Have you ever battled a bad case of the “what if’s”?
Have you ever caught yourself in the middle of the night drifting down a path that leads you to meditate on the worst case scenarios?
For me, that’s usually when it happens. When I am so tired that it takes me longer than normal to realize where my thoughts are drifting to a dark, hopeless place. The other night while I lay in a half awake state, I felt the Lord challenge me. He said, “what if you began to imagine that situation turning out better than you expected?”
We know that worry is wrong. We know we aren’t supposed to fear. But we if there is something we can do on the offense when it comes to our thoughts about the future. Did you know that this is actually biblical hope?
Hebrews 11:1 says,
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. (ESV)
Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. (NLT)
Do you see that? The author of Hebrews is giving you permission to put your faith in an unseen realm. Here’s the reality – you are already investing in the unseen realm. Your mind is already making decisions about your future. Your mind whether conscience or subconsciously is making assumptions about how things will go.
Here’s the thing – God gave you your imagination! He meant for it to help you in life. And today, if you aren’t already, you can begin to lead your imagination with the truth of who God is.
Let’s look at Romans 8:24-25 in the NASB –
“For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.”
Hope dwells in the unseen realm. That’s exactly where we need hope! We need faith to lead us into hope for all the areas that we cannot see. I like to call it embracing mystery.
When it says “we wait eagerly for it” in Romans 8:25, it’s the Greek word apekdechomai. The translation is “to expect, look for, to wait for.” God is giving you permission to have expectancy to see His goodness invade the very area that the enemy wants to stir up the “what if’s!” God is not just staying, “stop worrying!” He is saying look at that unseen realm and imagine my goodness invading it. With every unseen area in our life we don’t have to be a victim to fear and worst case scenarios. We can begin to partner with the Holy Spirit and faith to conquer those fears!
What would it look like if God “worked all things together for your good?” It’s okay to think about that. It may not happen exactly how you think it will, but it will help you to learn how to operate in faith rather than fear. Does dwelling in the “what if’s” help you deal with bad things that happen? In my opinion, NO. However, if my belief system is that no matter what God is working all things together for my good, that brings tremendous freedom no matter what circumstances I face!
Today I pray that your imagination will be transformed to a faith building mechanism that looks for the goodness of God to invade your life!
If you’d like more on Embracing Mystery, click on this link to find my 21 day devotional on hope.