40 Days of Prayer

Day 36: What If, What Is

February 5, 2019

My Image

He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

From Our “Here”…

What if …? The question is simple, yet can become one of life’s most potent fear triggers. We ask it all the time. Some of our “what ifs” are minor. “What if the dog runs off when I let her out in the morning? What if we don’t get an early start on that long vacation drive?” Others can nurture dread. “What if someone harms my child? What if that persistent ache turns out to be cancer? What if I lose my job?”

Not all “what ifs” are destructive. Prudent questions about the future are the mind’s way of identifying a wise course of action among each day’s many possibilities, and they can motivate us to make good choices. By contrast, the big and frightening queries about the unknown tend to push us toward paralysis as they mutate into corrosive worry and stress.

What’s the answer to countering the inertia of overwhelming “what ifs”? A powerful antidote to “what if”-inspired fear is found in the unwavering promises of God’s Word. The Bible offers myriad “what IS” statements anchored in the personal guarantee of our Creator. Here are just a few examples, emphasis added.

“Our God IS near us whenever we pray to him” (Deuteronomy 4:7).

“My God IS my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation. He IS my stronghold, my refuge and my savior” (2 Samuel 22:3).

“Your love IS ever before me, and I walk continually in your truth” (Psalm 26:3).

“He said to me, ‘My grace IS sufficient for you, for my power IS made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me” (2 Corinthians 12:9).

…To God’s “There”

That last passage is particularly effective, because it bluntly takes into account all our foibles, mistakes and even our sins. It factors in every debilitating circumstance any one of us might encounter. It reminds us we will never have all our ducks in a row, and that we are inescapably vulnerable and flawed human beings who struggle with challenges common to all of us. Over all of those negative acknowledgements it places the immovable capstone of God’s grace and power.

For every “what if” that would worm its way from the cesspool of worried possibility into feeble reality, God’s “WHAT IS” remains victorious. When we anchor ourselves in His promises, we are free to trust His leading, even to the ends of the earth. Few people confront more “what if” concerns than missionaries who minister overseas. But those missionaries who are most effective in outreach are the ones who will honestly confess they commit themselves wholly and daily to God as the only true remedy to their own weakness.

Making the Leap

As you faithfully pray for missionaries and the unreached people they serve, ask God to make His grace and power more fully evident in their circumstances. Commit yourself, weaknesses included, to God as one more voice to the lost no matter where He may lead you.

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