Over at the Desiring God blog Vaneetha Rendall Risner ponders the question “What if the worst happen?”
I found myself growing fearful. Not a heart-stopping, all-encompassing fear, but the kind of constant gnawing that occurs when you look at the discouraging trends of the present and assume things will never change. When you think about the future and wonder, “What if the worst happens?”
I’ve spent a lifetime considering the “what ifs.” Those questions have a way of unsettling me, destroying my peace, leaving me insecure.
I wondered: If my health spirals downward and I end up in an institution, will God be enough? If my children rebel and never walk closely with the Lord, will God be enough? If I never remarry and never feel loved by a man again, will God be enough? If my ministry doesn’t flourish and I never see fruit from it, will God be enough? If my suffering continues and I never see the purpose in it, will God be enough?
She then found freedom from the paralyzing “what if” questions of life in the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.
In the Bible, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were not guaranteed deliverance. Just before Nebuchadnezzar delivered them to the fire, they offered some of the most courageous words ever spoken. “If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it . . . But even if he does not, we want you to know that we will not serve your gods . . . ” (Daniel 3:17–18).
Even if the worst happens, God’s grace is sufficient. Those three young men faced the fire without fear because they knew that whatever the outcome, it would ultimately be for their good and for God’s glory. They did not ask “what if” the worst happened. They were satisfied knowing that “even if” the worst happened, God would take care of them.
Those two simple words have taken the fear out of life. Replacing “what if” with “even if” is one of the most liberating exchanges we can ever make. We trade our irrational fears of an uncertain future for the loving assurance of an unchanging God. We see that even if the worst happens, God will carry us. He will still be good. And he will never leave us.
Read the entire article here