Crystal Cathedral

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Think Big - Believe in God!

Written By Robert H. Schuller

2139 01/30/11

My message today is Think Big - Believe in a Big God! What kind of a thinker are you? I look across this congregation and you're not all the same. You don't all think the same way. Ideas will come into your minds and some will say that's a great idea; let's make it happen. Others will say that's a fantastic idea but it's impossible. Big ideas promote many of you to possibility thinking and others are led into paralyzed thinking.

Are you facing a big "can't do" in your life today? Maybe it's financial, maybe it's physical or maybe it's something in your marriage and family. Maybe it's with a weakness or a sin that you seem to have to deal with again and again as life moves on. I want to challenge you to "get out of the box." Anything is possible. Think big enough to believe in a God with whom nothing is impossible.

I believe this Crystal Cathedral is a church that Arthur Rubinstein would have been happy in. He was a famous concert pianist, not a Christian by faith, but he was in New York when someone invited him to come along with them to church on Sunday. His answer: "Take me to a church that will challenge me to attempt the impossible." Great believers and great achievers are attracted to great challenges.

Great ideas will either paralyze you or possibilitize you. It's your choice. I have lived it and I have come up with a new word that I think pretty much says who I am or who I've been, what I've done and where I'm going. The word is possibilitarian. I'm a possibilitarian and so are you when you leave this church this morning. That means you will instinctively, intuitively and impetuously look at ideas and you will look for the positive and when you find them, you'll want to turn the possibilities into opportunities and the opportunities into achievements. That's being a possibilitarian. That is going to shape your whole life. I am often shocked at how I see people achieve what they've achieved in life. So if you're here today, stay with me, walk with me, worship with me and we'll be a bunch of possibility thinkers: possibilitarians.

My father was a possibilitarian. He was a poor farm boy and when he grew up, he looked for a piece of land that nobody was using and decided to buy it, even though it was seemingly worthless. During his lifetime, he managed to get it paid for and to develop new hybrid seed corn that did very well. He was a possibilitarian. He saw the possibility where others only saw nothing.

My brother Henry was a possibilitarian. He was drafted in World War II and put into the medical division and then became a litter bearer. If you don't know what litter bearer is, it's what was used to carry the wounded bodies on from the field to the medical area. This job was on the front line and he'd be the first to pick up a body that had no leg or arm and he spent two years doing that. After he came home, he never talked about it. I tried to draw it out of him but he didn't want to.

Possibilitarian. We have them in this church. Most of you, if not all of you are possibilitarians. You see something and you move in. Believe in a big God!

Many years ago, I remember the title of a book Your God is Too Small. I read it and it really impacted me. I don't know how often I've been shaped by it, but that sentence impacted me throughout my ministry.

So I ask you today: is your God too small? Is He big enough to see solutions to your troubles? The answer is yes. Is He big enough to understand your talent and where it can go to work for Him? Yes. Is your God big enough to understand the treasure that your life is and how if you go to church every Sunday you'll get the ideas and the inspiration? How big is your God?

 Is anything too hard for God? It's the question God asks Sarah when she overheard God's promise to Abraham. "Your descendants.." she heard God say to Abraham, her husband, "..will be as the sand in the desert." After hearing this, Sarah asked, "How can this be? I'm too old to bear a child. I'm past the child bearing stage" and she laughed to herself. There were no children in their marriage. She was too old.

"Sarah," she heard the voice of God say, "Sarah, is anything too hard for God?" The question is found in Genesis chapter 18:14, "Is anything too hard for God?" No. Just look at the ocean, the sunrise and the sunset. Day after day, year after year, I've lived to experience a little about life. I have lived through over thirty thousand, six hundred and sixty sunrises. How about you? The longer we live, the more we see miracles. Yes, I believe in a big God.

A couple of nights ago, Mrs. Schuller and I were in bed sleeping soundly. It was midnight and we woke to hear the rumbling of thunder. Suddenly, we heard a thunder crack louder than anything we'd ever heard in our life and we were born and raised in Northwest Iowa. The thunderclap filled the whole bedroom, shook the walls and we grabbed each other thinking the house was coming down. It was like God saying to us, ‘I'm still alive. I'm big, I'm big, I'm big.'

It reminded me of what I'd learned years ago and I don't know from whom: no problem is too big for God's power; no person is too small for God's love. So you don't feel a thunderclap filling this Cathedral but there is a bigger idea and it's filling this place. It is that no problem is too big for God's power. That sentence is for some of you here and now. Grab hold of it. No person is too small for God's love.

How do we draw more of that kind of God power into our life? How do we get to know God more and more? The answer is so simple I almost hesitate saying it but its true: go to church every Sunday. There's a reason why in the Old Testament the Lord said, "One in seven shall be My day." And in the New Testament, Sunday replaced Saturday and this became the time when we would go to church every week to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the living power of a God who loves us.

So God is bigger than your problem. God is bigger than your fear. God is bigger than your challenges. No problem is too big for God's power. No person is too small for God's love.

The other day, I was looking through my notes that had accumulated through sixty years of ministry. Names popped up that I'd long forgotten. I ran across the name of Virginia Hader. She was a great, positive thinking woman who had her share of health problems. When she got into the worst of her illness, she said "Dr. Schuller, I won't be able to work anymore. What am I going to do?" I said, "Let's think and pray about it." Out of it came a new idea. The idea was she could be a typist. She said, "I don't know how to type." So I helped her and she learned how to type. She earned good revenue for a while and then her fingertips gave her problems and the doctor said "We're going to have to amputate fingers from both hands." Wow. I'm her pastor. How do I handle that one?

I prayed, "God show her what she can do without fingers." And the head of the company she worked for said to her, "Well, we'll change your job. We'll make you a cost analyst. You know the business, you know the company. You don't need fingers to analyze the costs." And she became very successful. When her end time came, she said, "Well Robert, I've had a pretty good life." I said, "Yes, Virginia, you have." She said, "It's time for me to go." We walked with her until her last breath. Look what she did with what life threw at her. Everyone was proud to know her and when she came to her last breath, this church was honored with her life.

Where are you today? What are your challenges? What are your problems? Think big. In fact think bigger. Your problems are small for the Almighty. He has plans for every person in this church and that starts right now with you.

Let us pray: Oh God, no person is too small for our problems to be solved by You and by Jesus Christ. Thank You for the noble and fresh and creative ideas that are coming into imaginations here and now. Bless every person with their special miracle. Amen.

© Copyright Hour of Power 2011. This message was delivered by Dr. Robert H. Schuller from the pulpit of the Crystal Cathedral and aired on the Hour of Power, January 30, 2011.

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