Unmasking The "What If's?"
We turn the news on and see turmoil, wars, and unprecedented evil abounding both at home and abroad. Even nature is turning on us as we experience unusual weather patterns, killer tornadoes and deadly flooding. In the midst of this, God is challenging us to believe and declare His Word, that we may unmask the "What ifs?" and proclaim victory.
"What if" was my mantra. What if I had done things differently? What if I had made a different decision? What if I hadn't made that mistake? What if I don't get healed? What if my husband doesn't receive his healing? Those "what if's" were stealing my peace and joy. However, during the last 5 1/2 years of watching my husband battle Stage 4 Thyroid Cancer, I have marveled at his determination not to consider the "what ifs." Instead, each day, he declares the Word over his life. Yes, he had medical intervention, but what is important to know is that they had given him only a couple of months to live. In fact, three years following his surgery, his surgeon said, " I did not expect you to make it off the operating table, especially after a 14-hour surgery." This past April, his surgeon told us that Michael is a walking miracle and we do not need to return to M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas.
During the first part of those years, there were times that we struggled, questioned, believed, wavered, rallied, cried in despair and cried with great joy as we grew exponentially in our faith. We continue to grow in faith, as new challenges arise, but we know to fight the "what ifs," which can never be a part of our inner dialogue.
The greatest faith killer is that tiny word, "if," because it creates doubt and sets up a statement of condition. "If it be your will, heal me." No, Matthew 12:15 tells us, "He healed them all," therefore, we declare, "Jesus was wounded for my transgressions; He was bruised for my iniquities; the chastisement for my peace was upon Him, and by His stripes I am healed (Isaiah 53:5). Lord I further declare that "My light shall break forth like the morning and my healing shall spring forth speedily. My righteousness shall go before me and the glory of the Lord shall be my rear guard" (Isaiah 58:8).
Maybe at one time or another, you have prayed, "Please provide for our finances, if it be your will." Instead, pray something like this, " I will not be anxious for what I eat, drink, or wear, for You are my Father who knows that I need them all (Matthew 6:31-32). For You tell us to consider the ravens that don't sow or reap, yet You feed them. How much more valuable am I than the birds! (Luke 12:24) Lord, You know my needs, and You have said that I am more valuable then the birds, so where there is lack, I thank you that You will provide.
Maybe you have prayed for a family member's salvation for years with no tangible results, so doubt prompts the thought, "What if I never see them come to Christ?" The Word asks, “Why are you troubled? And why do doubts arise in your hearts? (Luke 24:38)"Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household" (Acts 16:31).
"If it be your will..." initially came from misunderstanding Jesus' prayer to His Father in the Garden of Gethsemane, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will ” (Matthew 26:39). Jesus, knowing what He was about to do, was experiencing every human emotion as He sweat great drops of blood. Yet he knew that He would have to commit His will, along with all of his Divine privileges into His Father's hands so that all could be accomplished. He didn't ask His Father if it was His will. He knew the will of His Father.
"Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped (held on to), but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross" (Philippians 2:5-8).
The Apostle Paul was saying that Jesus laid aside his Divine privileges, not his Divine attributes so that He could accomplish God's purposes and rescue mankind from eternal death.
We have programmed our hearts not to receive; however, Jesus Christ accomplished it all on Calvary's cross. He is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8). We must reprogram our minds and spirits to receive from God and believe that He wants to bless, heal, and provide for our needs. Though we may at times have our personal crisis of unbelief, He wants us to know that no matter the circumstances or the delays, He is a "miracle working God." His promises are yes and amen.
As a reformed "what-ifer" my thoughts are no longer bombarded with the glaring "WHAT IF'S." I remind myself of the truth of God's Word and the importance of boldly declaring His Word in my life and the lives of others.
Why do some get healed and others don’t? Why do answers to some prayers seem so long in coming? Those are questions that can only be answered by God. Our job is to erase the "what ifs" that create doubt, and believe as we declare God's Word. We then leave the results in His hands.
"I say to you, whoever says to this mountain,
‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’
and does not doubt in his heart,
but believes that those things he says will be done,
he will have whatever he says.