Of all the words of scripture, these are the most comforting to me. It seems that at just the right time, God has intervened in my life and the lives of my family and friends. It also seems that when I was foolish enough to set out on my own without Him, I quickly realized my folly and was drawn back to Him.
One of my favorite “But God” scriptures is 1 Corinthians 1:27. It reads, “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.”
Like most men, I tend to “puff up” every once in a while, and think that any modest success I have is due to my superior intellect and ability. It’s usually then that God reminds me of this scripture and all of the misadventures that intellect and ability created.
On occasion, I counsel folks who believe they are beyond God’s help. That’s when I remind them of the former state of the Ephesians in Chapter 2 of that book. They too must have thought that they were beyond redemption. At that moment, God showed that no one, however vile, is beyond His mercy: “4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus…”
This does not mean that God always intervenes to protect us from harm. We all face trials. Some of the Godliest people I know are dealing with cancer, death of a child, or a host of other incredible challenges. To a person, they hold to the fact that but for God they would be unable to cope with life’s vicissitudes. I once heard a preacher say that, “you are either experiencing a trial, have just come out of one or are about to enter into one.”
Well, if that is the case (and I suspect it is for most of us), it reminds me of another “But God” verse in the Book of Matthew. In Chapter 19, a rich young man questions Jesus about who can enter the kingdom of heaven. He did not receive the answer he was looking for and sulked off. The disciples then posed nearly the same question. Christ’s response is, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
I’ve searched for the scripture that say, but Ed, but fame, but fortune, but power, but… Thankfully, they don’t exist. And, since they don’t, I rest on my favorite verses that contain the words, “But God!”
Ed Jones pastors Fellowship at the Ranch Church at Robson Ranch. This nondenominational church meets at the Robson Clubhouse on Sunday mornings at 10:30 a.m. Visit Fellowship’s website www.fellowshipattheranchchurch.com for information.