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.
It is precisely because nothing is impossible with God that we will see WHAT IF becoming WHAT IS.