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Worst Case Scenario - November 9, 2016

"WORST CASE SCENARIO"
When life is heavy and hard to take, go off by yourself. Enter the silence. Bow in prayer. Don't ask questions: Wait for hope to appear. Do not run from trouble. Take it full-face.  The worst is never the worst.  Lamentations 3:29-30 (MSG)
(The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson)
 
Are you the type of person who spends time figuring out the worst case scenario so that IF it happens, you are well prepared?  Would that be considered having little or no faith? 
 
On the other hand, are you overly optimistic and ONLY see the best in a given situation? Is this naïve thinking or is that a person who is faith-filled?
 
Is there a middle ground and would that be considered the “being practical” approach?
 

Many of us instinctively know if we are a "glass half-full" or a "glass half-empty" person
and most of us can immediately think of a situation where we've had to practically make
 the decision to act as an optimist or a pessimist in a given life circumstance.
 
It’s not that easy, is  it? 
 
   Because life happens and  unlike the decision about which pair of shoes to wear, most  life decisions have dire consequences  & cannot be indefinitely delayed! 
 
What does the Bible say about this?
 
The writer of the book of Lamentations affirms that life is hard, however; he provides us with options for dealing with life’s troubles.  He suggests that we should seek alone time with God, pray without ceasing and never doubt God’s faithfulness as His mercies are new every morning. 
 
Yet there are multiple times in both the Old and New Testament where we see people planning for “worst-case scenarios” that never actually materialized; the same is true in our lives. In Genesis 32:6-8, Jacob is preparing to meet up with Esau from whom he had fled years prior after deceiving Isaac, their father, into receiving the first-born blessing which rightfully belonged to Esau (See Genesis 27:41-45). The outcome of that worst case scenario for Jacob was that Esau ran to meet him and embraced him (Genesis 33:4); a very different response from the angry reaction that Jacob had anticipated.  
 
Another Old Testament incident involves Joseph and his brothers who had previously sold Joseph into slavery when he was a young adult (Genesis 37:12-36). Eight chapters later, and after much growth and maturity, Joseph is moved to tears as he reveals himself to his jealous brothers when they came to Egypt in search for food during a severe famine in their homeland (Genesis 45:2-3). Rather than the revengeful response that the brothers were expecting, Joseph is in fact overjoyed to be reunited with his brothers after so many years. As time passes and their father dies, Joseph’s brothers are still in worst-case-scenario-mode, planning for an inevitable retaliation by Joseph (Genesis 50:15-17a). But God, in His sovereignty, had a different plan in mind and we see Joseph assuring his brothers that they and their families will be provided for by Joseph as opposed to the horrible fate they imagined. (Genesis 50:17b-21)
 
A New Testament incident comes to mind around the birth of our Saviour when Joseph learns that Mary, his betrothed, is pregnant with a child who is definitely not his. Being certain that this is his “worst case scenario”, Joseph begins to make plans to alleviate both his and Mary’s public humiliation: in Matthew 1:19, he decides to divorce Mary quietly but in verse 20, we see that God has a plan of His own which He unveils as He appears to Joseph in a dream advising him to act otherwise.
 
Experience and statistics tell us that worst case scenarios seldom come to pass and that 85 percent of what we worry about never happen and of the 15 percent that actually does happen, we are able to handle the situation much better than expected.  So being realistic is not a bad thing; throughout the book of Proverbs in particular, and the Bible, in general we are told to act wisely, to use discretion, seek wise counsel, and ask God for wisdom (Proverbs 1:5, 12:15, 13:10, 19:20, Psalms 1:1-2, James 1:5). The glue that ties this all together is our faith in Jesus.   
 
What worst-case scenario might you be facing today
 
Is it relational, financial, health or career related, or any host of circumstances? 
Are you able to release it to our Heavenly Father and trust Him with the outcome? 
 
Chris Tomlin’s new song “Yes and Amen” speaks about the faithfulness of God’s promises. Indeed He is the same yesterday and today and tomorrow (Hebrews 13:8).
 
Yolande Knight – womensministry@arlingtonwoods.ca
 
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