At a recent seniors gathering at our church, the speaker asked us to consider the difference between What If? and Even If? That hit me like a bolt of lightning. In fact, my husband, George, and I were both motivated to pursue the differences.
What if I fail?
What if the medical diagnosis is bad?
What if I can’t do it?
What if they laugh at me?
What if I lose my job?
What if my child takes a wrong turn?
What if my spouse leaves me?
What if? What if? What if? The list is endless.
But all the what ifs have something in common. They lead to worry. They lead to fear. They lead to anxiety. They prevent us from enjoying the now as we focus on things that may or may not happen. They take our eyes off Jesus.
What does Jesus have to say about that?
“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?”Matthew 6:25-27 NLT
“So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”Matthew 6:34 NLT
Even if . . .
If instead of worrying what if, we focus on even if , our entire frame of reference changes.
Even if that happens, I will trust Jesus.
You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! Trust in the Lord always, for the Lord God is the eternal Rock.Isaiah 26:3-4 NLT
Even if that happens, I can do all things through Jesus.
For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.Philippians 4:13 NLT
Even if that happens, I know Jesus loves me.
Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”) No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.Romans 8:35-39 NLT
Even if that happens, Jesus can bring good from it.
And we know [with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose.Romans 8:28 AMP
Even if that happens, I know God is still in control.
“Be still and know (recognize, understand) that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations! I will be exalted in the earth.”Psalm 46:10 AMP
What-ifs express doubt and bring anxiety, worry, and more.
Even-ifs express faith and bring trust, peace, joy, and more.
We all need to break the what-if habit!