Christian Living

But God…

Discover the Power and Goodness of Almighty God

One of the most intriguing—as well as comforting—phrases in Scripture is “but God.” It appears sixty times in the Bible. Genesis leads the way with eleven verses. Acts is a close second with nine.

Here are some of the but God versus to consider:

But God Raised Him from The Dead

The most significant but God action occurs with Father God raising Jesus from the dead, fulfilling his sacrifice and giving him victory over death.

At Cornelius’s home, Peter, in his first message to Gentiles, said, “They killed him by hanging him on a cross, but God raised him from the dead on the third day” (Acts 10:39-41, NIV).

Peter shares the same thought in his powerful Pentecost message (Acts 2:24).

But God Intended It for Good

Joseph endured many years of hardship because of what his brothers did to him. After his life turned around, he could have been angry with them and retaliated. He does not.

He simply says, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives” (Genesis 50:20, NIV).

In fact, Joseph says “but God” six times (Genesis 41:16, Genesis 45:7, Genesis 45:8, Genesis 48:21, Genesis 50:20, and Genesis 50:24). This shows the certainty Joseph places in God’s sovereignty, revealing his deep faith in the Almighty.

Stephen also recalls this event in his confident message to the Sanhedrin, Acts 7:9).

But God Demonstrates His Own Love for Us

Jesus’s death for us to make us right with Papa, reveals God’s immense love for us: “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8, NIV).

This shows both God’s grace and mercy instead of the judgment we deserve.

But God Makes It Grow

Paul, likewise, uses but God in his letter to the Corinthians. In doing so, he reveals his understanding of his role in the Kingdom of God and acknowledges that the outcome resides with the Father.

He says, “I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow” (1 Corinthians 3:6, NIV).

We need to be obedient and faithful in doing what God calls us to do. We must pursue it with all diligence but recognize that the outcome is God’s.

But God Chose the Foolish Things of the World to Shame the Wise

Paul also writes, “Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 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 1:26-29, NIV).

We may lack wisdom, influence, and pedigree, but these things don’t matter to God. This should give us much assurance in what he can do through us regardless of our standing in the world.

But God Is the Strength of My Heart

The lengthy book of Psalms comes in third place with six but God occurrences.

Asaph writes, “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever” (Psalm 73:26, NIV). This stands as a poignant reminder that we are finite and limited, but God provides us with strength.

But God Tests Our Hearts

Paul also uses but God from a different perspective. He writes, “We are not trying to please people but God, who tests our hearts” (1 Thessalonians 2:4, NIV). We should, therefore, seek to do what honors God and disregard what people think.

These are fourteen of the sixty but God verses in Scripture. I encourage you to explore the other forty-four.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.

Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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