But God’s Character Reveals Our Hope

“A friend knows the song in my heart and sings it to me when my memory fails.” ~ Donna Roberts

My friend, can I sing you a song I want you to never forget? A song about not getting lost and always having hope! In the final chapter of But God…A Doctrine of Hope we discuss how to find our way home. How do we know if we are on the right path if we have never been this way?

“Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him” (John 14:1-7, NIV).

Jesus tells us that He is the Way. He did not come to just point us in the right direction He is the Way home. We need assurance, a map, some road signs, and a list of checkpoints to make us feel sure that we are going the right way, and that we are not lost. But truly what we need is to know that we have recognized The Way – Jesus because if we know Him we are able to trust when the path grows scary, dark, dangerous, or is full of potholes of grief.

We need…to remind ourselves…when we are terrified of all the un-good in the world around us. [that] God is great and powerful. He is full of love and miracles, and nothing can change who He is or what He can do. So, how do we learn to recognize who God is? ~ Melisa Turner, But God, p. 175

O Lord God of Heaven’s Armies! Where is there anyone as mighty as you, O Lord? You are entirely faithful.” (Psalm 89:8, NLT)

Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“Therefore I hope in Him!” (Lamentations 3:22-24, NKJV)

In the beginning was the Word and the Word was God and the Word was with God. (John 1:1, NKJV)

So, we know that God is faithful. We know that Jesus is with God, that He is God, and that one of His names is the Word. The Bible continues to deepen the definition for us of who Jesus is. In Isaiah 40:8 it says that “The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever” (NLT). And in Luke 1:37, the angel speaking to Mary, the mother of Jesus, declares, “For the word of God will never fail” (NLT). Jesus the Son of God, and God the Father possess a character that is entirely faithful, one that stands forever and that cannot fail. I can have hope because my trust is in a God who never changes, never fails, and is always faithful. ~ Melisa Turner, But God, p. 177

But the Lord rules forever. He sits on his throne to judge, and he will judge the world in fairness; he will decide what is fair for the nations. The Lord defends those who suffer; he defends them in times of trouble. Those who know the Lord trust him, because he will not leave those who come to him. (Ps 9:7-10, NCV)

God has chosen you and made you his holy people. He loves you. (Colossians 3:12, NCV)

God wanted to prove that his promise was true to those who would get what he promised. And he wanted them to understand clearly that his purposes never change, so he made an oath. These two things cannot change: God cannot lie when he makes a promise, and he cannot lie when he makes an oath. These things encourage us who came to God for safety. They give us the strength to hold on to the hope we have been given. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, sure and strong. (Hebrews 6:17-19, NCV)

This is truly a doctrine of hope… a set of beliefs…based on truth…on which we can build our faith…whatever you are facing, there is a But God for that! The more we get to KNOW Him, the more we have the strength to BELIEVE in Him, to place our hope in our good God who cannot lie or break a promise. ~ Melisa Turner, But God, p.178 and 194

I urge you to anchor your hope to His unchangeable nature “for he who promised is faithful” (Hebrews 10:23, NIV).

Ever Hopeful,

Melisa Turner

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But God…provides Purpose

As human beings, we have an innate need to be seen, recognized for who we truly are, to know that we matter, and have significance. The good news is that The Good News provides this as well as our Salvation and daily provisions.

This gift of true acceptance is part of the good news. God offers us salvation that includes a relationship, and within that relationship is the freedom to be our most authentic self. We have been provided the hope of being restored—not just to God but to who we were always meant to be. Our human nature longs not just to be visible but seen, recognized, and having purpose and worth. ~ Melisa Turner, But God, p.126

God’s Word gives us wisdom about our general purpose, something we all share:

“You were chosen to tell about the wonderful acts of God, who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light” (1 Peter 2:9, NCV)

“But God has helped me, and so I stand here today, telling all people, small and great, what I have seen” (Acts 26:22, NCV).

“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last” (John 15:16a, NIV).

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10, NIV)

“It is in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for” (Eph 1:11, MSG)

One of the most wonderful things about being created by a good God is that He is creative in design. So we can understand that we all share a general purpose while executing that purpose with individuality.

