Friday, July 16, 2010

But God...

As I was reading this morning in Psalms after my study in 1 John, I came across some of my favorite words in scripture...


Over the years, as I've studied, read, and listened to the Bible being taught, some of the words that always send chills through my body or grab my attention the most are...


Now, I'm not talking about the way we use the phrase in our sinful whiny ways.  "But GO-O-O-D-D-D!  That didn't go the way I wanted it to go.  Can you fix it please?"  or "But GO-O-O-D-D-D!  I always try to do the right thing and it seems that bad things are always happening to me."  or  "But GO-O-O-D-D-D!  I only went here or did that one time.  Why should I face the consequences?" or "But GO-O-O-D-D-D! You didn't answer that prayer just the way I had planned or wanted you to."  I'm sure if you close your eyes and listen, you can hear the voice of a child screaming, "But Dad!"  Well, sometimes we're the same way with God.  However, I digress...that is not the wonderful BUT GOD I'm talking about today.  You'll  have to excuse me, because just thinking about those little GIANT words, gets me so excited!

There is no way I could give you an exhaustive list, but I want to share a few BUT GOD instances from the Bible.  These are so encouraging!  When we're tempted to whine and complain and dig deeper into our own pitiful pity pit, we should stop and think...BUT GOD!

 Genesis 45:6-8 (New International Version)
6 For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years there will not be plowing and reaping. 7 BUT GOD sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance.



Are you in a time of financial famine, perhaps?  Is there a drought in another area of your life?  Been there, done that...would have bought the t-shirt, but didn't have the money.  Dear friends, BUT GODIf He can save a land and people from famine that had lasted 2 years and was going to last 5 more years, He is more than capable of delivering us from our hardships, too! 

Psalm 73:26 (New International Version)
26 My flesh and my heart may fail,
BUT GOD is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever.

God doesn't promise us sunshine and rainbows every day of our life.  We aren't promised a life without sickness or pain.  Our flesh may fail us in many ways...we may get sick or we may be tempted by fleshly desires that lead us toward or to sin.  We may find ourselves in that pitiful pity pit where we allow our emotions to control our lives.  BUT GOD!  When our strength comes from Him, we are more than able to get through anything.

 Romans 5:7-9 (New International Version)
7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. 8BUT GOD demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

How exciting is verse 8?!  Do you understand the full meaning and depth of what it is saying?  To help us get the picture of this love we need to go to another BUT GOD...this time it uses BUT THE LORD.

Isaiah 53:9-11 (New American Standard Bible)

9b Because he had done no violence,
nor was there any deceit in His mouth.
10a BUT THE LORD was pleased
to crush Him, putting Him to grief;

Wow!  God loves me and you so much that He was willing to have His son, Jesus Christ, put to horrible, cruel death as a substitute for my sins and your sins.  Not only was God willing, but Isaiah tells us that it pleased Him to do this for us.  Because Christ died in our place, we only have to believe in Him as our Lord and Savior...believing...not just with our heads but in our hearts...that He died a cruel death on the cross in our place, was buried in a tomb, and was raised from the dead three days later to accept that substitionary atonement for our sins.  That is so amazing to me!

I'm a sinner!  You're a sinner!  BUT GOD!  BUT CHRIST!  Now, I'm a forgiven sinner who God calls His child!  WOW!  Just WOW!

1 John 3:1 (New American Standard Bible)

1a See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God

So, the next time things aren't going our way or our path gets foggy or rutted, let's stop and think...

>is my salvation
>is my refuge
>is my hope
>is my strength
>is my help
>is my deliverer
>is my _______!
(You fill in the blank.)


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