But God

I looked at her text

and it gave me pause

 

“Interesting times here, but God…”

 

But GOD

with three tiny dots

 

And it got me to thinking

 

about how God is always present

and supremely sovereign

 

And no matter what…

 

BUT GOD

 

So I went on a search

through the Scriptures

 

and found His hand

working in our circumstances

in the middle of our humanness

 

in the pain

in the joys

 

in the midst…

 

But God…

was in

and about

and through

and all over

 

He is here

and He is aware

and He is at work

 

in our present circumstances

 

And no matter what,

our sentence can end

with “but God…”

 

– Susie Stewart

 

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.

– Geness 8:1 (NIV)

 

But God came to Abimelek in a dream one night…

– Genesis 20:3 (NIV)

 

He said to them, “I see that your father’s attitude toward me is not what it was before, but the God of my father has been with me.

– Genesis 31:5 (NIV)

 

But God has seen my hardship and the toil of my hands…

– Genesis 31:42 (NIV)

 

“I cannot do it,” Joseph replied to Pharaoh, “but God will give Pharaoh the answer he desires.”

– Genesis 41:16 (NIV)

 

But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance.

– Genesis 45:7 (NIV)

 

“So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God. He made me father to Pharaoh, lord of his entire household and ruler of all Egypt.

– Genesis 45:8 (NIV)

 

Then Israel said to Joseph, “I am about to die, but God will be with you…”

– Genesis 48:21

 

 

You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.

– Genesis 50:20

 

Then Joseph said to his brothers, “I am about to die. But God will surely come to your aid…”

– Genesis 50:24

 

 

But God did not answer him that day.

– 1 Samuel 14:37

 

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 now the Lord my God has given me rest on every side, and there is no adversary or disaster.

– 1 Kings 5:4

 

…For the battle is not yours, but God’s.

– 2 Chronicles 20:15

 

With him is only the arm of flesh, but with us is the Lord our God to help us and to fight our battles.

– 2 Chronicles 32:8

 

 

But the eye of their God was watching…

– Ezra 5:5

 

But now, for a brief moment, the Lord our God has been gracious in leaving us a remnant and giving us a firm place in his sanctuary, and so our God gives light to our eyes and a little relief in our bondage.

– Ezra 9:8

 

But you are a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love…

– Nehemiah 9:17

 

But in Your great mercy you did not put an end to them or abandon them, for you are a gracious and merciful God.

– Nehemiah 9:31

 

But God drags away the mighty by His power; though they become established, they have no assurance of life.

– Job 24:22

 

But God will never forget the needy; the hope of the afflicted will never perish.

– Psalm 9:18

 

But You, God, see the trouble of the afflicted; you consider their grief and take it in hand. The victims commit themselves to You; You are the helper of the fatherless.

– Psalm 10:14

 

 

But God will redeem me from the realm of the dead; He will surely take me to Himself.

– Psalm 49:15

 

but God has surely listened and has heard my prayer.

– Psalm 66:19

 

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

– Psalm 73:26

 

But God is my King from long ago; He brings salvation on the earth.

– Psalm 74:12

 

But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.

– Psalm 86:15

 

But the Lord has become my fortress, and my God the rock in whom I take refuge.

– Psalm 94:22

 

But the Lord Almighty will be exalted by His justice, and the holy God will be proved holy by His righteous acts.

– Isaiah 5:16

 

But the Lord is the true God; He is the living God, the eternal King.

– Jeremiah 10:10

 

But God made the earth by His power; He founded the world by His wisdom and stretched out the heavens by His understanding.

– Jeremiah 10:12

 

but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries.

– Daniel 2:28

 

But you, Lord my God, brought my life up from the pit.

– Jonah 2:6

 

 

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

– Matthew 19:26

 

but God knows your hearts….

– Luke 16:15

 

But God raised him 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

 

You killed the author of life, but God raised Him from the dead. We are witnesses of this.

– Acts 3:15

 

But God was with him…

– Acts 7:9

 

but God raised Him from the dead on the third day and caused Him to be seen.

– Acts 10:40

 

But God has helped me to this very day; so I stand here and testify to small and great alike.

– Acts 26:22

 

But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

– Romans 5:8

 

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.

– 1 Corinthians 1:27

 

But God has put the body together…

– 1 Corinthians 12:24

 

But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us…

– 2 Corinthians 7:6

 

…I do not know, but God knows—

– 2 Corinthians 12:3

 

 

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 2:27

 

 

but God is the builder of everything.

– Hebrews 3:4

 

but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in His holiness.

– Hebrews 12:10

 

Photo by Susie Stewart

 

 

 

Secret

I know a secret….

 

it’s one I want to spread

to anyone reading this

 

Paul shared what he had learned

and I listened

 

for I myself needed what this secret offered

 

and all of us do

 

It’s a secret

about how to be content

 

and not just content when things are pleasant

but content in any circumstance

 

How can that be when I’m not happy?

When things are not going as planned?

When I suffer and I don’t know why?

or

All is stripped away?…

 

What then?

 

How can I be content

when important things

important people

important well-being

keep me happy

enable me to do what I do things

are stripped away

 

What then?

 

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

 

So there

I said it

 

The secret is out

 

and it has been

since Paul penned those words so long ago

 

and it was known in the hearts of many of his predecessors

 

Joseph in a prison

David on the run

Ruth in a foreign land

Hosea with a wayward wife

Noah on a rockin’ boat

Moses with an overwhelming job

Esther in a palace of pressure

Jonathan with relatives closed to truth

Abraham never able to settle down

Isaac with work piled high

Jonah with a task unbelievable

and the list goes on

 

and the stories go

that each one came to find

that trusting God

and following God

and surrendering to God

is where you find contentment

 

in the messes

and the inconveniences

and the hardships

of life

 

and we each have our head-kept lists

of why discontentment is an option

 

and then we remember the secret

to being content

in any

and all

circumstances

 

I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me.

 

– Susie Stewart

 

 

I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.

– Philippians 4:11-13 (NIV)

 

I have worked harder, been put in prison more often, been whipped times without number, and faced death again and again. Five different times the Jewish leaders gave me thirty-nine lashes. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked. Once I spent a whole night and a day adrift at sea. I have traveled on many long journeys. I have faced danger from rivers and from robbers. I have faced danger from my own people, the Jews, as well as from the Gentiles. I have faced danger in the cities, in the deserts, and on the seas. And I have faced danger from men who claim to be believers but are not. I have worked hard and long, enduring many sleepless nights. I have been hungry and thirsty and have often gone without food. I have shivered in the cold, without enough clothing to keep me warm.

– 2 Corinthians 11:23-27 (NLT)

 

Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

2 Corinthians 12:9,10 (NLT)

 

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

– Philippians 4:13 (NKJV)

 

Photo taken by Arik Stewart