These are just two small words, however, if you switch one for the other it brings a different intention to the sentence.
Reference: v.3 On the day the Lord gives you relief from your suffering and turmoil and from the harsh labor forced on you… (TNIV Bible)
Explore: There is a big difference between the words ‘when’ and ‘if’. These are just two small words, however, if you switch one for the other it brings a different intention to the sentence.
Saying, “I will eat pasta IF I go out on Saturday night” is actually quite different to saying, “I will eat pasta WHEN I go out on Saturday night.”
The first sentence shows indecision whereas the second states purpose. Whether you eat pasta or not is not really life changing, however, these two words have greater meaning when substituted into another sentence…
“I will find peace IF God shows me grace” verses “I will find peace WHEN God shows me grace.” The first statement shows uncertainty of God’s presence in our lives, whereas the second statement shows faith.
It’s incredible how often I use an IF statement when referring to God rather than having true faith and believing WHEN God will act. I find myself thinking: ‘if God forgives me’, ‘if God blesses me’, and ‘if God hears me’.
Application: I was struck by the difference of intention when Isaiah was talking to the Israelites. Even though they had turned their backs on God and His law, Isaiah was still talking about WHEN God would turn up for them.
With solid faith we can confidently say WHEN God will act, WHEN God forgives, WHEN God blesses us and WHEN God hears us.
Our God is a god of action and purpose and He will never leave us. No ifs and no buts, we will notice God WHEN we have faith.
Prayer: Lord, you are more faithful to us than we are to You. Forgive us when we doubt You. Thank You for when You show Your love and grace to us. Amen.
When do you find that your faith stumbles?
This article was written by Linda Bailey
Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.