“And you were  dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of  this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.  But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ” – Ephesians 2:1-5

This is a portion of a letter I wrote to some friends during my sickness and battle with a muscle disease, I hope it will encourage and lift your spirits, to the Glory of God and help and encourage you to Focus on the fact there is a “BUT GOD” in every situation you face or will ever face…

My stomach is nauseated, no sleep again last night. The pain is subsiding, Praise God, though last night it had moved into my hamstrings from my shins. I am worn out from the pain. I find myself clamping down on my teeth and my jaw from the pain and my jaw is sore from it. I am physically tired and mentally exhausted…“…But God…”

One of my children, who is seven loves to come with me when I speak. He has heard me now maybe 15 or 16 times recently give different messages, he said to me the other day, regarding when I speak, “Daddy you ALWAYS say that, “…But GOD.”

I got to thinking about that, what a lovely phrase, “…But God.” What a lovely way to end every sentence,“… But God” … to end every fear with, “But God…” every sorrow, every triumph, every victory to end with “BUT GOD…” God has the final word in every and all situations because HE IS THE FINAL WORD… What balm to my weary and battered mind “…But God.”

Consider the children of ISRAEL, Pharaohs army in pursuit, the Red Sea on front of them – things looked bleak….“….But God…”

Meshach, Shadrach, Abednego – who would not compromise, threatened and indeed thrown into the flames- “…But God”.... Daniel in the lions den...” But God”… Jesus crucified and murdered on the cross and laid in a cold tomb…“But God”.… in Hebrews 11 one of my favorite passages which does not mention the NAMES of those who walked about in the clothes of animals, they were destitute, forsaken….“BUT God…whom the Scripture says of them that this “world was not worthy of”

Friend, what is it that you are battling with? What is the circumstance that is wearying you down and you see no way around or through? How wonderful it is, at the end of every diagnosis, at the end of every tragedy at the end of every care, doubt or discouragement to remind ourselves “But God”… 

Abraham  in Romans 4;18-22, having looked at his own body and contemplated did so  “without becoming weak in faith he contemplated his own body, now as good as dead since he was about a hundred years old, and the deadness of Sarah’s womb; yet with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief, but grew in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able to perform”- there was a “But God…” in his evaluation of life’s circumstances. it DOESN’T MATTER WHAT IT looks like, because God has the final say in this circumstance. God has promised, therefore what he sees does not take away or limit God in any way because he knows there is a “…BUT GOD…!”

This has been a trying week physically and emotionally but I am seeing God sanctify me- and it is a good thing and an encouraging thing, I just hope those
around me can live with me as He changes me!!

I DO HOPE as you look at your circumstances that you will not end with them but remember there is a“…BUT GOD” in your circumstance and that dear brethren should cause us to rejoice

I am tired, worn down, I got out of the house this evening for the first time in about 11 days or so and how wonderful, and it was all due to Him, I am so thankful there is a “BUT GOD…” who rules and reigns over my every circumstance, who bottles my every tear and hears my every prayer and cares when I am too tired to even think- My, what a” kind Shepherd he is, isn’t He!

My little son,e Evan, whom we affectionately call “The Lightbulb ” because of his smile, has encouraged my heart with a phrase I was not conscious I was continually using as I spoke, but if he learns nothing else from my speaking, may the Good Shepherd burn into the very core of his being that no matter what the situation, no matter whose verdict is given- no verdict is final, no situation is fatal  for there is a “…BUT GOD” who has the final say.

I remember hearing the story of two preachers who were speaking back to back at a week of meetings. One of the speakers was speaking on the twenty-third psalm, “The Lord is My Shepherd, I shall not want.” He kept making the point throughout the week regarding the two different natures of sheep and goats. Goats tend to be forever “Butting” up against each other. We are always and forever saying, “The Lord is my Shepherd,..But… But… But...but I have this problem… or what about this… ” We tend to give lip service to the truth- which we have not embraced by faith, as our words show for we always go back to“But… But… But…” and end up with the problem! The speakers said how as Christians we are often like that, we have the “…BUT” in the wrong place. We end with the problem rather than THE LORD, which leaves us thinking on the problem and stressed rather than at peace with Him who says, “You will keep him in PERFECT PEACE him whose MIND is steadfast, because he TRUSTS in You”- Isaiah 26:3. The evidence we are trusting the Lord is Rest. If we are trusting we are resting, if we are not resting it is because we are not trusting, and we get stressed and stress everyone else around us-sounds familiar?

The other speaker on the last day, confessed he was like the goat, he had the “BUT” in the wrong place. His wife was sick in another part of the country and he would say, “The Lord is my Shepherd BUT… My wife is sick.” He realized he had the“BUT” in the wrong place. Was his wife sick? yes! He realized he should have said, “My wife is sick BUT The Lord is my Shepherd I shall not want.”  He was ending his circumstance with the Problem rather than the Person of Jesus Christ, who is the Problem Solver… It is good and right to look at difficulties but it is wrong and sinful and leads to discouragement, dismay and dishonoring God when we but give Him lip service and it is often seen in where the “BUT” is in our sentence and WHOM it ends with.

Today, you may be troubled, your pain may be different than mine, yours may be the pain of the heart…but whatever your circumstance, start focussing and praising God that  He is in  control and when things looked darkest, when you were“…dead  in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live, when you followed the ways of the world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is NOW at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the sinful cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. BUT GOD because of His great love for us, GOD, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions-it is by grace you are saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus..”- Eph 2:1-7

In your helplessness and total helplessness there was a, “BUT GOD” who burst forth into your circumstances and situation, convicted and converted you-and you tasted of the Amazing, no-the Outrageous Grace of God. And He is still the same today… His Grace is – present tense Sufficient for you to Live and honor Him in this moment…indeed it is moment by moment grace, the ability to draw strength from Him for this very second, and thank Him midst the tears and the sorrows, midst the trials and the heartaches, midst the pain and the pressures, the pleasure’s and the joys…. amidst it all you can be  more than a conqueror through Him who has and does love you, the Lord Jesus- because there is a “BUT GOD” in the moment. He has the final say, what is impossible with man is Possible with God. He can deliver from the storm, He can dispense to go through the storm- {2 Cor 12:9}…. at any given moment of any given day, of any given circumstance … nothing and no one can take your joy or your peace – you can give them away to circumstances and others … but you need not, because in the end- GOD HIMSELF has the FINAL WORD… Go ahead and rejoice and remember little Evan, “DADDY YOU ALWAYS SAYS THAT….”BUT GOD”!”

Name the circumstance you are in and when it comes to mind and you are tempted to discouragement, say,”…BUT GOD…” Don’t get the “But …” in the wrong place…always end with “BUT GOD…”

Have a great and Blessed day, and thank God for all the evidences you have seen up until now that God has been working in your life and thank Him there is a “BUT GOD”!