The Fear Fueling “What If?”

Then God spoke to Noah and to his sons with him, saying: ‘And as for Me, behold, I establish My covenant with you and with your descendants after you.’”—Genesis 9:8–9 (NKJV)

If you’ve ever been in a traumatic situation, you know that the greatest challenge can often come days, weeks, months, even years after the actual event. The lingering effects of an assault, automobile accident, or anything else along those lines can actually inflict worse wounds! 

Our minds can grab hold of the proverbial what if and before we know it, we’ve been robbed of our rest and peace. What if I run into that person again who hurt me? What if I get into another accident? What if, what if, what if . . .

Now, imagine you just experienced the most traumatic event to have ever happened . . . the flood. Don’t you think you’d be tempted to venture into what if territory? What if that happens again? What if God decides not to protect us this time? What if we do something deserving of punishment without even realizing it?

Make no mistake, Noah’s family were real people with real fears, just like us. These questions undoubtedly circled their minds. Which is why God gave them something to counteract the what ifs that could have consumed them. He gave them a covenant. A covenant is a “solemn agreement or promise of God.” And God makes the following promise to Noah and all of His descendants: “I establish My covenant with you: Never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood; never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth” (Genesis 9:11 NKJV).

God wanted Noah, and all of his descendants, to know that He would never again allow the earth to be destroyed by another flood. It was His way of assuring those who survived that their what if was not going to happen. He wanted to bury those fears so they could live out their lives in peace and rest, no longer haunted by the trauma they had witnessed. 

This isn’t the only covenant that God has given. He’s also given a covenant of assurance to all who’ve placed their trust in the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus, on the cross. It doesn’t guarantee that bad things won’t ever happen to us. But it does guarantee His love over us, and that He will be faithful to work all things together for our good. We can entrust what if into His hands, knowing He will only allow what is best for us.   

DIG: What is a covenant?

DISCOVER: Why did God give Noah’s descendants this covenant? What effect should God’s covenant in Christ have on us?

DO: Read Luke 22:14–20. Reflect on the words of Jesus as He established His new covenant with us. 

About the Author

Pastor Dan Hickling

Pastor Dan Hickling serves our online community, also known as the Calvary Chapel Online Campus. He and his wife Becky have been married for 22 years and have two children, Lauren and Danny. Both Dan and Becky have been part of the CCFL church family for 22 years and have served in full time ministry for 20 of those years.