WHEN GOD SAYS NO

crybaby

Have you ever prayed for a long time for something that you really wanted and had your prayers go unanswered? You wondered why God didn’t show up for you. Maybe your disappointment caused you to be offended at God. The offense created a rift between you and your Creator, and your relationship with Him suffered or became distant. When we have issues with God of this nature, it opens the door for the enemy to wreak havoc our lives. Therefore, we must avoid this scenario at all costs.

Today, I want to give you another perspective about God’s “no’s” in life. However, first let me remind you of certain truths that I’m sure you know: 1) God loves you. In fact, God says in Jeremiah 31:3, “I have loved you with an everlasting love.” That love is unconditional and perfect. 2) Regardless of what you go through or experience in this life, God is a good God, and He has your best interests at heart. Psalm 100:5 says, “For the Lord is good and his love endures forever.” Thus, when these concepts are firmly established in your heart and mind, you’ll be less likely to “kick against the goads” (as Jesus told Paul on the Damascus road) and see God as the enemy when you don’t get your way right away.

God loves to bless His children just like any other parent. He wants to say “yes” as much as possible. But sometimes, in His sovereignty and wisdom, He has to say no. It’s not that He doesn’t have what you ask. It’s not because He doesn’t want to give it to you because He’s stingy or wants to get on your nerves. Psalm 84:11 says, “No good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.” Therefore, in order to keep our hearts free and unfettered, we need to keep the following thoughts in mind, recognizing that God has good reasons for refusing our requests:

  • God knows something you don’t know. God is omnipotent and omniscient and He sees the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10). He knows everything about your situation, and you only know in part. Therefore, He may say no because of the information that He has not made available to you.
  • God has a timing for everything He does. Ecclesiastes 3:1 says there is a time for everything. If you have not received your blessing yet, perhaps God’s no is temporary. You simply must wait on God’s timing while He sets in order everything needed to deliver what you ask.
  • God always has something better in mind. Very often, when God says no, it’s only because He wants to bless you beyond your wildest dreams. He is a good, good Father, and if you keep a good, good attitude and trust Him, He will reveal His will in due time and exceed your expectations. He will show you His ability to “do exceedingly abundantly above all that [you] ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20).
  • God is preparing you to receive your request. Sometimes you may not be ready to receive what you ask for. If God granted the request now with you in your present state, perhaps you would ruin a good opportunity. God does not waste blessings. He may be withholding what you ask until you are positioned to receive the maximum impact of that blessing upon your life.
  • God wants to test you. Could it be that God may be withholding your blessing to allow you see where your heart is? If He doesn’t give you what you want right away, could it be that He wants to expose your motives? Perhaps He wants you to come to the place where you want Him for Who He is and not just what He can give you. God’s “no” may be the very thing He uses to mature you.
  • God wants you to learn a lesson. Sometimes God will let you stay in a mess longer than you would like so that you can learn the lesson the Holy Spirit wants to teach. Perhaps if He gave you what you asked without being sure you learned a lesson, you would repeat the same mistake over and over. Sometimes He uses a divine “no” to cause the consequences to be so grave that you will think twice before you make that choice again.

Let’s face it; we all have to go through times when God says no. You might be waiting right now for an answer. You may have received a “no.” The question is how will you respond? The challenge is to be mature enough to accept His decision and quickly move forward, trusting in His wisdom and omniscience.  That means there is no pouting, no melt down, and no cold shoulder towards God, but a simple acceptance of His sovereign will. When God says no and we peacefully acknowledge and accept His decision, we communicate to Him (and to the world), that Father truly knows best.

What has been your experience with God’s “no”?  How did you navigate through your disappointment? Please leave a comment below.

 

I’d love your help spreading the word about my books, Oasis for My Soul: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual and Personal Growth and The Exceptional Man: Love Poems and Inspirational Writings Celebrating Godly Men and Great RelationshipsClick here to find out ways you can help.

Would you like to receive your FREE e-chapbook entitled, Your Faith Has Made You Whole: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual Transformation, by Tracey L. Moore? Go to www.traceylmoore.com and subscribe to the email list.

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RELEASING THE JOY

portrait-of-a-happy-woman-by-anankkml

Jesus said He has given us everything we need that pertains to life and godliness (II Peter 1:3). As a believer, one of the things God has deposited into your born-again spirit so that you can live victoriously is JOY. Joy is such a beautiful thing because it’s a supernatural manifestation of the Holy Spirit Who resides within you. Joy gives you strength for living. Joy can get you through the most difficult of situations. Joy can cause unbelievers to be drawn into the Kingdom. Joy can be experienced regardless of what is going on in your life. The question is how do you release the joy? How can you tap into the joy within?

