It was on a Thursday of 2014 I remember exactly because the greatest pain hit me. My body shivering, stomach churning, I was going to be sick. This pain continued for days with my inability to hold my food down or even walk for very long. I could no longer take the pain and uncertainty and got taken to the ER. Once the doctor saw me he told me if I had waited another day to see him my appendix would have ruptured but he was able to save it.
‘But’ is a powerful word when facing trouble, tests and temptations, as we see in a many passages.
In trouble ‘BUT I trust in you’
No one can go through life without facing troubles. If anything David is an example of this, he was in trouble: ‘With grief my eye is weakened, also my inner self and my body’ (v.9). He was facing spiritual, mental and physical challenges (vv.9-13)
Yet, in the midst of all this, he is able to say, ‘But I trust in you, Lord’ (v.14-15). He trusts in God’s unfailing love (v.16). Sometimes when things are hard we believe that God has left us BUT He’s there and like David we must trust that God will deliver us.
In tests ‘Not what I will, BUT what you will’
Sometimes you have tests in life not because you’re doing something wrong but you’re doing something right. All of us face these tests, you’re not alone. Jesus himself did nothing wrong, yet he faced greater tests than anyone in human history.
Jesus faces disloyalty, disappointment and death but puts his trust in his lovingly Father and says, ‘Yet not what I will, but what you will’ (Mark 14:36). Even in his tests he trust that God knows best and is willing to submit his will. Jesus is the supreme example for us when we are fearful of what lies ahead… God is ahead and that’s all that matters.
Leviticus 17 & 18
In temptation… ‘BUT God’
The Israelites were facing many difficulties with sexual sin and getting involved in sexual immorality. However, God spoke to them about the way to live: ‘But you must keep my decrees and my laws’ (Leviticus 18:26).
Sexual sin is not the only temptation we face. Temptation lies around everywhere, everyday we are tempted.
There is often a temptation to conform to peer-pressure and follow the standards of those around us. Take 4/20 for instance (yesterday), April 20th marks the day where those who enjoy being at a high state flaunt it and those who may “hate” the idea get involved. God’s people are called to be different, ‘Do not conform to this world, but be transformed by God (Romans 12:2). This call to be different isn’t new, it goes right back to the earlier days of God’s people (Leviticus 18).
Paul lists some of the cautionary activities in the New Testament that Christians have been involved in. He uses the powerful word, ‘but.’ ‘But you,’ he says, ‘were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ’ (1 Corinthians 6:11). Therefore you are to live differently.
The words “But God…” are filled with glory, power and meaning. “Those two words, just six little letters, one conjunction and one personal noun, may just be the greatest words in the Bible. Those two words tell us where salvation originates. It originates in God” (Alan Carr).