointment. The word “magnify” immediately brought a magnifying glass to mind. But I then realized this analogy doesn’t work well because God is not small, and He cannot be “made bigger” by magnifying Him. But we can make Him “appear as He is”—powerful, sovereign, all loving, all-knowing, and trustworthy by magnifying Him.
The truth is that we are always magnifying something because it’s our human nature to do so. Something is always in the forefront of our lives. We’re magnifying a worry, a concern, a problem, a person, a job or any number of things. When we magnify anything negative in our lives, we will naturally feel bound, small. Or, like my friend, broken and lacking peace. But when we magnify the Lord and give Him room in our lives to be who He is, when we believe who He is, our problems shrink. Then we are emboldened, empowered, and free.
“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” (2 Corinthians 3:17)
There have been seasons in my life that I felt stuck, trapped by negative circumstances. I thought my circumstances were the reason I was wrestling emotionally. No doubt there are times when we can feel oppressed by what is happening around us or in us.
But in truth, that’s not why I was stuck at all. In reality, I was magnifying my worries and problems more than I was magnifying God, so my troubles seemed big and He seemed small.
When we magnify God, it means we choose to believe He is who He says He is, even if we don’t feel like it.
On the website desiringgod.org, John Piper writes, “The whole duty of the Christian can be summed up in this: to feel, think, and act in a way that will make God look as great as He really is.”
I like Piper’s words, but I must be honest. . .I’m not a huge fan of the word “duty” because loving Him is a privilege and liberating honor not something burdensome. When we see God for who He truly is, we can see ourselves as we truly are: loved, cherished, and precious to Him.
“I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify him with thanksgiving” (Psalm 69:30).
Lord, help me not to magnify my problems today, but instead to magnify who you are. You are almighty, all-power, all-loving and you are my Savior. Nothing is impossible with you. Amen.
If you are feeling down, discouraged, or frustrated, magnify the Lord.
Cory Asbury: Christ Be Magnified
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