“But God” brings hope when we can’t see a way through.
“But God” means ashes aren’t the end of our story.
And “But God” says God, not our circumstances, always gets the last word.
I saw this again as I sat across the table over her pancakes and coffee and my quiche and water. I listened as she spilled out the events of the last few months.
On a normal day, doing ordinary paperwork, she’d uncovered something odd. The more she researched, the more she learned and like pulling a stray thread, her life unraveled before her.
Years of trust and love had been destroyed by deceit and infidelity and now, over coffee, she said she had no idea how to move forward much less help her children walk through their own tangled grief.
I had no solutions. I listened and we prayed, laying it before God. But her stunned fear left me wondering how this would end.
When we’re up against overwhelming circumstances, parenting struggles, razor-thin finances or a new diagnosis, we may see no way out. We’re helpless to fix it and we’re left wondering how it will end.
God doesn’t just redeem us for himself. He redeems our stories for himself.
God is a Redeemer and he redeems all things offered to him. What the enemy means for evil — to steal, kill and destroy our faith, our families, friendships and more – God intends for good.
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Joseph declared this. He’d been thrown into a pit; sold as a slave; taken from everything he knew and loved; separated from family for decades; wrongly accused despite his honesty, hard work and integrity; wrongly imprisoned; and left in prison despite his hard work and innocence.
Through all of it, Joseph could say that his brothers “intended to harm [him], but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”
This didn’t dawn on Joseph once he saw the ending. This was a guiding principle – that God no matter the circumstances, God holds the ending.
When we are God’s, Satan never triumphs. While he may press, though people may disappoint, though life as we know it can unravel, they don’t get the final say!
There is always, always, always a but God.
I dove into scripture a few weeks ago to find all the but God Bible verses and was blown away. It’s all throughout the Old and New Testaments. Because it’s how God works.
And it should be our guiding principle before we ever see the ending.
Take a look at these but God Bible verses. Click here if you’d like a printable of all 31 but God Bible verses.
31 But God Bible Verses
But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark, and he sent a wind over the earth, and the waters receded.
If the God of my father, the God of Abraham and the Fear of Isaac, had not been with me, you would surely have sent me away empty-handed. But God has seen my hardship and the toil of my hands, and last night he rebuked you.
Yet your father has cheated me and changed my wages ten times. But God did not permit him to harm me.
. . .he took his kinsmen with him and pursued him for seven days and followed close after him into the hill country of Gilead. But God came to Laban the Aramean in a dream by night and said to him, “Be careful not to say anything to Jacob, either good or bad.
Then Israel said to Joseph, “Behold, I am about to die, but God will be with you and will bring you again to the land of your fathers
You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.
he LORD did not love you and choose you because you outnumbered other peoples; you were the smallest nation on earth. But the LORD loved you and wanted to keep the promise that he made to your ancestors. That is why he saved you by his great might and set you free from slavery to the king of Egypt.
1 Samuel 23:14
David stayed in the desert strongholds and in the hills of the Desert of Ziph. Day after day Saul searched for him, but God did not give David into his hands.
1 Kings 5:4
But now the LORD my God has given me rest on every side, and there is no adversary or disaster.
2 Chronicles 20:15
And he said, “Listen, all you of Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem, and you, King Jehoshaphat! Thus says the Lord to you: ‘Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s.
They are like sheep and are destined to die. . . .But God will redeem me from the realm of the dead; he will surely take me to himself.
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.
Yet I will have compassion on the house of Judah, and I will deliver them—not by bow or sword or war, not by horses and cavalry, but by the LORD their God.
To the roots of the mountains I sank down; the earth beneath barred me in forever. But you, LORD my God, brought my life up from the pit.
Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.
No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father’s side, has made him known.
But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.
You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead.
And the patriarchs, jealous of Joseph, sold him into Egypt; but God was with him
He said to them: “You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with or visit a Gentile. But God has shown me that I should not call anyone impure or unclean.
When they had carried out all that was written about him, they took him down from the cross and laid him in a tomb. But God raised him from the dead . . .
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
1 Corinthians 1:27
But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.
1 Corinthians 2:10
Eye has not seen, nor ear heard . . . the things which God has prepared for those who love Him . . . But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit.
1 Corinthians 3:6
I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase.
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 . . .
You also heard how I was far ahead of other Jews in my age group in following the Jewish religion. I had become that fanatical for the traditions of my ancestors. But God, who appointed me before I was born and who called me by his kindness, was pleased to show me his Son. . .
For if the inheritance is of the law, it is no longer of promise; but God gave it to Abraham by promise.
2 Timothy 2:9
. . .for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But God’s word is not chained.
And you were dead in the trespasses and sins. . . and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved . . .
These verses tell us that our circumstances DO NOT get the last word.
The enemy DOES NOT get the last word.
Death and disease DO NOT get the last word.
Because there is always, always, always a but God.
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