In his 1968 Presidential Campaign, Senator Robert Kennedy took a line from the Irish playwright, George Bernard Shaw, and adapted it: “Some men see things as they are and say, why; I dream things that never were and say, why not.”

That sense of what might be, what could be or what should be is often a missing piece of gospel ministry. How often do we intentionally stir up our imaginations with a biblically rich and glorious vision for what God can — and will — do? I suspect that we spend far more time wrestling with why. Of course, rationally and logically, we know why we and the world around us are in a mess: sin has impacted us and our world in profound and far-reaching ways. We also know that sin does not get to have the final word! As men and women who have been captured and captivated by Christ, who are enlivened and empowered by his Spirit, we live by faith. As the writer of Hebrews tells us, “faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”. Faith, in this sense, is an apprehension of what will be. It is the lens through which we are to view our lives, so that we can live them for the glory of God.

This is why our new theme is WHAT IF becoming WHAT IS. Its aim is to encourage us to look at our world with the eyes of faith. We long to be people who see the countless possibilities for the impact, advance, growth and flourishing of Christ-centred, God-exalting, Spirit-empowered ministry. But these things are more than mere possibilities. We are men and women who characteristically “do not lose heart”. Sure there are problems, difficulties, obstacles, set backs, suffering and disappointments. But these do not deter us — much less define us. So, like Paul, we see the gospel bearing fruit all over the world! Blind eyes see and hard hearts beat as the light breaks forth and the dead are raised to newness of life. Holding fast to a gospel described as “the power of God”, we imagine the world being filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea, and we live and breathe to make it so.

As I write this, I find myself reflecting on a comical but delightful irony. I work in a very small office which is no more than 90 square feet/ 8.3 square meters in size. Yet from this small room, in a small city, in the north of a small country, I get to hear of and be involved with global gospel advance. I have the immense privilege of knowing about myriad places around the world where the gospel is dispelling the darkness of sin and unbelief. In fact, it could be laughable, but it resonates beautifully with how the Lord has always worked — taking the foolish things of this world to confound the wise, the weak to frustrate the strong.

From my insignificant vantage point looking out on a big, wide world as an insignificant man, I don’t need to be distracted by why. Rather, I am energised by why not! Nothing is impossible with God. His promises are true. He is building his church. He’s in the business of breathing life into dead hearts — he did it for you and me. He is coming back one day in power to dwell with us forever. These truths are enough to kindle our faith and keep it burning, for his glory, for all eternity! It is precisely because nothing is impossible with God that we will see WHAT IF becoming WHAT IS.

Steve Timmis

" the lens through which we are to view our lives, so that we can live them to the glory of God."