But God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8
Those are two of my favorite words. When things are piled up against us for success, for our circumstances, for whatever life brings us and it seems there is no hope–But God. Joseph said it in Genesis 50:20: “You meant it for evil BUT GOD meant it for good.” Joseph could have said: “You wrecked my life, you took it on a course where I was a slave and a prisoner. I had to be separated from my family and live like an orphan for twenty years. I was a victim.”
My own narrative for Joseph: “But because of God, I’m okay. I’m not going to have you put to death. God has been a strong influence in my life, giving me the power to obey and the hope to not give up. God has also spoken to me that it was His doing, His hand on my life. It didn’t make sense until now. He used me to save you all and that’s a big deal. Things began to get better when I got promoted in Egypt and I started to think that was the reason all of this happened. But now I see an even bigger picture and it’s about your lives and all of our relatives to come that God sent me here ahead of you. It’s okay. I forgive you.”
Let me take you to some other “But God’s” to see if you can grab a hold its significance in our lives. Ephesians 2:3-4, “We were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, who is rich in mercy, saved us because of His great love for us.” And Romans 5:8, “But God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” We were sinners and objects of God’s wrath, deserving of death and Hell. But God stepped in and rescued us because of His great love for us.
You can write down the troubling things of your life, maybe your personal history of abuse, trauma and rebellion. After each circumstance that continues to haunt you, write down “But God” and then write (or say in your mind) what it is that God has done to use those bumps and bruises for your betterment and for His kingdom.
The script is different for each of us, but we all have “But God’s” if we’ve truly met Him and given Him our lives to take and to make new. Paul wrote in Philippians 3:13-14, “forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Paul could forget his rebellious and prideful past because God showed Paul His purpose for His kingdom and how he was using his past to write a new future.
Paul had to surrender anger, bitterness, shame and rebellion to God’s ways and to be melted by God’s love, We must do the same. Surrender your past to God and allow Him to work out His providential plan and redemptive ways in your life.
What are some things that may haunt you that you need to put down and add, “But God” to? How has God changed those things to make them produce something good?