Skip to content
realistic dove with olive branch in her mouth, bokeh effect

When, Not If

From Pastor Quentin Wallace

Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. — Hebrews 11:1 (NLT)


Pastor Quentin Wallace
Rev. Dr. Quentin Wallace

Some years ago, I recall an episode of the Dr. Oz program.  His guest was Michael Strahan who has been successful in many venues. He’s been an NFL football player, sports commentator, talk show co-host for the Kelly and Michael morning talk show, a clothier, and was promoting a book he had written.

At the time Dr. Oz was emphasizing the importance of health and positive thinking, so he asked Michael, “What is your motivation for success?” Michael indicated that his initial inspiration came from his father who told him to never use the word if while striving for success, instead to use the term when. According to Strahan, If implies the possibility of failure, while the term when indicates the possibility of success.

Wake Up Happy: The Dream Big, Win Big Guide to Transforming Your Life is the title of Strahan’s book. It shares daily practices for this type of positive thinking.

I want to highlight one concept he presented: “Don’t say If but When.”  While Michael was inspired by his Dad’s advice, we — as Christ followers — must be inspired by the words of our heavenly Father.

God speaks of things in the present as if they have already occurred. An example in John’s gospel is this: “Andrew brought his brother Simon to Jesus, Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon, the son of John. Your name will be Cephas (Cephas means Peter or the Rock)” — John 1:42-44.

In 2023, at LPCUMC we began a journey, and our goal is to accomplish many things in ministry together. For 2024, as a church family, let us agree to use the language of our Father, by speaking positively. Let’s use if a great deal less and when a great deal more.

How can we put our faith into action? Let’s anticipate:

  • when we’ll bring in 50 new disciples this year
  • when we’ll feed 1000 people this year
  • when we’ll add 20 new prayer groups
  • and when we’ll be healed.

Our positive thinking is not merely presumption. We’ll accomplish all that God has for us through faith in our God who has brought us this far and is able to supply our every need.

Back To Top