Assuming the worst.
“When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, ‘What if Joseph bears a grudge against us and pays us back in full for all the wrong which we did to him!” (Genesis 50:15) We can imagine terrible things that never come to pass. Assumptions based upon our insecurities and fears draw conclusions without having all of the facts. Truth, which is missing, can change the whole story.
“Then Moses said, ‘What if they will not believe me or listen to my voice? For they may say, ‘The LORD has not appeared to you.” (Exodus 4:1) Plausible conditions of concern, “what if”, becomes a question answered by God.
Agree for the sake of argument.
“They (the officials of Israel) are delivered over to the sword with My people, therefore strike your thigh. For there is a testing; and what if even the scepter which despises will be no more? Simply a statement of fact according to the power and will of God over His people Israel. What if can be the extent of God’s judgement.
Portrayed as valid.
“What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction? And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory, even us, whom He called, not from among Jews only, but also from among the Gentiles.” (Romans 9:22-24)
God has every right to bestow mercy and compassion on whom He pleases. He is in fact the Creator, the Potter. And He has demonstrated His willingness to choose one over another in His dealings with His chosen people. Chosen people! Those “He prepared beforehand for glory.”
Only 4 “WHAT IFs.”
That’s it, only 4 in all of Scripture! You would think there would be more. We have occasion to “what if” a lot. His word is truth, and what if we simply believed what is written?