BUT GOD…Part 1

Whether you are a Christian or not, life is filled with things that we don’t understand or like. As we look at the terrible things in the world or in our own lives it is easy to ask the question…BUT GOD!?!?!

But God why is this happening? But God if you are all powerful why don’t you stop it? But God I need this relationship to work out…But God I need this job…But God why can’t I see you anymore?

8“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,

neither are your ways my ways,”

9“As the heavens are higher than the earth,

so are my ways higher than your ways

and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Isaiah 55:8-9

In Isaiah we see this idea that God knows more than we do. Not that it is a justification for the sin and sadness in our world and lives, but we often stick the BUT question into the situation instead of trusting that God is God. This is an important distinction between God and EVERYTHING else. When we ask BUT GOD we are attempting to be like God in knowing what He knows. As in the Garden of Eden, the desire to understand more is not wrong, but if we are not willing to accept the answer, “not yet.” We will get ourselves into trouble.

As a parent, it is important to teach and raise my children in a way where they understand and grow into young people and adults who can reason and be confident in their understanding. However, if my 7 year old asks “where do babies come from?” I believe, it is my responsibility to not lie, but also not reveal the entire truth to my little child. Both are not acceptable for my child; one will create a divide and a distrust, while the other will give knowledge that could hurt the child. In time, the full truth is necessary and important, but at times we must “speak in part.”

Our Heavenly Father is the same with us. His thoughts are not our thoughts, because He knows we are not in the position to fully understand…YET.

9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

1 Corinthians 13:9-11

This does not mean we stop asking questions. It is important to ask God questions, but we must be willing to accept the answer of “not yet.”

I believe we should not focus on the Question….BUT GOD, but we should as believers focus on the Answer…BUT GOD in our lives and in our world.

We have identified the question we pose to God that puts the control into our understanding. Now let us look at the answer that puts the control back in the hands of God; throughout the rest of this blog we will look at the Answer that is BUT GOD.

16Just then a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?

17“Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.

18“Which ones?” he inquired.

Jesus replied, “ ‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, 19honor your father and mother,’ c and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’ d ”

20“All these I have kept,” the young man said. “What do I still lack?”

21Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.

22When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.

23Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”

25When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, “Who then can be saved?”

26Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

27Peter answered him, “We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?”

28Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife e or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life. 30But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.

Matthew 19:16-30

We find this account of a rich young person coming to Jesus to inquire how he might find eternal life. At some point in the lives of all of us we have thoughts about “what will happen when we die?” This may have lead you to come to Christ or you may have not. Either way it is question of the end. As discussed earlier when we are having all these problems and seeing problems in the world we often begin to think about is this really all there is or is there more than this painful sad life. This is where this young man is, he wants to know if he is going to be alright after he dies. This is a man who had a lot going for him; however he still asking questions. As before; asking questions is always welcomed from God.

1. With Man this is Impossible

Jesus answered the young man twice with the answer that is simply BUT GOD. First He answered the question behind his question first with…BUT GOD.

16Just then a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?

17“Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good.

Matthew 19:16-17

Jesus is letting the young man know he has already misunderstood God. When he asked, “what good thing must I…” To rephrase Jesus, He said, “BUT GOD is the only true good.”

When we ask the questions we must be ready for answers that we weren’t expecting. What good thing must I do…Nothing there is nothing good enough we can do in order to enter eternal life. But praise God, Jesus didn’t stop there with our inability to gain eternal life.

With man it is impossible to please God. But with God it is possible.

Then Jesus answered his second question with a call for repentance. You may be thinking, Jesus didn’t tell the man to repent. However, the concept of repentance is…

“absolute and ultimate unconditional surrender to God as Sovereign.”

Wikipedia

In the Old Testament the word nacham is often translated as, “turn”, “return”, “seek.” Then in the New Testament the word metanoia means, “to change your mind.” So Jesus was calling this man to not rely on his own strength, but to turn or change his mind in an absolute and unconditional surrender to God. Jesus answered the young man’s question with…do not rely on yourself, BUT GOD!

We find the rich young man left sad, because that was hard. Instead of accepting the answer…BUT GOD. This young man began to ask…BUT GOD!

But God…I have a lot, But God…I like my life, But God…I’m a good person, But God…that’s not fair!

Too often we, like the young man, begin asking good questions, but when we get an answer we don’t like we begin blaming God for the problem. Instead we must…”I don’t understand, BUT GOD is my answer.”

After this young man left the disciples where surprised, because assumed those who had wealth must be in God’s favor. If a person who was believed to be in God’s favor didn’t have what it takes to get to Heaven how would any of us make it?

2. BUT with GOD all things are Possible

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

Matthew 19:26

Jesus explains that Salvation or entering into eternal life is only through God. This impossible thing is possible with God. The ability for God to extend the amount of love, grace and mercy for any one of us to enter Heaven is an amazing feat.

Jesus explains new life through salvation is possible for God; then He extends that to ALL THINGS! God is able to save us from our sin and God is able to do anything else that seems impossible for us.

When we are willing to let…BUT GOD be our answer to EVERY situation it is possible.

Jesus finished with answering Peter who asked about, His own salvation. Jesus said essentially, because you have chosen to answer My call with BUT GOD WILL. Instead of…BUT GOD?!?! They will be given a place of honor and will be provided for in abundance in Heaven.

I believe when we are willing to answer “BUT WITH GOD all things are possible” in all of our situations we will see Him come through in our time of need. We may not always get the outcome we thought, but God always makes a way for His people.

As His thoughts are not our thoughts we need to trust that in every situation His thoughts are perfect and we need to trust in the situation that may look hard and dark, BUT GOD is in control.

Throughout the Bible we find God letting His people know He is in control; even when we don’t understand.

23 The LORD answered Moses, “Is the LORD’s arm too short? Now you will see whether or not what I say will come true for you.”

Numbers 11:23

2 “I know that you can do all things;
no purpose of yours can be thwarted.

Job 42:2

Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save,
nor his ear too dull to hear.

Isaiah 59:1

27 “I am the LORD, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?

Jeremiah 32:27

God is not lacking in power and goodness. Just like Jesus said, “There is only One who is good.” With man…your provision, your relationship, your hope, your security, your health, and ultimately your salvation is IMPOSSIBLE…BUT with GOD all things are possible!

Is anything too hard for our LORD? Today Believe God is able! Just as He was able to save you He will take care of your situations.

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