The call we each have been given is just that—a gift. Where do all these good ideas come from? God himself calls and then adds His own energy and strength that we might accomplish this call…our purpose. God loves us, He calls us, He gives us the freedom to uniquely be ourselves, and then He enables or lends strength to this calling. He provides all things—even our purpose and individuality. ~ Melisa Turner, But God, p. 142

I cannot stress enough how our identity and worth are connected to who we are as a child of God and not what we do. We are not defined by the changes in our life’s season but by the love of our good God that does not ever change.

I believe our true worth and deep satisfaction of self can only be attained within a relationship with God. This relationship allows His reflection to shine on us in our truest identity so we feel fulfilled and accepted and then naturally give that same gift to others. ~ Melisa Turner, But God, p. 146

When we are able to Know and Believe that our value is constant we then can rest secure in an identity separate from a checklist or current productivity levels. Sabbath is not just about sitting down or taking time away from our “job” but about reminding us where our purpose and worth truly come from.

“Take a nap, a walk, an hour for lunch. Test the premise that you are worth more than what you can produce—that even if you spent one whole day being good for nothing you would still be precious in God’s sight—and when you get anxious because you are convinced that this is not so, remember your own conviction is not required. This is a commandment. Your worth has already been established, even when you are not working. The purpose of the commandment is to woo you to the same truth.”

~ Barbara Brown Taylor, An Altar in the World, p.139

Our true purpose is revealed as a human being, not a human doing.

Ever Hopeful,

Melisa Turner

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But God…brings Provision

There is a strong connection between stubborn independence, being your own provider, and chasing idols. As I have grown in my relationship with God, my self-awareness has also grown and so, thankfully has my dependence on my good God.

“O Israel, stay away from idols! I am the one who answers your prayers and cares for you. I am like a tree that is always green; all your fruit comes from me”

~ Hosea 14:8, NLT

Hope that our good God will provide for our needs takes trust and bravery. We build this trust in the same way we build muscle – with practice and stretching.

God is who gives all things to me and you. It is not easy to admit that I am dependent on God for everything. I have had to learn to lay down my pride and be humble. It takes great bravery and faith to admit to a level of self-awareness that everything comes from a source outside of me. I realized that often when I was being stubborn, I was putting myself or others in God’s place; I was chasing idols.

~ Melisa Turner, But God…A Doctrine of Hope, p. 98

Chapter 5 of But God…A Doctrine of Hope recounts multiple stories of how God has faithfully provided for me and my family. Honestly, first God provided me with a family, children of my own, then a home and finances to sustain them. From there we move on from basic needs to the greater needs, things like salvation, access to God himself, grace for daily living, and even hope itself. This Doctrine of Hope extends beyond our earthy needs to our ultimate destination. “The ultimate provision found in our good God is an eternal home with Him. This eternal home, this forever reunion with our good God who loves us so very much, is the point of all that Jesus Christ sacrificed for us.” (Melisa Turner, But God, p. 112)

Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered—how fleeting my life is. You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand. My entire lifetime is just a moment to you; at best, each of us is but a breath.

We are merely moving shadows, and all our busy rushing ends in nothing. We heap up wealth, not knowing who will spend it. And so, Lord, where do I put my hope? My only hope is in you

~ Psalms 39:4-7, NLT

“My only hope is in God. The irony is not lost on me that God provides even that to me. Jeremiah 29:11 tells us that He wants to give us a hope and a future…God is our source of hope.” (Melisa Turner, But God, p. 114) Is God your provider or are you chasing idols?

Ever Hopeful,

Melisa Turner

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But God…brings Salvation & Deliverance

My But God journey of turning knowledge and truth into belief and faith actually began long before I was aware of it. Truthfully, it began long before I began. This journey is actually not my story at all. God is the one who wrote the story—mine and yours, the entire world’s story. This doctrine of hope is God’s But God story because all of it originates in Him. Our good God decided to come for us and interject hope into our world and our lives long before we began living in hopelessness! Since the beginning of time, God has been coming for you and me. He has been devising a way to reach us, to reunite us with himself, to redeem us.

