Sunday Sermon 11.7.20
Those two words are like a hinge. They open things up.
When I was teaching middle schoolers, I would often say, “I love the buts of the bible.” Of course, they laughed and leaned in to listen to what in the world I meant.
I explained, that no matter what was happening in the story, when you read the word “but”, things were about to change. Get ready. Then we’d look at examples.
But, what is even more exciting and powerful is the phrase “But God“. Because with God, a whole new world opens up; no more closed, dark, hard and constricting places.
It really doesn’t matter what the situation is before the phrase, because after the phrase it no longer is domineering. Think of it… blah, blah, blah BUT GOD, and now the pivot, the hinge, things change and open up!
Let’s consider a few bible examples.
The first, Noah. He found himself living in a wicked, violent, and evil world. Genesis 6:5-9 says that in Noah’s day, man’s heart was only evil all the time. So, God’s heart was deeply troubled and he brought judgment of the earth.
Noah was to build a giant, floating, farmhouse to carry pairs of animals and his family when judgment came. You know the story, judgment rained upon the world and lifted Noah and his ark above earth and he floated on the waters.
He was in that ark for one hundred and fifty days, that’s five months, when we read this powerful lil verse:
“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.”Genesis 8:1
But God changed things for Noah.
Another good example, most of you will remember is Joseph, Jacob’s son.
Remember, he was the dreamer, who kept sharing his lofty dreams with his brothers, who didn’t take too kindly to his self exaltation. Finally, having had enough of his big dreams, they plotted to fake his death, tell their dad he was gone and get on with their lives.
It worked. Joseph wound up being sold to merchants who took him to Egypt as a slave. There, he ended up serving in the palace and became a trusted servant to Potiphar.
While in Egypt, Joseph went to jail on false accusations, was released from jail and restored, even becoming Potiphar’s Prime Minister of the land.
Eventually, after many years, Joseph’s brothers had to come to Egypt and face him. They didn’t recognize him, but when he revealed himself to them, needless to say, they were frightened, and they had good reason to be. But look what Joseph said to his brothers –
“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done.”Genesis 49:20
But God changed things for Joseph.
But God. A powerful hinge, a turning point, open door.
Last week, I was reading Psalms 64, about secret plots of evil doers, wicked conspiracies, cruel words, and unjust plans. The first six verses were like reading todays news. BUT, guess what popped up in verse seven?
“But God will shoot them with his arrows; they will suddenly be struck down.”Psalm 64:7
In verse seven, after six verses of craziness, is But God, and what God will do in spite of the wicked, evil, cruel and unjust actions. But God, the hinge, the change, the open door.
It was then, that I decided to write this post, realizing no matter what happened in the coming week, the hinge, change, and door that mattered is that phrase – BUT GOD.
As believers, there is always a BUT GOD. Our circumstances, world events, death or the enemy do not get the last word – God does.
There are ample verses to support this thesis. Here are some Old Testament references. Psalm 66:19; Genesis 39:21; 45:8; 32:42; 1 Samuel 23:14; 2 Chronicles 20:15; Psalm 49:15; 73:26.
Here are some New Testament verses: Matthew 19:26; Acts 2:24; Romans 5:8; 1 Corinthians 1:27.
Of course the bible is filled with stories of miraculous turn abouts, stories of divine intervention. I started a list, but you could too. Just think of the stories you know and see how the hinge, But God changed things.
But even outside of the Bible we can read stories of miraculous victories because of divine intervention. In spite of insurmountable odds and statistical improbabilities, the hinge of divine intervention – But God, changed things.
You can find such stories in the annals of every war of in the world. Go as far back as you like, stay current or don’t bother at all. But know, they are there, documented and clearly But God moments.
God is always the unseen thumb on the scale tipping things on your behalf. It matters little what hardship, trouble, impossibility, danger, defeat, or lack you face. The hinge, the turning point, the change comes with But God.
Therefore, we strive to stay focused above the battle, and beyond the immediate.
“Therefore, we do not lose heart.
We fix our eyes not on what is seen but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”2 Corinthians 4:16, 18
But God changes things for us, too. For you, for me, for all who focus on him.
But God, the hinge to open up and unlock new hope, perspective and victory.
Be encouraged today.
Go with God.