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If.

For a two-letter word, that one syllable makes quite the statement. Businesses, churches, and organizations are all looking to the future to try to make plans. But I’m smacked directly in the face by “if.”

Probably God’s most famous “if” Bible verse is, II Chronicles 7:14, “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

Here’s another very important verse. Romans 10:9 (NKJV) That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Both of those verses lay the “if” part on the humans. God’s part is set in stone. He promises to hear and save, “If” we ask.

Doesn’t it drive you nuts to have the ability to help someone do something, but they won’t ask for your help? Sure, there’s a time for letting people learn by doing. But we aren’t talking about learning to tie a shoe here. Depending on God for our eternal salvation is a ”right now” decision that shouldn’t be put off. 

I’m very thankful that I’ve already experienced God’s truth and salvation in my life. I don’t have to wonder “if” He will save me. He did … when I asked as a seven-year old girl. I knew I was a sinner, and the only way to spend forever with God was to admit that, believe Him, and confess that I was a sinner. (The ABC’s of salvation!) You don’t have to be in a church, socially distancing or not. When someone asks God for His attention with a repentant heart, there is no “if” involved. God promises to hear and He can’t lie.

“If” I’m eating healthy and living a healthy lifestyle, I should live longer. Correct? We all know of someone in the prime of good health who suddenly died. 

“If” I do lots of good works for my community that should win me a place in Heaven, right? No, I’m sorry. That’s wonderful for our community, but it doesn’t get you into Heaven.

What “if” I give lots of money to good causes? Surely God values my generous heart and will let me in?  No, I’m sorry. 

Jesus made it very clear, and there is no “if” in the statement. Jesus said to him, “am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6.

Here’s another blessing that depends upon us. Galatians 6:9 (NKJV)

“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”

 I’ll be the first to admit, I grow weary. I’m a “right now” kind of person. Let’s get it done and get it done yesterday. So I can get grumpy about things not happening fast enough … according to my calendar. But I’ve learned from reading the Bible that God doesn’t live by my calendar. He always answers prayer. It might be answered with an immediate “Yes,” a “No” or “Let’s wait and see.” 

“Faith” is an important word, too. I have faith that God knows what is going on, and He wants to use this terrible mess our world is in to get our attention and call upon Him for help. 

I think back to the Children of Israel who had to wonder in the wilderness for 40 years because of their lack of faith. Oh, Lord, please don’t allow this current trial to last 40 years!!! But, why not us? Does God love America more than the children of Israel? No, of course not. He loves each one of us exactly the same … warts and all. So let’s put those doubtful “ifs” away and stand on the firm promises of God.

Jesus said, “I will never leave you, nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5.

Here’s another favorite. James 1:5 (NKJV)If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” Who doesn’t need wisdom? “The fool has said in his heart, ‘there is no God.’”  Psalms 14:1. Don’t be a fool. 

Don’t let the “ifs” of right now scare you. Over and over there are verses in the Bible that state, “Fear Not!”  It’s not a suggestion based upon anything you might add to the equation. Just simply, “Fear Not!” 

So don’t let that tiny, two-letter word send you into a tail-spin. Listen to God’s “Fear Not!” Talk to God like you’d talk to your best friend over the phone. He’s right there beside you … looking over your shoulder and waiting for you to put away any “ifs” and just “trust.”

 

Donna has written for the HDT for more than 19 years. When off the clock, she enjoys writing for children, teaching piano lessons and being a pastor's wife. The Braymers have three married sons and daughter-in-laws and 9 grandchildren.

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