Most people would say that life is full of uncertainty, and evidence of that is all around us.  We see natural disasters all over the globe, businesses failing, unemployment, wars and rumors of wars, many people full of fear, wondering what tomorrow has in store.  It’s common to hear “If I can just make it through today, maybe things will get better.”  The word “if” is getting a lot of use these days, and people try hard to plan for “if”, but often without success.  What do we do if we lose our savings, or get sick, or lose our job?  Is anything in this life certain, besides taxes and death?
 Thank God there is!  Although the word “if” often precedes the promises of God, thereby creating a condition to the promise being fulfilled, there is no uncertainty at all when it comes to God doing His part when we do ours.  We never need ask, What if God doesn’t keep His promise after I have done what He commanded?  If there is one thing certain in life, it is that God never changes.  God never lies, and He never breaks His word.  But that doesn’t mean if you see a promise in the Bible that you can automatically claim it as yours.  It is necessary to read the fine print, just like you would read a contract that you’re about to sign, and HOPEFULLY you would read it, and not just sign your name.
    You see, that’s where people miss it.  Someone will tell them that God promises us eternal life, so they just go through life doing whatsoever comes to mind, assured that everything will work out in the end because the preacher told them they would be saved.  Never mind the fact that they never pray, or open their Bible to see what God has to say about salvation.  And on the day of judgment, they might hear from the Lord, Depart from me, for I never knew you!  Of course, their response would likely be, “But the preacher said I would be saved!”  What happened?  They didn’t read the fine print.  They didn’t do the part about surrendering their life to Jesus and being His follower, His disciple, and laying down their will to pick up His will.  In other words, they overlooked the very certainty of the word “if”. 
   Although the word “if” seems to denote uncertainty, God doesn’t look at it like that.  To Him, the word “if” is a binding contract.  The Lord does not take covenant lightly.  That’s where  He vastly differs from mankind.  Take the promises written in Deuteronomy 28:1-14 for example.  The Lord says in the first verse, and I quote: And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth:
Did you notice the “if”?  Many don’t.  They read the promise, and gleefully say “That’s MINE!!!”  Then when the Lord doesn’t set them on high, they think to accuse God for breaking His word, while all the time, He is waiting for them to perform the “if”, that is, for them to hearken diligently unto the voice of the Lord to observe and to do all his commandments.  Does that mean God is looking for a “loophole” to get out of keeping the promise?  NO!  But it DOES mean there is a part for US to do, and without that part being done, nothing else is going to happen.
   If you take a chainsaw and cut down a living tree, right after you cut it down the leaves still appear green and lively, when you come back a few hours later, they are starting to wither.  By the next day, they are turning brown and dying, and maybe falling off.  Why is that?  It’s because they have been cut off from the source of their nourishment.  Some people do the very same thing with the Word of God.  They are told of a promise of God, and think hearing it is all they have to do to collect on the promise, but they don’t get and stay connected with Him.  Here is an example that the Lord Jesus gave us, :
Joh 15:1  I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.
Joh 15:2  Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
Joh 15:3  Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
Joh 15:4  Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
Joh 15:5  I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
Joh 15:6  If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.
Joh 15:7  If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
Joh 15:8  Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.
Joh 15:9  As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.
Joh 15:10  If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.
Joh 15:11  These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
Joh 15:12  This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.
Joh 15:13  Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
Joh 15:14  Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.

   Notice the “if” in verses 6, 7, 10 and 14.  Each has a condition with the promise!  You can be assured Jesus said what He meant, and meant exactly what He said.  There is no “wiggle room” here at all.  In other words, He cancelled all doubt about what would happen, one way or the other.  When He said in verse 6, If a man abide not in me…He clearly spelled out what would happen.  The same rule applies in the other verses where He said “IF”.  Many want to receive the benefit of the promise, without doing the “if” part, having no fear of God.
Here’s another thing:  we tend to look at the promises of God like most people today look at their promises.  They will keep them if they want to, if it’s convenient to do so, and it doesn’t cost them too much.  But if it looks like it’s going to cause them too much trouble, they will bail out.  That’s why we see so many failing businesses these days, so many broken homes, so many divorces, and so many lawsuits among people.  Someone didn’t keep their promise.  But God isn’t like that.  And furthermore, He is looking for people who will not only take Him literally at His word, but will not change from what they have promised.  It is written in Psalm 15:

LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill?
  He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart.
 He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour.
In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear the LORD. He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not.
He that putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent. He that doeth these things shall never be moved.
When the Lord puts forth His word, He will surely make it good.  Isaiah 55:11 assures of that, for it is written:  So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.
    And He wants us to make our words good, as well.  Do you know why people have so much trouble believing God’s Word?  It’s because many of them don’t even believe their own words! 
Imagine what kind of relationship you would have with a loved one if you said, “I love you, but I don’t believe a word you say.”  And yet, that’s what we do to God, whether we realize it or not.  When we read the Bible and pick out the promises we want applied to our lives, then don’t do the “if” part when it is there for all to see, we are only hurting ourselves.  Indeed, God wants us to enjoy the benefits of the promises.  The “if” is not there to keep us from having them, but rather, to involve us in a loving relationship with God and our fellow man.
You can cancel your “if” when it comes to the Word of God.  You may not know what is going to happen tomorrow.  You may not know how others will treat you.  But this one thing is for certain:  God will never break His word, no matter what.  However, make sure you’ve read the small print, and don’t leave out the “if.”
   It is written in Matthew 8:2-3, And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.
And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.
   Perhaps the leper had an excuse for his “if”, because he didn’t know of Jesus healing any other lepers.  But we don’t have that excuse today, for the Bible tells us Jesus clearly cancelled his “if” by saying, I will; be thou clean .  What will it take to cancel your “if”?  Is the fact that God cannot lie, enough for you?  For your sake I hope so.  In 1993 I chose to believe God’s word and acted on it, and have enjoyed the fruits of it ever since.  He certainly cancelled MY “if”, and He will do the same for you, if you will let Him.  Or will you let doubt and unbelief keep you from what God wants you to have and enjoy?  Do yourself a favor: cancel your if, but pay real close attention to when He says “if”.  Oh, you’ll be so glad you did!