|(photo from whatiflearning.com)|
You can say it any way you’d like. You can tack on anything imaginable.
What will you imagine?
Human nature often begs us to imagine something bad or negative to finish the question with, such as, “What if – something bad happens to me or to my children or my finances, etc…?”
But, what if – it’s something good? What if it’s something great?
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God’s Word tells us it IS something great! “But as it is written, eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” – 1 Corinthians 2:9 (KJV) The writer is quoting Isaiah 64:4 from the Old Testament.
Our frail, human hearts can’t even begin to image all the good God has for us; good things, good plans, good beyond our finite comprehension. He does go on to say in verse 10, “But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.”
So, though we can’t imagine it without divine intervention, we can know what God has in store for us. And we can be reassured that it’s all good. A verse that many consider to be their favorite is in Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” In the NIV we read, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.”
I’ve included both versions because I want us to know that God’s thoughts toward us include His plans for us. He didn’t just map out our lives and then walk away, hoping we get it right. He’s here with us every single step of the way, unfolding His plans and loving us, whether we allow ourselves to accept and feel that love or not.
|(photo from michelewoodward.com)|
Our pastor defines imagination as image-formations; the images we form in our minds. When we allow God to take hold of the images we form there, we can see the good; our minds won’t always impulsively run toward the bad. Instead of what if something bad happens today, we can ask, what if something great happens? Then, we can begin to dwell on the good and form good images. Ah, yes, my favorite scripture instructs us to do that: think on the good things! (In case you don’t know it yet, that’s Philippians 4:8.)
Even humanists that don’t call on the Name of Jesus chime in with the knowledge that what we think will determine what we are. (“for as he thinks in his heart, so is he…” Proverbs 23:7 NIV)
I count at least seven times in scripture where Jesus asks, “What do you think?” (Mt 17:25, 18:12, 21:28, 22:17, 22:42, Luke 10:36 and 13:4)
How cool is it that He cares about what we think? He cares about it, because He knows the power involved with our thoughts and words.
When we form images in our minds around what could happen today or tomorrow – or this coming year, 2015, what will we allow? Yes, again, I bring up choice. We get to choose what we allow into our minds!
What if – [negative] = worry
What if – [positive] = peace
Which would you rather live in, worry or peace?
|(picture from balancedandbarefoot.com)|
“…for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.” – 2 Timothy 1:12 (KJV)
“Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.” – Ephesians 3:20-21 (KJV)
“Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultess before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.” – Jude 1:24-25 (KJV)