Over the years, the words therefore and nevertheless have laid hold of me. Therefore sought me out and became my first “Word of the Year” while nevertheless was introduced by a friend. It’s funny how peripheral something can be until you stare directly at it; then, once it’s seen, it cannot be unseen. That has been my relationship with these two words. While I used to visually walk right by them, now I all but trip over them at every turn. Though I try, with pen in hand, to tag them as I read, sometimes I have to let one or two slide by (to be captured at another time) so I can focus on the words around them.
Recently, I started looking at these two words relationally, rather than individually. Therefore, with its cause determining effect nature, infers that one action will lead to an unavoidable reaction (because of A, therefore B); and nevertheless, with its effect overturning cause nature, implies that one reaction will now override its pre-action (despite A, nevertheless B). And, when I saw these two words juxtaposed, I then saw them predisposed. Not only do these words come alongside one another, but they cross one another; as mercy intersects with grace, so too does therefore intersect with nevertheless.
Therefore, which informs us that one thing will follow another, resembles mercy…or the interjection of mercy. The sins I am guilty of bear consequences; “for the wage of sin is death” (Romans 3:23). However, God interrupted this with mercy; “there is, therefore, now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). At every turn, God poured mercy upon judgment; God “therefored” the end result of every action.
Nevertheless, like a held breath reminding us that the inescapable might be escapable, resembles grace. I don’t deserve a Savior, “nevertheless, He saved [me] for His name’s sake, that He might make His mighty power to be known” (Psalm 106:8). Grace is free, but only because Jesus “neverthelessed” my payment upon the cross.
And so, these two words which once stood across from one another, now stand criss-crossed with one another. With nevertheless depicting God’s grace flowing down and therefore representing God’s mercy pouring out, they not only connect to form a cross, they converge within the cross.
“Nevertheless, not My will, but Thine be done.” (Luke 22:42)
Therefore, there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1)
“Nevertheless, it is expedient that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you.” (John 16:7)
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, old things have passed away, behold all things have become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth? (Luke 18:8)
Therefore, the LORD will wait, that He may be gracious to you; and, therefore He will be exalted, that He may have mercy on you. (Isaiah 30:18)
“Nevertheless…you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.” (Matthew 26:64)
Therefore…let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:1)
Just two words; just one intersection. Just two beams; just one cross. Just two gifts; just one Savior.
Nevertheless, I have received; therefore, I will believe.