Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Philippians 4:8 (ESV)
Women seem to spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about what might happen and what might be going on. We spend a large part of our lives captive to fear and worry. We worry about our finances, our marriages, our children, grandchildren, and our job performance. We become “what-if-ers.” We “what if” being alone, single, getting old, being unattractive, fat, wrinkly, getting sick and dying. How many of those things occupy your thoughts on a regular basis?
If you made a list of all the things that you have “what-iffed” over the past 6 months, how many of them have come to pass? How many of them are real?
“What if” has the ability to generate all kinds of fear and worry in our minds about the future. It raises question that are not based in reality but in speculation, imagination, supposition and beguilement. Most of our fears are rooted in things that are not true or real.
To overcome fears, we cannot base our thinking on “what if,” we need to focus our thoughts on the things that are true and real as Philippians 4:8 instructs us to do.
According to the Wycliff Bible Commentary on that passage, our thoughts should belong to “the nature of reality.” This guideline rules out any fearful dwelling on the future. The events of the future are not real as we imagine them to be, and chances are that most if not all of your “what-ifs” have occurred only in your mind.
While we do have a responsibility to be wise about preparing for the future and tending to our health and finances we have no need to worry or obsess about things that may never happen.
Our thinking must be true according to what the Bible says is true; true to the character of God as revealed in the Bible, and true according to what people say and do. As God uses His Word in our lives and enables us to think on what is real our fears about the present and the future are calmed.
And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19 (NASB)
“For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? “Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? “And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?“And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these.“But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alivetoday and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith!“Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’“For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
“So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:25-34 (NASB)
God is in control, He is loving, capable, and powerful. He is merciful and kind. He will enable us to cope with our present realities and whatever comes our way in the future.
The pattern for victory over our imaginations and our fears in found in Scripture. We experience peace when we choose to believe the Scriptures promises that God will reign over every future event. Nothing will happen to us that God does not know about. He never sits in heaven and watches dumbfounded as we are buffeted from one thing to the next. God is never surprised!
Nothing happens to us by mistake, and nothing will befall us that we cannot handle by God’s grace and power (2 Corinthians 12:9-10). Nothing will happen to us that that will not eventually be used by God for some good purpose in our lives (Romans 8:28-29).
The future is a reality, but right now it is known only to God. Leave it in His capable hands. Use your energies to draw close to Him, experience Him, serve Him, and glorify Him with your life today.