Saturday, June 20, 2015

What If?

"I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?"

-- John 25:26

Several years ago, a well-known insurance company ran a series of television commercials that asked viewers to ponder a small yet profound question: What if?

What if you get sick and can't work? What if you get married and have triplets? What if you die and your family can't live without your lost income?

These commercials were effective reminders that real-life issues have real-life implications. UncertaintyAnd if you're not prepared (such as with the right insurance coverage), you actually might have something to fear. After all, millions of people each year really do experience serious illnesses and injuries, and their financial needs tend to correspond with their unique circumstances. As Christ-followers, we have an additional consideration. Unless Jesus returns during our lifetimes, every one of us is guaranteed to face death. The mortality rate is 100 percent. It's an inescapable fact.

Another reality is that our society is one of violence, disease and economic uncertainty. And Believers aren't immune from any of it. But we do have an answer to the gnawing uncertainties that grip so many who don't know the Son of God as their personal Savior. It's His supernatural peace that defies all human understanding.

"I give you peace, the kind of peace that only I can give," Jesus assures us in John 14:27. "It isn't like the peace that this world can give. So don't be worried or afraid."

Jesus also proclaims that when we say yes to Him and become His followers, He's always right there by our side. And the Bible (God's Word to us) also provides additional guidance for addressing life's most daunting challenges. For example, we should face our fears with other Believers rather than going it alone. And like an Olympic athlete preparing his or her body for gold medal competition, we must remain spiritually prepared for our opposition. That means depending on God and His power rather than ourselves.

Those insurance commercials have it right: We do indeed live in a world of what-ifs. But Christ-followers have nothing to fear because God is--and always has been--in control in every situation. Jesus' disciples came to understand this reflection of His love and power the day they faced death in the stormy waters of Lake Galilee. 

"Master, Master! We are about to drown," they shrieked as Jesus slept in their sinking boat. But Christ was unfazed: He simply got up and ordered the wind and waves to be calm.

And they did.

"Who is this?" the disciples asked in amazement. "He can give orders to the wind and the waves, and they obey him!"

Let's all embrace the Answer to the disciples' question. It's through Him that the what-ifs of life turn into fear-nots.

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