As I’ve listened to others — and to my own heart and mind — I’ve realized that crippling fear comes to us for a variety of reasons. Here’s a handful of fears…and I’m sure you can add to the list!
What if I never get married? What if my spouse dies? What if I get cancer? What if my children rebel? What if I lose my job? What if the election doesn’t go the way I want it to?
Do you frequently ask yourself, “What if…?” That question can generate all kinds of fear about the future. Philippians 4:8, however, teaches that our thoughts should “belong to the nature of reality.” God commands us to think on what is true and real. And it’s a fact — events in the future are neither.
Furthermore, the future is in God’s hands — His loving, capable, merciful, powerful hands! He can enable us to deal with what is real, with what is now. And, the truth is, He will also be with us whatever the future holds. Lo, He is “with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20)! Yes, we need to be prepared for things like earthquakes. And yes, we need to be wise about our finances, our parenting, and our health, etc. But we don’t need to waste energy worrying about what is not yet real, about things that may never come to pass.
The way to let go of such fears is to acknowledge God’s presence, God’s power, and God’s love. When you and I think “what if…” question that’s when we need to turn to His Word and be reminded of the many promises:
- Nothing will ever happen to you that God does not already know about (Psalm 139:1-4).
- Nothing will ever happen to you that is a mistake (Psalm 139:4,16).
- Nothing will ever happen that you cannot handle by God’s power and grace (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).
- Nothing will ever happen to you that will not eventually be used by God for some good purpose in your life (Romans 8:28).
- Nothing will ever happen to you without God’s presence (Matthew 28:20).
- Nothing will ever separate you from God’s love (Romans 8:38-39).
And remember this: Your God is the God of the past, the present, and the future! He has promised to guide you throughout your life and receive you to glory afterward (Psalm 73:24). You can shout along with David that “surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever” (Psalm 23:6).
Question: When you think of the future do you typically think positively or negatively. Which verse above will choose to claim this week and remove “what if” thinking?
Find more encouragement for your soul in my book, Loving God with All Your Mind.