July 27, 2016
What If Your Worst “What If” Does Happen?
For the word of the Lord is right and true; he is faithful in all he does (Psalm 33:4 NIV).
Friend to Friend
Some people just seem happy and positive all the time. They appear to never worry and fret. These people act like they eat rainbows for breakfast and ride a unicorn to work. But life isn’t all lucky charms. Sometimes it is just plain hard. We anticipate trials. Jesus promised trouble. “In this world you will have trouble,” He warned (John 16:33).
So what if the worst thing you can imagine does happen? What then?
What if my child gets sick?
What if my husband does leave?
What if I lose my job?
What if I get on a plane to go to a speaking engagement and the plane crashes?
I decided a long time ago, when I get on a plane, I’m either going to get where I’m headed, or I’m going to heaven. Either one is all right with me. I know that whatever may happen in this life, God’s still on His throne, and He’s in control.
Yes, worry is a down payment on a problem that you may never have . . . but sometimes you do have the problem. Sometimes the sinkhole is worse than you ever imaged. But here’s what you can always grab hold of when you feel you’re being sucked down: God will be right smack dab in the middle of your sinkhole even if your worst “what if” does occur.
What is your greatest fear? What worries threaten to hold you hostage? Perhaps you’ve already experienced your greatest fear. Maybe you have lost a child, gone through a divorce, foreclosed on your home. Perhaps you’ve already gone through radiation, filed for bankruptcy, or lost your job.
If you have already experienced your greatest fears, then oddly enough, you have an advantage over those who haven’t. You’ve seen that God does give you the strength to get through your most horrendous seasons imaginable. You’ve come out on the other side and realized that by the grace of God you’ve made it.
None of us would choose to experience the horrific losses or painful situations that are part of living this side of heaven. But some treasures can only be discovered in dark places. One such treasure unearthed by those on the other side of their worst “what ifs” is the knowledge of God’s sustaining power that got them though and held them up—that gave them the power to move on despite the losses and live bold despite the pain.
The truth is, the worst “what if” that could ever occur already has—what if someone killed the Son of God? What if they forced a crown of piercing thorns on his head, thrashed a flesh-tearing whip embedded with sharp objects across his back, spat in His face, beat Him with fists, nailed his feet and hands to a splintery cross? What if they plunged a sword into his side? What if they murdered Jesus? What if that happened?
Oh, friend, it is with tears in my eyes that I type those words. But there’s more to the story. You know the rest.
Death was not the end of the story. It never is. Three days later God rolled the stone away from the mouth of the cave in which Jesus was buried, and Hope walked out in newness of life—resurrection life.
Because of the death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ; because of the power of the Holy Spirit who now lives within us, we no longer have to buckle under the spirit of fear or go weak-kneed due to worry. We can live bold knowing that God empowers and equips us to do everything He has called us to do. We can refuse to bury our dreams in shallow graves of fear, but live in bold obedience expecting the best.
Lord, no matter what happens in my life, I know that You are faithful, loving, and kind. Help me to trust in Your Sovereignty, knowing that You are in control. Even if the worst “what if” happens in my life, I know that You can use it for good.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
Read Isaiah 43:1-3 and describe God’s assurance to you in your own words.
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;
More from the Girlfriends
Today’s devotion came from my latest book, Take Hold of the Faith You Long For: Let Go, Move Forward, Live Bold. Just as a trapeze artist who grabs hold of a second bar, but refuses to let go of the first, we can get stuck in our faith when we refuse to let go of all that holds us back. It’s time to let go of all that holds us hostage to a “less than” life…and that includes WORRY about the future and regret about the past. We need to let go of worry and take hold of total trust in the goodness of God! Then we will truly move forward and live bold. Let’s take hold of all that Jesus has already taken hold of for us and placed in us! Check it out at www.takeholdthebook.com where you can download a free chapter and watch a video book trailer. The book also comes with a Bible study guide. Make sure and sign up for my weekly blog to learn when the free on-line Bible study will begin in the fall.
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Originally published Wednesday, 27 July 2016.