The following article was originally posted at: “Moments With The Book“
When reading the Scriptures, one cannot help but notice the oft-repeated expression “But God…” These two words signal a change, a contrast, or a clarification is coming next. “But God.” What follows this significant transition is intended to challenge our faith and change our life. When He is brought into the picture, God makes all the difference. Realizing that some who read this paper may not have a Bible to look up the references, we will quote some of the “But God” verses, while urging all to look up others and read the supporting contexts.
But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, …to save much people alive (Genesis 50:20).
Nevertheless the Lord thy God would not hearken unto Balaam; but the Lord thy God turned the curse into a blessing unto thee (Deuteronomy 23:5).
And [Samson] was sore athirst, and called on the Lord, and said, Thou hast given this great deliverance into the hand of Thy servant: and now shall I die for thirst, and fall into the hand of the uncircumcised? But God clave an hollow place that was in the jaw, and there came water thereout; and when he had drunk, his spirit came again, and he revived (Judges 15:18,19).
And David abode in the wilderness in strong holds, and remained in a mountain in the wilderness of Ziph. And Saul sought him every day, but God delivered him not into his hand (1 Samuel 23:14).
And he said, Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king Jehoshaphat, Thus saith the Lord unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s (2 Chronicles 20:15).
Be strong and courageous, be not afraid nor dismayed for the king of Assyria, nor for all the multitude that is with him: for there be more with us than with him: With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the Lord our God to help us, and to fight our battles. And the people rested themselves upon the words of Hezekiah king of Judah (2 Chronicles 32:7,8).
My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever (Psalm 73:26).
But Thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth (Psalm 86:15).
They gather themselves together against the soul of the righteous, and condemn the innocent blood. But the Lord is my defence; and my God is the rock of my refuge (Psalm 94:21,22).
The nations shall rush like the rushing of many waters: but God shall rebuke them, and they shall flee far off, and shall be chased as the chaff of the mountains before the wind (Isaiah 17:13).
The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the Word of our God shall stand for ever (Isaiah 40:8).
Daniel answered in the presence of the king, and said, The secret which the king hath demanded cannot the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, the soothsayers, show unto the king; but there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days (Daniel 2:27,28).
So Jonah was exceeding glad of the gourd. But God prepared a worm when the morning rose the next day, and it smote the gourd that it withered (Jonah 4:6,7).
When His disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved? But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible (Matthew 19:25,26).
When Jesus saw their faith, He said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee. But there were certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts, Why doth this Man thus speak blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God only? (Mark 2:5-7).
And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God (Luke 12:19-21).
And [Jesus] said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God (Luke 16:15).
But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God (John 1:12,13).
He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him (John 3:36).
And [Peter] said unto them, Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath showed me that I should not call any man common or unclean (Acts 10:28).
They took Him down from the tree, and laid Him in a sepulchre. But God raised Him from the dead (Acts 13:29,30).
For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:7,8).
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 6:23).
For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty (1 Corinthians 1:26,27).
I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth anything, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase (1 Corinthians 3:6,7).
There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it (1 Corinthians 10:13).
Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God (2 Corinthians 3:5).
For indeed [Epaphroditus] was sick nigh unto death: but God had mercy on him; and not on him only, but on me also (Philippians 2:27).