June 29, 2017

Day 16: What If?

In another post, I talked about how our thoughts can sometimes spiral out of control. Anxiety and fear are like diabolical fraternal twins. They go hand-in-hand in many instances and are contrary to walking by the faith through the power of the Holy Spirit.

When we are anxious or fearful about something, at the core of our emotions and thoughts is anticipation of the negative.

  • What if the treatment doesn’t work?
  • What if I lose my job/can’t find a new job?
  • What if we never reconcile?
  • What if they find out about my past?

The possible “what ifs” that can plague our mind are innumerable. I remember reading Calm My Anxious Heart a while back and one of the key insights in the book is that God is still God – no matter what happens.

And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? Matthew 6:27

He is Sovereign. According to Easton’s Bible Dictionary, the word sovereign relates to God’s absolute right to do all things according to his own good pleasure.1

As the Creator of the Universe, He has full authority to do whatever He chooses, whenever He chooses. The good news is, He is a loving Father who gave His only son so that we can have eternal relationship with Him.

If a normal, human parent had the ability to save the life of another person by sacrificing their own child, would they do so only to cause harm to the person they saved through the brutal death of their own child? It’s not even logical that God would go through such great lengths to save us, only to abandon us later.

Yes, we may go through a number of trials and sometimes very difficult ones, but as Believers, we have hope and comfort even when we go through difficulties. He has promised that He will never leave or forsake us. (Hebrews 13:5)

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Hebrews 4:15

This verse means Jesus was even tempted with the “what ifs.” Remember Jesus’ prayer in the garden of Gethsemane? He asked if it was possible for “this cup” to pass from him. Matthew 26:39

What caused Jesus to want “the cup” of his pending death to pass from him? I imagine He might have had a few “what if” thoughts racing through His mind.  Of course, I’m in no way a Jesus mind reader, but if He wanted the death by the cross to pass from Him, He had to have had concerns, maybe even fears, about His ability to endure the process. Verse 38 says that He told His disciples that His soul was so overwhelmed, He was at the point of death.

That is deep. To know our Lord and Savior was so overwhelmed with sorrow that He thought He would die from what He was feeling.

Our own burdens can feel like that at times – like a 2-ton elephant is riding on our backs. It’s incredible to know we are in the loving care of our Lord, who literally carried the weight of the world’s sins on His shoulders and pushed through His own emotions and anxieties to do the will of the Father. Now, He’s in Heaven interceding on our behalf.

Knowing everything we know about what the Lord has done for us, what if we truly trusted Him with our cup?

1 Easton, Matthew George. “Entry for Sovereignty”. “Easton’s Bible Dictionary”

 

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