Let Hope In

The following post is from my pastor and friend, Pete Wilson. I am a huge fan of Pete, his family, and his words. Because well, he’s cool. But mostly because he helped me see that there was hope for me, that we all are broken and in need of healing, and that a church that is a place of authenticity and vulnerability is a beautiful restorative reminder that we are built for community. Enjoy and be sure check out his new book, Let Hope In

One of my favorite stories in the Bible is the account of Joseph. Talk about a tumultuous past.

Joseph was the next to youngest of twelve boys. It’s tough being the youngest, isn’t it? My youngest, Brewer, is six and has one goal in life. Well, actually two. The first one is to be able to accurately hit the toilet while standing up to pee. But his main goal in life is getting his two older brothers to acknowledge him. He watches everything they do and follows them from activity to activity. So whether it’s playing PlayStation, wrestling in the living room, or competing in a game of touch football in the front yard, Brewer is going to be in the middle of it. And nothing, I mean nothing, brings a bigger smile to his face than when his older brothers invite him into their world.

Joseph was favored by his father, which put him at obvious odds with the rest of his brothers. They were filled with incredible jealousy toward him. They beat him up, threw him into a pit, sold him into slavery, and pretended  he was dead.

That would be a devastating series of events for any young person, but imagine all of that happening by the hand of your own brothers from whom you crave love and acceptance. Can you imagine how devastating that moment must have been as he looked up from the pit, broken and bruised, only to see the face of his brothers laughing at him?

It’s funny how when someone says they love you, you can’t really feel it, but when someone says or shows they “don’t love you anymore,” you feel every ounce of it draining out of your entire being.

The rejection of his brothers would just be the beginning for Joseph. He would go on to be falsely accused of rape and thrown into prison where he spent day after day wondering where things went wrong, wondering why his brothers hated him. Why had his past been so full of injustice?

Through a remarkable series of events, not only was Joseph released from prison, but he eventually rose to second in command over all of Egypt.

While Joseph was helping lead Egypt, the country endured a vicious drought that forced his brothers to travel to him seeking food for their families. It’s a long story, but eventually not only was Joseph reunited with his brothers, but he also forgave them. In a powerful moment, he looked them in the eyes and said, “You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good”

Another way of putting it is, you meant harm, but God had a different plan. Joseph didn’t try to deny the past. He didn’t pretend that his brothers had never hurt him deeply. But he has the grace to grieve it rather than transfer it.

I love the phrase “but God” and believe a case could be made that it’s one of the most important phrases in the entire Bible. This phrase is used throughout Scripture as a turning point, a line of demarcation between peril and rescue, chaos and control, fall and redemption, hurt and healing.

But God!

Every time I read a verse that says “but God,” it is fantastically good news. There are literally hundreds of verses that have “but God” in both the Old and New Testaments:

The psalmist in Psalm 73:26: “My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever.”

Jesus in Matthew 19:26: “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.”

The apostle Paul in Acts 13:29–30: “When they had done all that the prophecies said about him, they took him down from the cross and placed him in a tomb. But God raised him from the dead!”

Once we were dead in sin, but God made us alive! Once we were captive to our past, but God made us free! Once we were unworthy, but God has promised to spend eternity unwrapping the riches of his grace in kindness toward us!

There’s no way around the past. No matter how hard you try, you can’t erase it.

The goal  of my new book, Let Hope In, is not to become a person who doesn’t have a history—that’s impossible and useless. The goal of this book is to find a new way of working with the past so it does not continue to impact our future. The goal is to fight the inner urge we all have to return to the past.

God is bigger than your history and more concerned with your destiny.

I’m giving away 2 copies of Let Hope In. Simply comment below on what resonates about this message or why you love Pete to be entered. I’ll choose 4 lucky winners on Friday and then reach out to about sending them their copy. 

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Lindsey has a sincere love for her precious dogs Molly and Maisy, a good red wine and the Delta Sky Club.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Love this. Letting Hope (& Grace) in is something I’ve just started to grasp within the last few months, after many years of feeling so broken. What a beautiful thing it is to let go of our junk and freely allow God to love us. All of us. Excited to get my hand on this book. Thanks for sharing, Lindsey.

  • You have the best pastor ever!

  • Pete Wilson

    Thanks Lindsey. Appreciate you more than you know.

  • Chellé

    What a WONDERFUL observation. I will see “But God” differently going forward and Im so grateful. Thanks for hosting this give away, Lindsey- I’m struggling in my 16th year of marriage to hang on and at times it seems completely hopeless :-(. Believing god for a movement of Eph 3:20 proportions!!!

  • JR

    let us remember that only God will restore our life to the fullness, if we let Him.

  • AshleyP

    “… find a new way of working with the past so it does not continue to impact our future.” This is exactly what I need to learn. Would love this book!!

  • But God. What a powerful reminder in two words. Something I definitely needed today.

  • Lynne

    …”but God”…has constantly been my focus the past two years of waiting! I know he can do exceedlingly and am daily asking God to give me the faith to believe! Saw Pete’s on-line video the other evening from here in DC. Felt like his book was speaking to me!

  • Megan

    But God. That’s something I need to remember. It’s easy to get caught up, knowing you’re not where you want to be. Holding onto hope is essential. Thanks Lindsey for hosting this giveaway! 🙂

  • BPatterson

    “to find a new way of working with the past so it does not continue to impact our future.” I’d love to read this book!

  • jeffg

    God is bigger than your history is what resonates with me. Our past doesn’t have to keep us captive. But God, you don’t know what I have been through is the response I hear so often and my comment yes he does so let’s get out of the way and let God take care of it.

  • karen

    I will definitely look at “but God” in a whole new light! THANKS!

  • Lindsay

    But God- I love how one short phrase changes everything. A seeming hopeless situation is suddenly filed with hopeful expectation at the promise that God shows up in our mess!

  • Annie

    This is a much-needed remainer that God is always there and faithful!

  • JViola79

    Pete’s message resonates with me tonight as I am in a situation & am waiting for my “but God” moment 🙂 Thanks for the chance!

  • Kimberlee

    I never thought about how we don’t fully feel the love others say to us but definitely feel the hatred others send to us. Why is that? I’m intrigued by this truth. What in our humanity causes us to feel hatred bigger than it is & love smaller than it is, if it’s true that love wins?

  • Jamie Claire

    The part that speaks to me most is the initial story of his son Brewer. Don’t we all have a desire to be known, loved, and recognized by those around us? I feel like I relate more to the idea of being a part of something bigger than myself. A part of something that no one but God can be credited for.

  • I’ve always resonated with the Good news/Bad News of Joseph. What’s inspiring is how he made the most of whatever situation or season he was in. And how encouraging that God was faithful to the dream he gave Joseph, even when circumstances said otherwise. I love Pete’s heart in delivering not only the biblical stories but sharing from his own life experiences with transparency. Sounds like a great book!

  • Karen

    “But God” is definitely the message that resonates with me right now. I love the reminder that God is always there to help us through the change, transition, struggle, etc., and we don’t have to stay where we are.

  • Anita

    Often we don’t give God a chance to step in and show his faithfulness. It’s only after our failed attempts to get ourselves out of a jam that we remember how present God is in our circumstance. Joseph’s faith is a great reminder to trust that God is right there all along.