Summary: To encourage the people and to let them know that God and only God can help them
by Rev. Tim Porter
Friends, each of us have encountered situations where we just felt like throwing in the towel. We felt like the whole world was against us. We felt like no matter what we did things would turn out bad. We’ve often said to ourselves, “No matter what I do things still won’t change”. Or we feel that we have gotten so far down that there is nothing that can bring us up. I want you to know this evening that this is not so.
Those of us who have a hope in Christ don’t have to feel this way. We have to realize that because we serve a risen Savior, we can live victorious lives. Brothers and sisters I want to speak to you this evening on the subject “but, God”. There are a number of powerful 2-word phrases found in God's Word. Phrases such as: Healed all; gathered in; cast out; raised up and pulled down.
Each of these phrases are used in context with the power of God. However, there is one phrase used some 43 times in Scripture that surpasses them all. And that phrase is “BUT, GOD”! This small two-word phrase communicates a tremendous message to all that hear it. It is God’s response to Satan’s challenge! It is the bottom line! It is the last word! It is all over but the shouting!
“But, God”, when viewed in relation to the challenges of life, is what up is to down; what life is to death; what in is to out. “But, God” stands totally opposed to the negative roar of the world. The world says no — “But, God” says yes! The world says can’t — “But, God” says can! The world says won’t: “But, God” says will! The world says stop — “But, God” says go! The world says don’t — “But, God” says do!
The world says defeat — “But, God” says victory! “But, God” climbs the highest mountain; crosses the darkest valley; and sings songs of victory in the midnight hour! “But, God” exclaims, “I’m going to the enemy’s camp and I’ll take back what he stole from me!” “But, God” is courageous, confident and conclusive!” Brothers and sisters you have to realize that I’m speaking to you this evening from God’s perspective!
Too many times we look at things through our own eyes and can only see failure. “But, God” tells us to look at it as God sees it! Brothers and sisters I’m encouraging you this evening to put your Kingdom glasses on and see things as God sees them! I want you to know it’s not over until God says it’s over! Sometimes when we go to a sporting event or watch it on TV, if our team is not winning as the end draws near we leave before it’s over not knowing that we might see a miraculous ending!
I’ve come to urge you brothers and sisters to stay for the entire game — wait until the last seconds tick off the clock; wait until the “home team” has had its chance! Wait until the last out is made! If you quit too soon, you’ll leave before victory is seen! I want to tell you this evening that the jury may still be out in your situation — all the votes are not in -- the fat lady has not sung — God hasn’t had His final say!
I’m preaching to you this on the subject “But, God”! I’m telling you this evening that in that book of miracles we read from everyday, there are many instances where our adversary is confounded and confused. There are stories of his elaborate schemes going wrong, because he failed to realize that God would have the final say! The devil had worked so hard to get everything just right, yet just when he thinks he is victorious, he hears “But, God”!
As we look at our text brothers and sisters we are reminded of the story of Joseph. How he had been humiliated by his brothers and sold into slavery.
How he had been slandered by the wife of Potiphar yet stood steadfast. How he had been forgotten by the chief baker after interpreting his dream yet was faithful. The life of Joseph is perhaps the best Old Testament example of the accuracy of the verse in:
Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose”.
The sale of Joseph as a slave was meant for harm by his brothers. The end result was Joseph becoming prime of Egypt, becoming reunited with his family, and saving their lives. Joseph endured many trials and tribulations. Satan had done so many things to him that were meant for bad, “But, God” meant it for good! So many times the devil throws things our way, things that are meant to make us stop trusting God!