Melisa Turner, But God…A Doctrine of Hope, p.69

God works in our lives in an intentional and preemptive way. He planned ahead, called the meeting, and has been preparing for you and me since before time began. That is love, God is LOVE!

God chose him as your ransom long before the world began, but now in these last days he has been revealed for your sake. Through Christ you have come to trust in God. And you have placed your faith and hope in God because he raised Christ from the dead and gave him great glory (I Peter 1:20-21 NLT)

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8 NKJV)

“Come now, let us settle the matter,”
    says the Lord.
“Though your sins are like scarlet,
    they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red as crimson,
    they shall be like wool. (Isaiah 1:18 NIV)

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins … we were by nature deserving of wrath.4 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” (Eph 2:1, 3-5, NIV).

But (because of His great love for us) God!

We can be tempted to seek out other rescuers, perhaps money, fame, entertainment, friends, lovers, power or purpose—but only God can save our soul. He is the only one who can provide the healing and deliverance we so desperately need. “There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.”(Acts 4:12, NLT)

Melisa Turner, But God, p. 83

God invites and we respond, dependent and needy, knowing He has made a way to come for us.

Lord, we wait for you. We know you are coming for us. We know that all things come from you. We are thankful for your presence surrounding us. Grant us wisdom to see your work in us today and every day. Amen.

Moravian Prayer

Ever Hopeful,

Melisa Turner

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But God…brings Life

Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.

Psalm 34:8, NKJV

This third chapter of But God…A Doctrine of Hope explores further the concept of God being good, and continuing to be good, especially when life is not! You might notice that Psalm 34:8 above indicates this in the second half of the verse. This is an invitation to not just know God and His character but to learn to depend upon it when life has us running for cover. A refuge is a safe shelter, a place to go when we are in trouble, under attack, or feel unsafe.

As we begin to trust in the knowledge that God is good, we can learn to truly believe that He is our refuge, a place to be comforted, protected, restored, and well-loved…Upon this foundation of God’s goodness, we are blessed to dwell within His presence at all times… I can confidently tell you that God is always with us. He is a safe place to take refuge from life’s storms…as I began to allow God to comfort me and, speak life over me, healing and restoration began to take place in my life.

Melisa Turner, But God…A Doctrine of Hope, p. 46

If you are a human being, you most likely have felt brokenness, grief, and betrayal. The odds are good that you have also felt shame and estrangement from a friend or loved one. In these moments we tend toward isolation and hiding. We feel like everyone around us will “know” whatever it is that we do not want them to know! This is a tactic of the enemy of our soul to keep us away from the comfort and restoration available in a relationship with a Good God.

Our good God who wants to dwell with us to redeem and restore us will also always possess the authority and power to overcome sin, nakedness, destruction, and death! God’s love for us through His Son Jesus is eternally available to us, continually providing a way to bring us back to Him. This great love is a place of refuge, a dwelling place.

Melisa Turner, But God…A Doctrine of Hope, p. 48

I invite you to explore the But God truths in this chapter so that you would also know an abundant and restored life…

I believe that God is good, and He can restore us from death or destruction.

I believe that the life God gives is abundant, everlasting, and filled with hope.

I believe that God makes all things possible, including resurrection from death.

I believe that everlasting life is found only through His Son Jesus Christ so that none of us need to remain estranged from Him.

I believe that God is never the author of the evil we face, and He is always with us no matter what we encounter.

Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? … No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.

Romans 8:35, 37 NLT

Restoration is always possible. God provides abundant life for each of us willing to take refuge in Him.

Ever Hopeful,

Melisa Turner

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But God…is Good

We naturally see the world from our perspective and quite often we have an understanding of God and His character based on the perceptions we have. If life’s circumstances are less than good we can doubt that God’s character is good. In the second chapter of But God…A Doctrine of Hope is an exploration of the goodness of God and how His character does not change even when our circumstances do.

Because of the reality of brokenness and destruction I have witnessed in my own life, it became vital for me to learn how to separate my life’s circumstances from my good God’s character. I needed to know and believe that God is good even if my life is not.

