God’s Mercy – The Incredible Power of the Word “But”
“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved.”
I happen to be one of a group of people who like to look through the dictionary. Every word is important and conveys a specific meaning. A writer uses some words to reflect color; she uses others on somber occasions; and still others she uses to evoke joy. All are necessary to create the right mood and to bring about a proper understanding of the intended message. Of all the many words available there is one short, yet prolific, word that is highly needed and can completely change the direction of any narrative. This word is the conjunction BUT!
BUT Can Turn Things Around
BUT can turn things around in different ways. Negatively a person may apologize saying, “I am so sorry I did that wrong thing, but . . .” The use of BUT here shows that the offender may not be as repentant as you first thought. He is only trying to escape the fire and blame the deed on someone or something else.
On the other hand BUT can be a huge blessing – you have broken something, BUT it doesn’t matter because you have another one to replace it.
God’s Mercy Shown by the Little Word BUT
I was reading through the book of Ephesians last week and came across a huge BUT that truly encouraged my soul. It got me thinking about all the times in the Bible when God tells us sad things only to reverse the negatives into positives in miraculous ways.
Paul, in his letter to the Ephesians, reminds the readers that they were dead in their trespasses and sins when they followed the way of the world and lived under the control of our great enemy, the spirit who is at work in the disobedient. The passage grows heavier with each new revelation and we join the lot of the Ephesians as we gratify the cravings of our sinful flesh. All that is available for each person ever born into this sinful world is the wrath of God and eternal punishment. I could feel the intense emotion growing as I considered my own heart and the weight of my own sin.
Suddenly my heavy mood lifted and the whole narrative reversed on the one simple word: BUT! Paul made known to the Ephesians and to us that although the eternal destiny of sinners isn’t good, there is a way out.
God’s Great Mercy Makes Us Alive
Joyfully Paul says, “BUT because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved.” Our loving heavenly Father saw our helplessness and provided the way out. He did this so that in the coming ages He might show us the incomparable riches of His grace, expressed in His kindness in Christ Jesus. This big BUT changes everything.
Now instead of being God’s enemy, He is a friend to those of us who believe. We have grace for living, confident hope for the future, and inner peace in a troubled world. God’s mercy makes life worth living!
So no matter what you are going through, no matter what weight you carry, rely on God’s mercy and find comfort in His word. Read through the hard parts, consider your own heart, and make sure to look for the BUTs. It’s a little word that God has used to turn incredible loss into great joy!
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