Fear wears a t-shirt, and on that t-shirt is written “what if…?”.
What if everything falls apart, and my life is just one huge disaster?
What if people hate me? Or laugh at me? Or ignore me..?
What if I fail?
Paul addresses “what if” thinking in Romans 8. First he asks a series of questions that would make great “what if?” worries:
Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”)
Romans 8:35-36 NLT
What if there’s trouble? What if I become financially vulnerable? What if people hate me? Or threaten me physically?
He then answers his own question:
No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.
Romans 8:37 NLT
I’ll tell you why I think Paul wants to reassure us about God’s love when bad things happen. Our greatest fear, deep in our hearts and souls, is not having the love and approval of God. And when bad things happen to us, we often interpret it as God not loving us.
And that adds fuel to our “what if” worries. We start wearing the t-shirt.
No many how many setbacks, troubles or trials you face, you don’t have to question if you’re loved. Once you have faith in Christ, victory is behind you. Jesus’ love for you has already been proven on the cross. Even if bad things happen to you.
And the more you understand and believe this, the smaller those “what if” worries become. You gain perspective.
And you stop wearing the t-shirt.