“Magnify the Lord with Thankfulness.” (Ps. 69:30)
What does it mean to Magnify something? Think about those old machines called “overhead projectors” (I’m sorry if you just had a flash back from high school algebra class). An overhead makes things LOOK bigger than they really are. I could put my hand on the overhead and the shadow would look HUGE on the wall behind me. Is my hand really that big? No. But this machine makes it look bigger by magnifying it.
The Bible says we are to MAGNIFY the Lord. Can we really make God bigger? No, neither can we put God on the overhead and make his shadow bigger. But what we can do is to make our VIEW of him bigger. Sometimes we have very little ideas about God. We think that he can’t help us or he can’t hear us or he can’t heal us. But the Bible says that God holds the whole UNIVERSE in his hands. That means he can do whatever he wants to do. We need to have a bigger view of God. We need to “zoom in” on God and let him fill our view finder.
How do we expand our view of God? Through Thanksgiving. Well, that sounds kind of weird. Why would giving thanks make God look bigger? Let’s think about the opposite of Thanksgiving. The opposite of Thanksgiving is complaining. Have you ever complained about anything before? Raise your hand, be honest. If you have a Facebook account you have probably complained about something before- it seems that half of Facebook is people complaining about something… the other half is pictures of bacon. Just kidding. So we all agree that we have complained before.
Did you know that complaining is a SIN?!? Well it IS! The Bible says that we are to do all things without complaining. That means when we complain, we are disobeying God. Now, can you think of any stories in the Bible where someone complained? I can. The Children of Israel complained for 40 years while wandering around in the desert. “There’s sand in my shoes. It’s hot out here. I have to go to the bathroom. Are we there yet?” God did AMAZING miracles right in front of their eyes EVERY SINGLE DAY and they barely saw them. They were too busy focusing on their complaints to notice.
God parted the Red Sea right in front of them, gave them water from a rock, lead them with a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night, healed them from snake bites and saved them from their enemies, but all they could think about was the “comforts” of their slavery back in Egypt. They complained that they missed the Egyptian food. They complained that it was hot and dry and sandy in the desert. They complained that they wanted a god that they could see like the Egyptian idols. And this really made God angry.
They were so focused on what made them UNHAPPY that they couldn’t see their blessings. Whatever you focus on gets magnified. Whatever you magnify, fills you. God cannot fill you if you are already full of yourself and your own complaints. Focusing on the little blessings in your life and thinking of each one as a gift from God will make your life feel full of gifts. With you hands full of gifts from God, you will feel loved by him and you won’t be able to stop praising him with your thankful heart.
Through Thanksgiving, we zoom in and focus on God and he begins to fill our vision until He is all we see. We make our view of him bigger by giving him thanks and not focusing on our complaints. We magnify God in our own vision by giving thanks to him for the millions of blessings he’s given to us. In that way, God gets bigger in our sight and instead of our mouths filling with complaints, our conversations overflow with gratitude. The people around us will notice our gratitude and will expand THEIR view of God as well.