Meridian Star

October 5, 2013

From the Shepherd’s Heart

By Dr. John A. Temple / guest columnist
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN —     “Nevertheless …” — Numbers 13:28

It is amazing how one word can change our entire outlook on a situation! Consider the word, “nevertheless.”

    This one word has the power to reverse whatever we have just considered. The surgeon can give a glowing report on a surgery, but continue his report with the word, “nevertheless,” and optimism turns to doubt. Thirty-three minors can be trapped for months in a copper mine, “nevertheless,” all have been rescued.

    Pessimism has just been supplanted with celebration.

    In Numbers 13, twelve spies returned from the land of promise, land promised to them by God. They gave glowing reports of the bounty and richness of what God offered. Yet, the word, “nevertheless,” crept into their report.

    For them, the word spelled hearts of fear and pessimism. It didn’t matter what positive attributes the land held, their eyes were fixed on the negative. Only two men gave a positive report without the word, “nevertheless” in it.

    The proper use of the word, “nevertheless,” for a Christian is to change a negative report into a positive one. The world may be evil and threatening. “Nevertheless,” God is in control and will guide and protect us. Faith sees the surprises of life as unthinkable victories delivered to unlikely men and women who use the word, “nevertheless,” to include God in their circumstances.

    Jesus exhibited the right use of the word “nevertheless.” In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus prayed, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.” (Luke 22:42)

    It was Jesus’ desire to do one thing, but with one word, “nevertheless,” everything changed. Because of this one word, we have forgiveness and everlasting life.

    The next time you describe life, use the word, “nevertheless.” Just use it wisely. Let it transform your outlook to a positive expectation of God’s plan and actions for you.

    Dr. John A. Temple is pastor of Poplar Springs Drive Baptist Church, located at 4032 Poplar Springs Drive in Meridian. Visit the church website online at www.