Melisa Turner, But God…A Doctrine of Hope, p.14

The way to know God is good is to learn about Him in His Word, the Bible. “Taste and see that the Lord is good.” (Psalm 34:8, NIV) We are encouraged to explore a relationship with a God who never changes. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8, NIV)

To really open myself to knowing and doing the will of God requires trust that God’s intentions toward me are deeply good.

Ruth Haley Barton, Sacred Rhythms, p. 117

Once we have established a pure belief in God’s goodness we can build our faith and relationship with Him. This faith is based on His unchanging character and not subject to our circumstances or perceptions and this allows for true restoration. Because “the only way to choose a relationship with God and live by His good plan for our life is to choose Jesus. “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me,” Jesus says in John 14:6 (NIV). The first act of goodness that God has for each person is salvation through Jesus Christ.” (Turner, But God, 28)

The restoration process is how God interjects hope. It is how He shouts But into our lives and redeems good outcomes out of bad or difficult circumstances.

Melisa Turner, But God…A Doctrine of Hope, p. 22

Sounds simple, perhaps too much so. I can assure you there is nothing simple or easy about learning the daily disciplines required to overcome the battle in the mind or the struggles to remain in a relationship with a good God when life is anything but. In this chapter, I share my But God story which includes overcoming great darkness and untruth, and also Joseph’s story found in Genesis of slavery and eventual family restoration. Both of these examples shed light on the way God can triumph over any evil.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose … What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?

Romans 8:28, 31-32, NIV

Perhaps you too have faced un-good circumstances or suffered from depression? Again, I invite you to join in this journey to explore the Doctrine of Hope that God is indeed good no matter the situations that we face.

Ever Hopeful,

Melisa Turner

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But God…An Introduction

You may be wondering about the title But God…A Doctrine of Hope. Why did I choose to write a book about this subject? What does it mean when God says But?

I discovered a couple decades ago that regardless of the information that I may possess I act on what I believe and not knowledge alone. For example, I can read a weather report and know that the forecast is 0% precipitation today, but if I don’t believe the forecast I will be lugging along an umbrella on my picnic! I academically knew that God was good but I had skewed core beliefs to the contrary.

When we see God incorrectly, we make decisions based on this misinformation, decisions that can drive us away from the truth, comfort, and provision found only in Him.

Melisa Turner, But God…A Doctrine of Hope, p.3

I am a reader, researcher a word nerd! At the same time that I became aware of my incorrect beliefs about God’s character, I also heard the phrase But God for the first time and began to wonder if this concept could be found in the Bible.

So, I now had an assignment. I just had to search out all the places where God says but. Does His Word really say that? Does God interject hope in a situation that seems hopeless? Is He truly good? Can He say but and change the course of my life and yours? Will He?

Melisa Turner, But God…A Doctrine of Hope, p.4

I invite you dear friend to join me on this journey of learning the truth about God, His character, and the overwhelming evidence that He does indeed interject HOPE!

But you are a forgiving God. You are kind and full of mercy. You do not become angry quickly, and you have great love.”

Nehemiah 9:17, NCV

Over the coming weeks, we will explore together this Doctrine of Hope, a hope that God…

•       …is good

•       …brings life

•       …brings salvation and deliverance

•       …brings provision

•       …provides purpose

•       …and that His character reveals our hope

Ever Hopeful,

Melisa Turner

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But God…A Doctrine of Hope

I promised you that But God…A Doctrine of Hope would be available soon and by God’s grace, I was able to keep my word. This book originated from a statement that was spoken over me in prayer in the spring of 1999. Somewhere in 2008 or 2009, I began a word study on the phrase “But God” and in 2015 I was teaching this concept as a Bible Study. It was at this point that I knew it needed to be written down and I remember the daunting feeling of where to begin?! Finally, in 2019 my friend Emily encouraged me to tell my story of how God has interjected hope into my life alongside these But God truths.

“This is a book that will encourage you, remind you and challenge you to live in the proof of who God is.”

~ Emily Roth, author of Untold

Out of much study and research of the phrase But God in the Bible, I found a tremendous amount of Scripture that does indeed have answers for all of life’s situations. Whatever you are facing, there is a But God for that!

