Mark Huddle - The Big Picture - Georgetown TX Convention - 2004

If God can show us the big picture at convention, He's accomplished a lot. Sometimes we major in the minors and minor in the majors. Oftentimes we get in a hurry, if we could see the big picture we'd be more patient. Genesis 3: God never withholds good things from us. The devil wants us to believe that He will and the devil will never talk to us about the whole picture. Genesis 22: God asked Abraham to offer his son, Isaac. If Abraham had only gone halfway up the mountain, he'd have always believed God was unfair. People who are prepared to sacrifice all, go all the way, get to see the whole picture. In the big picture, God is fair.

If we see the whole picture, it will help us to be kind to others, like Joseph. It's easy to see problems but it is much harder to see the big picture and to labor for others. I Samuel 15:17: "And Samuel said (to Saul), When thou wast little in thine own sight, wast thou not made the head of the tribes of Israel, and the LORD anointed thee king over Israel?" Because David focused on the big picture, he was not distracted by the unkindness of his brothers. If he'd been, he may have missed the giant. If we see the big picture we will stick with simple things. For example, David didn't take the king's armor, just a few stones.

II Kings 6: Elisha and his men were surrounded by an enemy greater than themselves, but Elisha saw the big picture and knew the strength of angels on his side. If we ever feel like there is more against us than for us, it's because we don't see the big picture. Prayer will help us see the big picture. The human eye at best only sees part of the picture.

All these things in Ecclesiastes 4:4, etc., are unfair: "I considered all travail, and every right work, that for this a man is envied of his neighbour. This is also vanity and vexation of spirit." 5:8: "If thou seest the oppression of the poor, and violent perverting of judgment and justice in a province, marvel not at the matter: for he that is higher than the highest regardeth; and there be higher than they." 7:15: "All things have I seen in the days of my vanity: there is a just man that perisheth in his righteousness, and there is a wicked man that prolongeth his life in his wickedness." 9:14-15: "There was a little city, and few men within it; and there came a great king against it, and besieged it, and built great bulwarks against it: Now there was found in it a poor wise man, and he by his wisdom delivered the city; yet no man remembered that same poor man." That is not fair. Old age, Ecclesiastes 12:1-5 is not fair. The last verse of Ecclesiastes 12: "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil." Eternity is fair. God has never promised that life would be fair. But in the big picture, eternity is fair and it lasts a lot longer than this life.

Matthew 18:21, 23: one was forgiven much, but was not willing to forgive a little. Big picture-we've been forgiven far, far more than we will ever be asked to forgive. When we see the big picture, it helps us to feed and helps us to feed others. If we don't focus on the big picture, we will focus on ourselves and get selfish.

At the time of Christ's crucifixion and resurrection, His disciples were sad and distressed. It seemed like everything was against them because they couldn't see the big picture. When they understood the resurrection, they saw the big picture and were thankful.

In Acts 16:6-7 the disciples wanted to go but the Spirit closed the door. Verses 9-10: God opens the door to a wonderful mission in Philippi. Sometimes we go through many years and miles of closed doors before He opens a door. We need to keep the right spirit when doors close. God only closes doors so He can open better ones. Romans 8:28: "We know", not hoping, not some, but "ALL things work together for good to them that love the Lord." It's when we think things are working against us that we start to moan and lose our peace, even get bitter. Understanding of this verse will help us to be stable in our spirit.

If we were to look for a golden age in the Old Testament, we would think of David's time. This last century for God's people has been a golden age. We live in one of the most privileged ages in the history of God's people.

The last two chapters of Revelations are bright chapters. When we see the big picture, we have to consider these two chapters. God's plan will work.