Summary: Asking "What if ...?" brings a lot of worry into our life. Instead, ask "Who now?". King Jehoshaphat found the key to giving the battle over to God.
“What If ….?”
INTRODUCTION: NOTICE the TITLE of the message this morning.
We say this a lot, don’t we? “What if …?” causes a lot of NEEDLESS worry in our lives. I’m guilty of doing this, as I’m sure a lot of you are.
We hear it a lot:
On September 11, 2001, I received a telephone call from a very frightened lady. “What if … the terrorists should attack Bell, FL.?” I responded by saying: “First of all, if they did, there’s nothing you can do. Secondly, Bell, Florida is probably the safest place on the planet to be!”
We worry a lot about the “What if’s …?”
o Someone damaged the dash of a customer’s $100,000 Hummer … “What if … they kill me!”
o Someone’s child is being sent to Iraq … “What if … they should be wounded or killed?”
o Someone’s daughter is getting married & moving away … “What if … it doesn’t work out … they can’t make it financially … she needs me & I can’t be there for her?”
“What if …?” “What if …?” “What if …?” Needless worry about what MIGHT HAPPEN.
THIS AM, I want us to take a look at a Biblical event in history that helps us come to terms with the “What if’s …?” in life.
Turn with me to 2 Chronicles Chapter 20.
Jehoshaphat was the King of Judah. Israel had been divided into 2 kingdoms … Israel in the North, and Judah in the South. Jehoshaphat was the King of the Southern Kingdom of Judah.
3 nations had united to attack King Jehoshaphat and the Kingdom of Judah – 20:1.
They were already on the West side of the Dead Sea, about 25 miles from Jerusalem, the capital city where Jehoshaphat was – 20:2.
“What if …?” A question we often ask when we are confronted with fear, doubt, and helplessness.
o “What if … they keep coming?”
o “What if … we aren’t strong enough to defend ourselves?”
o “What if … they defeat us?”
o “What if …?” “What if …?” “What if …?”
Let’s see how King Jehoshaphat handled HIS “What if’s …?”
I. HE FEARED – 20:3
FEAR … that’s what brings on the “What if’s …?”, isn’t it? The fear of the UNKNOWN … that’s why we ask the question, “What if …?”.
Whenever this question and the fear of the UNKNOWN plagues our mind, we need to remember … NOTHING IS UNKNOWN TO GOD. God is OMNISCIENT.
We worry about those things that we have little or no control over.
o “What if … I don’t get that raise & promotion?”
o “What if … I get sick & can’t work?”
o “What if … lightening strikes my house & I lose everything I own?”
I’ve tried not to worry about those things that I have no control over. If I worry (and we all DO!), I need to worry about those things that I DO have some control over … and let my worry work FOR me … to get busy and do what I need to do to ease my worry. If we would stop worrying about those things that we have no control over, it would cut our worry by 90%.
God not only KNOWS about the UNKNOWN … He’s OMNISCIENT … nothing is UNKNOWN to HIM … BUT … He’s also OMNIPRESENT. A lot of times we worry about the “What if’s …?” because we can’t be there and therefore can’t do anything about it.
BUT … God doesn’t have that problem … He’s OMNIPRESENT. Psalm 139:7-10 – all turn.
We FEAR the UNKNOWN, because we can’t control it.
II. HE SOUGHT THE LORD – 20:3
This makes sense … if it’s out of my hands, put it in GOD’S hands! HOW did Jehoshaphat do this?
1.- He Proclaimed A Fast – this showed his SINCERITY.
If you are SINCERE about your problem (and you ARE, if you’re worrying about it!) … get SERIOUS about going to God with it. NOT … as a LAST RESORT … BUT … as a FIRST RESORT. That’s what Jehoshaphat did.
You can worry … and sit idle. This causes ulcers, nervous breakdowns, crying … you worry yourself SICK. As long as you can’t eat (because you’re sick with worry) … put it to good use … FAST!
2.- He Asked God’s Help – 20:4
Don’t get SERIOUS about WORRYING … get SERIOUS about taking it to GOD. Why do you worry? “What if …?” “What if …?” “What if …?” You worry because you are HELPLESS. HELLO! Ask Somebody Who can help!
III. HE PRAYED
1.- He Acknowledged God’s Power – 20:5-6
Since YOU are HELPLESS … turn to Somebody Who ISN’T. When we say “What if …?”, “What if …?”, “What if …?” … what are we REALLY saying? We are saying that God’s not in control … He’s lost His power. It’s like saying that God isn’t relevant. “God, WHAT IF you die or something?” “WHAT IF You can’t handle this problem (it’s too big for You)?” “WHAT IF You don’t know what to do?”