Asking “What if?” can create dozens of fiction plots. But in real life, does asking “What if?” steal your joy or bring you inner peace?
A Different Story
What if–whoops–you let that question dictate your every thought, action, and belief? That’s a different story.
I’ve asked my share of “What ifs”: “What if I can’t meet this deadline? (writing) “What if they don’t laugh at my jokes?” (speaking) “What if my two-year-old still acts like this as a teenager?” (parenting)
Does Fear Dictate Your Life?
Seriously, have any of these “what ifs” invaded your heart lately?
- What if I lose my job and can’t pay my bills?
- What if my spouse leaves me for someone else?
- What if I get cancer or COVID 19?
- What if America is attacked again?
- What if a fire or tornado destroys our home?
- What if my teenager turns to drugs?
- What if we don’t have enough money to retire?
- What if the vaccine doesn’t work?
- What if___________ (you fill in the blank)?
If so, you’re probably among friends. Could those things happen? Absolutely. And so many of you have experienced those very things. Because of the pandemic, millions of people have lost jobs or experienced reduced income. Scores of individuals now list “anxiety” among their top issues.
For some, that anxiety may involve a physical remedy, such as proper nutrition, rest, exercise, or helpful medication. Others may need counseling to help readjust a belief system. Still others need a life correction and a spiritual connection to the God who loves them passionately and wants to meet every need. (We all need that–all the time!)
And the Body of Christ must reach out and help any way we can. We all need the community of believers–even if our connection is temporarily virtual.
Many of you are currently experiencing the worst trials of your life. But letting those “what if” fears dictate your life can steal your joy and destroy your peace of mind.
Can Inner Peace Rule Your Heart?
On the other hand, asking (and believing) these “what ifs” could bring the opposite effect: security, trust, peace.
- What if God’s promises are true?
- What if even in my worst circumstances, God could give me peace?
- What if God really is faithful?
- What if I could trust God for everything?
- What if God really does love me unconditionally?
- What if my fear of the unknown (worry, anxiety) could focus instead on the known (“fear” of God, strong reliance on Him)?
- What if this world is truly not my home, and God has promised me so much more beyond this life?
Psalm 107 underlines this positive perspective:
“Blessed are those who fear the Lord… They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord. Their hearts are secure, they will have no fear” (Psalm 112:1, 7-8, NIV).
May I also interject a warning here. All fear is not destructive. God deserves our reverent fear. A healthy fear respects danger and doesn’t take unnecessary risks, especially when it endangers the lives of others. All our decisions require wisdom, and God will give that to us freely when we ask and trust Him (James 1:5-6). Love means honoring others before ourselves.
Which “What Ifs” Would You Choose?
Yes, we’ll face our own “what ifs” in life, both positive and negative. Which set of questions would you rather choose? Which beliefs do you want to rule your heart?
Do You Have Inner Peace?
Ultimately, it’s what we believe about God that will shape our response to hard times. Do you have a relationship with Him through Jesus Christ that will sustain you and bring that needed peace? If not, do you want that?
Here is how I found that relationship I needed with Jesus years ago. Although every Christian’s experience is different, I hope these principles and Scriptures in this blog post about how my life changed will help you find that peace.
In addition, here is a prayer for peace I wrote that might encourage you.
It’s Your Turn
How many “what ifs” have you asked in life? Are they helpful or destructive? Are you experiencing inner peace? I’d love to hear from you anytime. You can always write me through my contact page. Just fill out the basic name and address info, and then the e-mail will come to me. Your name or info is not shared with anyone.
Share This Post with Others
Using the share buttons here or from my Facebook profile page, feel free to share about my website or this blog post with others in your social media circles so we can work together in encouraging others toward intimacy with God. If you haven’t signed up for my weekly posts and newsletter updates, I hope you’ll do so soon. I think you’ll enjoy the complimentary ebook that you’ll receive when you sign up. You can also follow me on Goodreads, and if you are visual, like me, you can join me and follow my boards on Pinterest.