The Problem with "What If?"

“That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith? So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” Matthew 6:25-34 (NLT)

“Worry” in the dictionary is defined as allowing one’s mind to dwell on difficulty or troubles. It also says, “to tear at, gnaw on, or drag around with teeth.” That last one gives us a vivid picture of how worry, left unchecked, can bring us to a place of being overwhelmed, obsessively occupied and out of control.

Many times we can let the things we are worrying about become an idol to us. That means, we are putting our thoughts, energies, and resources into dealing with the worry, instead of loving Jesus and serving others.

Worry is often triggered by the internal question, “What if?” "What if I don’t have enough money?" "What if my parents get divorced?" "What if I don’t get my driver’s license?" The list is endless and we can put many things after “What if”? What is your “What if?

Jesus says not to allow your thoughts and energy to be overcome with “What if?”. People who put trust in themselves worry about those things, because they only have themselves to rely on. On the other hand, you are loved and cared for by Jesus, and He has already provided for your tomorrow all that you will need.

If He takes care of birds, and flowers, He will make sure you and all your needs are taken care of.

The key is to meet today’s problems with today’s strength by meeting with Jesus daily. Don’t deal with tomorrow’s problems until tomorrow, because you don’t have tomorrow’s strength yet. You will have to connect with Jesus tomorrow for that. This is why spending time with Jesus through His word and prayer is so essential. Jesus desires a relationship with you, so He only gives you what we need for each day so you learn to trust Him daily.

As you grow in your trust of Jesus and His faithfulness, you won't be overcome with the fear of tomorrow. As 1 John 4:18 says, “Such love (experienced through a long-term relationship with Jesus) has no fear, because perfect love (His faithfulness to take care of us in all situations) expels (drives away) all fear.” (emphases mine).

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