Most of us have been on the receiving end of the word “but.” What I mean is, we have all had the experience where someone says something very nice and then undoes all the good intentions by following the statement with the word “but.” Usually what follows is a criticism or a qualifying statement of some kind that makes the original statement of very little value.
“You did a great job… but…”
“I appreciate your help… but…”
“I love you… but…”
Humans tend to use the word “but” in a negative sense most of the time. Probably the most frequent use is during an argument. I think sometimes people feel it’s necessary to keep things grounded in reality. After all, we can experience good in life but the overall consensus is that life is hard and we’d better just get used to it. No use candy-coating it.
God has a different idea about the word “but.” Just looking at one chapter of scripture, Romans 6, we will find that God’s “but” is something to shout about. I would invite you to read it for yourself.
These examples are from the NASB version.
Verse 11 – “Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, BUT alive to God in Christ Jesus.”
Verse 13 – “and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; BUT present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.”
Verse 21- 22 – “Therefore what benefit were you then deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the outcome of those things is death. BUT now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life.”
Verse 23 – “For the wages of sin is death, BUT the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Yes, I will admit that life is sometimes hard… BUT GOD! He turns things around and makes something good out of all the negatives that we can come up with. And that is cause for rejoicing!