How much thought have you ever given to the word “but”?
I have pondered the word “But…” a lot this week. It’s a fascinating world really!
On the whiteboard in our Connect Group at Trinity Baptist Church on Sunday morning, Josh Mudford had three letters written “BUT”.
He said “but” is one of his favorite words in the Bible because “it erases everything that came before it.”
I had never really pondered that thought before.
But is a coordinating conjunction word used to connect conflicting ideas. It’s prevalence in the Bible shows God’s power over everything.
Before you know God, you live in hopelessness, darkness, sin, and death. But once you know God, you live in hope, light, mercy, and life.
1. You may have sinned … but God
**** Romans 5:8 ****
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
2. You may feel like you’re facing the impossible … but God
**** Matthew 19:26 ****
Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
3. You may be facing an illness … but God
**** Psalm 73:26 ****
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
4. You may feel trapped in your sin … but God
**** 1 Corinthians 10:13 ****
No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able.
There are countless “…but God” verses in the Bible. They often depict challenges others faced and how God intervened. They tell the story of how Satan tried to destroy a life but God helped the person overcome the battle. They shine light on the hope God brings and the lessons He allows to happen to grow us as Christians.
As I pondered the word “But” this week, I started to look for all of the “…but God” Moments I have had throughout my life.
There are several moments where God has stepped in and intervened in my life where I truly didn’t see a way out. Often I didn’t give him the glory and praise He deserved for intervening the way He did.
I think my biggest “Aha Moment” as I reflected on this over the week was how there were also many moments (several years actually) when I in essence gave up on God because of the hurt I was going through … but God never gave up on me.
As I have looked back on all of the challenges I have overcome, I can see the growth that happened inside of me because of them. Sometimes I hated God during those challenges instead of looking for the blessings within those moments.
Perhaps the advice I have reflected on the most from Pastor Andy is this … “Too many of us quit just shy of the blessing God has in store for us on the other side of our endurance.”
God doesn’t quit on us. He shapes us. He allows us to walk through storms, but He can also calm those storms.
I wrote about my biggest “But God” moment at the end of 2021. As I reread that story this morning, I even saw where I wrote the words “But God” more than once. (https://tipsofwisdom.com/2021/12/31/developing-a-toolbox-for-a-successful-marriage).
I’m thankful for the word “but” and a God who erases the sins of our past so that we may enjoy the blessings He has for us.