What do men of the Bible: Noah, Joseph, David, Peter, Paul, and Epaphroditus have in common? In times of trouble, God met Noah, (builder of the ark); Joseph, (slave in Egypt, at the hands of his brothers); David, (hunted by jealous King Saul); Peter (the apostle); Paul, (missionary, church founder, New Testament writer), and Epaphroditus, (fellow worker and fellow soldier with Paul) at the point of their deepest need. Their lives and circumstances were rescued/changed by the sovereign, redeeming, loving, all-knowing, powerful, forgiving, and miraculous hand of the Almighty God.
“But God.” How can two, three-letter words (followed by God’s dynamic action/intercession) change the direction/outcome of a family, a city, a nation, a king (King David), a sick body/mind (Epaphroditus), the world (in the case of Noah and the Great Flood)?
“Remember your leaders who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” Hebrews 13: 7-8. Since God changes not (Malachi 3:6), and is constant in all His holy perfection, you and I can/should have our own “But God” miraculous testimonies too. These testimonies become useful (in the work of the kingdom of God) to encourage our sisters and brothers in Christ and to share with the hurting world around us.
Let us be the current, faith-filled “cloud of witnesses,” (who have gone before us) in Hebrews 12:1, who have experienced the powerful, saving hand of God.
My many “But God” miracles make me wonder where I would be if Jesus had not stretched out His hand to save me, time and time again. Do you have a “But God” testimony you’d like to share? I’d love to hear from you!
But God – When Life Comes In Like a ‘Flood’
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 – When We Are In ‘Captivity’
You intended to harm me (Joseph), but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives Genesis 50:20.
David stayed in the wilderness 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 Samuel 23:14.
But God – Faithful Even In Our Rebellion
They refused to listen (our forefathers) and failed to remember the miracles You performed among them. They became stiff-necked and in their rebellion appointed a leader in order to return to their slavery. But You (God) are a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love. Therefore You did not desert them… Nehemiah 9:17.
But God – When We Need A ‘Resurrection’
But God raised Jesus from the dead, freeing Him from the agony of death because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on Him Acts 2:24.
Now when they had fulfilled all that was written concerning Him, they took Him down from the tree and laid Him in a tomb. But God raised Him from the dead Acts 13:29-30.
But God – In The Miraculous
But if it is from God (the many miraculous signs and wonders), you will not be able to stop these men (the apostles); you will only find yourselves fighting against God Acts 5:39.
But God – In Weakness
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever Psalm 73:26.
For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty 1 Corinthians 1:26-27.
But God – He Gives Wisdom/Increase From The Spirit
He (Peter) 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 Acts 10:28.
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 2:9-10.
I (Paul) planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase 1 Corinthians 3:6-7.
But God – Faithful Deliverer
No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. But God is faithful. He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But with the temptation, He will make a way to escape, that you may be able to bear it 1 Corinthians 10:13.
But God – Savior
Their beauty (those who trust in themselves) shall be consumed in the grave . . . . But God will redeem my life from the grave, He will surely take me to Himself Psalm 49:14-15.
For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us Romans 5: 6-8.
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 (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus Ephesians 2: 1-5.
But God – Healer
For he (Epaphroditus) longs for all of you and is distressed because you heard he was ill. Indeed he was ill and almost died. But God had mercy on him, and not on him only but also on me, to spare me sorrow upon sorrow Philippians 2: 26-27.