That’s a question mark that each of us have placed on ourselves at some point in life. Whether the place we’ve found ourselves in is the cause of another person’s actions or doings of our own, we often convince ourselves that the present could easily be changed. Just, “what if...”
...I had handled that past situation differently?
...she/he had not done that me?
...I had more money?
...I had a different job?
...that person was still here?
...I had a nicer home?
...I had a car like theirs?
...I could be thinner, taller, prettier, etc.
One of the easiest ways the devil steals our peace is convincing us to stay focused on “what if”. But here is the honest truth: just because things could be different doesn’t mean that they would be better. What’s even worse is that being caught up in “what if” causes us to forget to be appreciative of the blessings that God has given us. Ironically, sometimes that requires being thankful for what we don’t have.
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” I Thessalonians 5:16-18
I’ll be real. That’s a challenging verse for me. My natural mindset isn’t always to rejoice. Prayer isn’t always my first choice. I don’t magically give thanks when things aren’t comfortable. The flesh wants to worry, over analyze, grumble and compare. We all know comparison is a thief of joy. How do we train our hearts and minds to accept what is while trusting God with the rest? Let go of the what ifs.
“You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.” Isaiah 26:3
“And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope.” Romans 5:3-4
I’m preaching at myself when I say to let the Lord change your mindset this year. Let go of “what if” in your mind. Even if things don’t feel good, know that God is strengthening your character for the future. Forgive yourself for that wrong. Forgive them for that offense. Thank God for where He has you currently in your life. Trust Him for that promotion. Believe Him in His promises.
“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” Galatians 6:9