Wisdom Believes “Even If”
Do you ever contemplate the “what ifs” of life?
I do. All too often my mind turns simple happenings into dire circumstances. Certainly, if I can’t reach a loved one for a period of time they have been in a wreck or kidnapped. My fears can reach this “conclusion” far too easily. Can you relate?
Our thoughts explore many “what ifs.” These thoughts often lead us to fear and lack of trust. I am sure God knows this about me, thus has proven to me time and again that he will be with me through anything. When I was making the decision to become a Christian, to give my life wholeheartedly to God, I asked myself several seemingly strange “what if” questions as I counted the cost of following Jesus.
What if someone put a gun to my head and asked me to deny God? Would I boldly profess my faith?
What if I was asked to move to Africa? Would I be willing to go?
What if something horrible happened to someone I love? Would I still have something to give?
And, shockingly…all of these “what ifs” have happened. There wasn’t a gun to my head, but there was a knife in my back. (If you want to hear this story read “My Morning Cup.” We were asked to move to Africa (and were eager to go) when plans beyond our control changed and we stayed. And now, the love of my life has a terrible disease.
Wisdom turns “what if?” into “even if.”
When Wyndham learned the aggressive and progressive nature of his disease he immediately read the book of Job and shared his thoughts as he told me,
“Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?”” (Job 2:10b)
He believes God is good. God is love. No matter what. Even if.
Hard things happen throughout our lives. Continually. Just this week we experienced a time of angst in a particular situation. I thought of many “what ifs,” and Wyndham (in his wisdom) reassured me that God would take care of us. He always has. Providentially, we had just finished reading Hebrews 11 and 12 together. I gathered perspective as I remembered reading of faith heroes being sawed in two, accepting the confiscation of their property, and much more. Our problem dwindled. These faith heroes experienced many terrible “what ifs,” and remained full of faith.
Wisdom changes our “what ifs” to “even ifs.” This changes everything.
What if…we changed our “what ifs” into “even ifs?”
Consider the “even ifs” (emphasis added) in these scriptures:
2 and when you and your children return to the LORD your God and obey him with all your heart and with all your soul according to everything I command you today,
3 then the LORD your God will restore your fortunes and have compassion on you and gather you again from all the nations where he scattered you.
4 Even if you have been banished to the most distant land under the heavens, from there the LORD your God will gather you and bring you back. (Deuteronomy 30:2-4)
8 “Please remember what you told your servant Moses: ‘If you are unfaithful to me, I will scatter you among the nations.
9 But if you return to me and obey my commands and live by them, then even if you are exiled to the ends of the earth, I will bring you back to the place I have chosen for my name to be honored.’ (Nehemiah 1:8-9 NLT)
3 Though a mighty army surrounds me, my heart will not be afraid. Even if I am attacked, I will remain confident.
4 The one thing I ask of the LORD— the thing I seek most— is to live in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, delighting in the LORD’s perfections and meditating in his Temple. (Psalm 27:3-4 NLT)
9 Do not turn your back on me. Do not reject your servant in anger. You have always been my helper. Don’t leave me now; don’t abandon me, O God of my salvation!
10 Even if my father and mother abandon me, the LORD will hold me close. (Psalm 27:9-10)
14 Yet Jerusalem says, “The LORD has deserted us; the Lord has forgotten us.”
15 “Never! Can a mother forget her nursing child? Can she feel no love for the child she has borne? But even if that were possible, I would not forget you!
16 See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands. Always in my mind is a picture of Jerusalem’s walls in ruins. (Isaiah 49:14-16 NLT)
10 For even if the mountains walk away and the hills fall to pieces, My love won’t walk away from you, my covenant commitment of peace won’t fall apart.” The GOD who has compassion on you says so. (Isaiah 54:10 MSG)
16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered King Nebuchadnezzar, “Your threat means nothing to us.
17 If you throw us in the fire, the God we serve can rescue us from your roaring furnace and anything else you might cook up, O king.
18 But even if he doesn’t, it wouldn’t make a bit of difference, O king. We still wouldn’t serve your gods or worship the gold statue you set up.” (Daniel 3:16-18 MSG)
25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies,26 and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?”
27 She *said to Him, “Yes, Lord; I have believed that You are the Christ, the Son of God, even He who comes into the world.” (John 11:25-27 NASB)
3 True, some of them were unfaithful; but just because they were unfaithful, does that mean God will be unfaithful?
4 Of course not! Even if everyone else is a liar, God is true. As the Scriptures say about him, “You will be proved right in what you say, and you will win your case in court.” (Romans 3:3-4 NLT)
16 Hold firmly to the word of life; then, on the day of Christ’s return, I will be proud that I did not run the race in vain and that my work was not useless.
17 But I will rejoice even if I lose my life, pouring it out like a liquid offering to God, just like your faithful service is an offering to God. And I want all of you to share that joy.
18 Yes, you should rejoice, and I will share your joy. (Philippians 2:16-18 NLT)
14 But even if you suffer for doing what is right, God will reward you for it. So don’t worry or be afraid of their threats.
15 Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it. (1 Peter 3:14-15 NLT)
10 “Fear nothing in the things you’re about to suffer—but stay on guard! Fear nothing! The Devil is about to throw you in jail for a time of testing—ten days. It won’t last forever. “Don’t quit, even if it costs you your life. Stay there believing. I have a Life-Crown sized and ready for you. (Revelation 2:10 MSG)
These scripture remind me that God is with me and loves me. Always and forever.
Wisdom replaces “what if” with “even if.”