People can often lose their foundations of faith in the business of daily living. We may know in our heart and mind the correct answers when asked about God’s character and His promises, yet too often we make decisions not based on truth. When life takes turns outside our plans, or when we face lack, loss, or falter in our purpose, we must remember who God is, that He is good—and most importantly, that He never changes.

But God serves as a doctrine of hope—hope that God

  • … is good
  • … brings life
  • … brings salvation and deliverance
  • … brings provision
  • … provides purpose
  • … and that His character reveals our hope
~ Melisa Turner, But God…A Doctrine of Hope

But God…A Doctrine of Hope is a heartfelt invitation from myself to you, the reader, to know God’s truth, His character, and His never-changing love for you!

“I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit”

~ Romans 15:13, NLT

May God speak to you the words you need to hear, and may you learn to say, “But God” when life causes you to fear and doubt!

Ever Hopeful, Talk Soon,


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Season of Hope


The Season of Advent begins with Hope. Is there anywhere more appropriate to start? Hope seems most necessary in winter, in darkness, and cold.

Hope is formed in the place where there is lack or loss. In darkness we hope for light, in sickness we hope for recovery and so on. We long for restoration whether we realize it or not and our good God has provided us with a Blessed Hope, a promise to anchor our soul to.

We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. ~ Hebrews 6:19 NIV

Gratefully, our hope is based on something outside our abilities, something true and solid – God’s character. Because He is and He is good we can have hope.

There is a line in my new favorite song The Detour that says “You’ve been good to me, I am safe to hope I will dare to believe when the way is long and slow”. Advent, or Coming, can seem long and slow! It is safe to wait for and trust on our good God.

Speaking of a long and slow journey, I am excited to make an announcement: But God…A Doctrine of Hope by yours truly will be available very soon. This book began with words of promise from our good God to me over twenty years ago, progressively it became a word study, a Bible study, and then finally my But God story intertwined with God’s character and His ability to interject hope with just one word – BUT! 

I am looking forward to sharing this journey of hope with each of you in this season.

Ever Hopeful, Talk Soon,


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Continue to Live

Meadow Lake
Meadow Lake, Okanogan Highlands

We have been discussing overcoming whether that be an internal fear, a set of seemingly insurmountable goals, or a physical health malady, the keys to overcoming remain the same. It is when we refuse to admit there is a need to overcome that we become an imposter and only then do we fail because we fail to be ourselves.

Seeing ourselves fail is only something to fear if we’ve thought for some reason that we’re here to make a name for ourselves, rather than declaring we’re here to worship, here to love God, and here to help others get connected to His love.

Jess Connolly, You Are The Girl For The Job

Overcoming is not checked off the list so much as it is incorporated into daily habits, choices, and self-awareness.

Am I being myself?

Am I brave enough to explore who I am and the gifts I have been given?

Am I spending time in solitude so that I can recognize the shape of my own life?

Am I pursuing my purpose in an authentic way, allowing others to see through me to a greater hope?

Use the gift you have… Continue to do those things; give your life to doing them so your progress may be seen by everyone.  Be careful in your life and in your teaching. If you continue to live and teach rightly, you will save both yourself and those who listen to you.

I Timothy 4:14-16 NCV

My authentic self is imperfect, I will fail at things I attempt to do. I will disappoint myself and others. But I am not continuing to use my gifts for my glory or so that others will hope in me and what I have to offer them. My purpose is higher than that, my hope is placed in the One more worthy than I. Most importantly, all of this imperfectly-shaped living should be lived in a relationship with a good God. One who provides the purpose, the power, and the gifts in the first place.

Left to my own devices, I won’t have the power I need…Unless it comes from a supernatural place…Can we ask God for real, unending, Spirit-filled power…

Jess Connolly, You Are The Girl For The Job

Lord, we pray for the courage to rely on You in our imperfections and fears, help us to see our days through the perspective of humor and gratitude. May the shape of our life be congruent, reflecting the gifts You have given us. Connect us to Your love and sustain us in hope.

Ever Hopeful, Talk Soon,


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