IF; A Powerful Word
As I write today I am feeling the effects of the winter wind chill and I dream about what I would do IF the weather was warmer. IF; a little tiny but oh such a powerful word that can mean so very much and change the whole tone of a statement. When I think about the word IF, what immediately comes to mind is the old English proverb;
If wishes were horses, then beggars would ride.
Do our dreams hinge upon wishes and ifs? Rudyard Kipling’s poem, If,Â alludes to the possibilities of what we can gain, if we can achieve certain things. Â IF, can be noncommittal and IF, can be just an excuse. The hopes and dreams of our lives can often be explained away on the tail of the tiny word IF.
Have you built your life’s dreams on, IF?Â Does IF, explain why you didn’t achieve or does everything still hinge upon, IF? We often plan our futures but sometimes IF, becomes the foundation for those hopes and dreams. When things do not turn out the way we wish then we can blame, IF.
Unfortunately life and its circumstances change and a fallen world can get in the way of our personal goals. It is easier to lay blame with God by saying IF, He had just intervened and IF, He had just let this happen. It then becomes easier to blame God than to discover what is really behind the issue. We have to be so careful with that little, old, and powerful word; IF.
We are not always in the position to understand the whys of the world. Job finally in the end understood this clearly as he says;
It is I -Â and I was talking about things I knew nothing about, things far too wonderful for me. Job 42:3b
This is us also and there is no place for, IF. Limited are our timed lives, residing in a world full of turmoil that we will never understand. The point is that we don’t need to understand it but God does. God tells us as He told Job that even though we can’t understand things, He can. It is our job to trust Him to carry us through and to know what it right. There are no, IFs in that. We may not understand, there is often a lot that creates a hardship of disbelief, but we must trust in what we believe and move on without, IFs. When IF disappearsÂ only trust is left.
Our focus verse this week looks to the possibilities of God while pointing out that IF has no place with trust. There is nothing that our God can’t do and by believing that,Â we will see it is true. We find Jesus in the midst of a large crowd with a man who has attempted to have the disciples heal his son of a demon. The disciples were unable to help the boy and the discouraged man comes to Jesus as a last resort. Unfortunately he has left his faith behind in the vast disappointment of the past and what has gone on before.
The man now questions God’s absolute with the little, old, and powerful word; IF. Jesus quickly sets him straight that with belief and trust there is no room for, IF. There is nothing that God can’t do when it is His will and plan. Even today God is still stretching the possibilities of miracles for those who believe that He is truly over all.
“What do you mean, ‘If I can’?” Jesus asked. Â “Anything is possible when a person believes.”Â Mark 9:23 (NLT)
Â Boundless Possibilities
Belief creates boundless possibilities and leaves no room for, IF. Belief allows us to live our lives knowing in full confidence that God is in control. Belief helps us extend into a relationship with our Creator through study, focus, and prayer. We know that God listens and hears our cries. There is no room for, IF or doubt and we must allow ourselves to trust God fully in every area of our life.
When we look at this relationship though, we must remember a primary thought and it is that God is not a genie of our wishes and desires. God can turn things around in our lives through our belief as long as it is part of His plan, will, and it doesn’t impede on the free will of others. Â We must become Christ-minded as we pray and seek God’s help. Faith becomes the primary focus as we look to God first, and know with full confidence that He is in control.
This is tough to do when your world is crashing down around you, when your dreams are falling with a heap of, IFs. There are four steps that you can take to help move forward over the IFs and embrace the future with confidence.
1. Believe that God can do more than you imagine – Before you can embrace the future you first, must believe. The impossibilities become possible only with faith. Place your faith in front and move forward into your future knowing that God is in control and you are living your life fully for Him.
2. Change the future and let go of the past – You cannot choose to look at your problems of the past and base your future on, IF. Unlock the door of the past and stop allowing it to write your future and steal great opportunities of possibilities. You must reach a point where you move forward for if you continually relive the past you are giving up your future.Â (Isaiah 43:18 – 19)Â You have to stop living in fear of the, IFs. Bad things happen and sometimes you are a victim of circumstances. Acknowledge the loss but keep moving forward.
3. Look ahead and move – God has made you for a purpose. You must stop looking backward and force yourself to look ahead. God createsÂ amazingÂ opportunitiesÂ or endless possibilities for you to explore. You cannot sit by and watch life or wait on the, IF to come about. You have to act. This is not easy, convenient, and sometimes it is scary. God often will interrupt your life for an opportunity that He needs you to fill. There are times that God calls you to do the right thing knowing that others will respond in the wrong way.
Jesus did the right thing when He left the Garden of Gethsemane as He struggled to embrace the Father’s will beginning a journey that led to the Cross. The result of doing the right thing was severe as it cost Him, His life. AÂ journey with God might bring suffering and hardship to your life and it shouldn’t come as a surprise. But the cross teaches us a great lesson and that is that God comes through even after death. God turns crucifixions into resurrections. Know that your old dreams are possiblyÂ dead but God is waiting to resurrect new ones. Put your belief first and know that God will give you what you need for the future.
4. Stick with God and remain flexible – Believing is knowing who God is and putting your future totally in His trust. Believing is sticking with God, getting rid of, IF, and being flexible to know that God’s plan may not be understood. We must however trust in the Lord and not rely on our own understanding but allow God to direct our feet. (Proverbs 3:5 -6)Â The path may not be comfortable but we must trust God and stay with Him, listening closely and remaining flexible.
God challenges us to firmly believe and stand by with an unwavering faith knowing that He is in control and can do anything. Because of this we must rely upon God and trust Him in every facet of our life. These thoughts should not create anxiety but comfort as it is through our belief that we know ultimately we will live with Him in an eternity that is free of the word, IF.
Love in Christ,
Post Script:Â Famed pianist Arthur Rubinstein, celebrating his 84th birthday, said:
As long as we have what we have inside, the capacity to love, to work, to hear music, to see a flower, to look at the world as it is, nothing can stop us from being happy…but one thing you must take seriously. You must get rid of the ifs of life. Many people tell you, ‘ I would be happy…if I had a certain job, or if I were better looking, or if a certain person would marry me.’ There isn’t any such thing. You must live your life unconditionally, without the ifs.
What are your thoughts? Join us in discussion.
What are your thoughts on the powerful word of IF? Do you find yourself making excuses for your life and its direction because of IF? Have you learned ways to totally trust God in all facets of your life that you would like to share? Join us in discussion on the topic of IF and the possibilities of God through Faith.