Trusting God with the What Ifs

Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.  Romans 8:33

Life is littered with what ifs.

What if there’s not enough money? Or resources to go around? Or the economy doesn’t improve? What if the person we’ve trusted breaks her promise? Or doesn’t fulfill his commitment? Or drops the ball completely? What if our health begins to fail? Or our loved ones pass away? Or we find ourselves alone?

Uncertainty surrounds us. The possibility of change can raise endless what if questions, causing us to worry. We all face legitimate challenges that need to be overcome and whenever we allow fear to take to root, we create space for worry and anxiety to set up shop in our lives. Once they begin working, they don’t want to stop.

Given enough time, worry can strangle the life out of us. In fact, the origin of the word worry when it first appeared in Old English meant “to strangle.” Over the centuries, it transitioned to mean “to bite and shake,” much like a dog treats a rubber toy. Eventually the word was understood as “to harass or vex.” In the early nineteenth century, worry adopted its more modern meaning, “to make (or to be) persistently anxious.”

Worry can cause us to lose touch with reality and move further and further from the truth.

Jesus knew this. Maybe that’s one reason why time and time again He told the disciples to “Fear not!” Jesus never wanted us to be controlled by worry and anxiety but instead wanted us to be marked by faith and trust. Jesus recognized that worry has a way of subtracting God from the scene and making us believe we’re responsible for holding all things together.

We will never get rid of all the what ifs in life, but when they come, we can rest assured that we do not meet them alone. God is with us. We can choose to face uncertainty with faith and begin to walk in greater levels of confidence, contentment, joy, peace, security, and calmness.

From Overcoming Worry © 2013 Margaret Feinberg (Thomas Nelson) Used with permission. All rights reserved.