I recently saw Pastor Bobby Schuller on the Hour of Power television broadcast, and he stated that “joy is not passive,” but requires action. As you well know, taking Spirit-led action is paramount in many aspects of the Christian walk. Faith is an action. Faith without corresponding action is dead. Love is an action, not a feeling. Forgiveness takes action. Jesus commands you to love, bless, pray for and do good to the person who hurt you in spite of your feelings. Likewise, joy is released by taking ACTION.  In order for joy to manifest in your soul, you have to aggressively act in ways that will release it within. Passivity will keep the cap on the well of your joy.  Unfortunately, if your joy wanes, then your spiritual strength is sure to follow (Nehemiah 8:10). Therefore, it is very important that you be in control of your joy.

Normally, before God does something supernatural, He first requires action on our part. Before Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, He told the people to roll away the stone (John 11:38). Elijah told Naaman to dip in the Jordan river seven times before the power was released to heal the army commander of leprosy (II Kings 5:10). Moses had to lift his staff before the Red Sea parted (Exodus 14:16). Joy is no different. If you want the supernatural joy of the Lord to manifest, you must first DO something. Joy will not just fall on you. Releasing the joy requires a partnership between you and your God.

You see, many times when we are going through trials and tribulations, we forget to do the very things that will cause joy to manifest. The joy that Jesus died to give you will continue to lay dormant if you allow passivity to reign. Therefore, if you want to release the joy in your life in spite of your negative circumstances, here are seven Spirit-led actions you can take:

  1. Praise and Worship the Lord. God inhabits the praises of His people (Psalm 22:3). Therefore, worship ushers in the presence of the Lord, and  as Psalm 16:11 relays, in His presence there is fullness of joy. Therefore, if you want joy, bask in His presence through praise and worship.
  2. Forgive those who have hurt you. In Acts 13:50-52, Paul and Barnabas experienced persecution but were still filled with joy. Why? “They shook the dust off their feet” and refused to allow offenses to remain in their hearts against people who treated them badly. If you want the joy within released, you must forgive those who have hurt you.  Refuse to let offense shut off the well of joy that resides within you.
  3. Pray in Jesus’ name. Jesus said in John 16:24, “Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.” Thus, prayer is a powerful joy releaser for the following reasons: 1) prayer requires you to be aware of God’s presence; 2) prayer is fellowship with your best friend, and 3) having your prayers answered definitely brings joy.  Therefore, prayer is an action that you can take that is pregnant with the potential to release joy.
  4. Obey God’s voice. Obedience is also a key to maintaining joy. In Acts 5:29, the apostles were given strict orders by the Jewish leaders not to teach in the name of Jesus. However, Peter said, “We must obey God rather than man!” and they taught anyway. Later in verse 41, we read, “The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name.” They obeyed God and joy was released in them supernaturally in spite of the persecution. When you obey God and go through difficulty, trust God with the outcome and expect supernatural joy to be released.
  5. Believe the Word. Romans 13:15 relays that joy and peace are realized through believing. Therefore, if you are joyless, it could be because your faith has waned in some way. Is the enemy of your soul deceiving you regarding God’s Word? Believe, and supernatural joy and peace will be the result.
  6. Shift your perspective. James 1:2-3 says, “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.”  In other words, if you want the joy to be released, you have to focus on the advantages that God will afford you through your difficulty. Additionally, shifting your focus to what is good in your life (instead of constantly dwelling on the negative) and being grateful for what you have will release your inner joy as well.
  7. Engage in enjoyable activities. This may sound simple, but you may be joyless because you have failed to do what you enjoy. When your feelings go south, don’t just sit in a dark room with the curtains drawn. Do something you enjoy. Do something fun. Get a manicure. Watch a funny movie. Connect with a friend through a phone call or fellowship. Buy yourself some flowers.  Fight passivity with all that is within you, and take action!

Joy is a powerful inoculator against spiritual weakness (Nehemiah 8:10). Therefore, it’s imperative that you stay joyful. You may not be happy all the time because happiness depends on happenings. However, God has made provision for you to be continuously joyful. In fact, Paul says, “Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say rejoice” (Philippians 4:4)! If there was not a way to accomplish the feat of having continuous joy, that verse would never have been included in God’s Word. Therefore, as a believer, you must do your part and take action to make sure a constant flow of joy wells up in you regardless of the trials and tribulations that come your way. The question is: what are your willing to DO to release the joy within?

What action will you take today to release joy in your heart and soul that will strengthen you for the battle you face? Please leave a comment below.

 

I’d love your help spreading the word about my books, Oasis for My Soul: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual and Personal Growth and The Exceptional Man: Love Poems and Inspirational Writings Celebrating Godly Men and Great RelationshipsClick here to find out ways you can help.

Would you like to receive your FREE e-chapbook entitled, Your Faith Has Made You Whole: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual Transformation, by Tracey L. Moore? Go to www.traceylmoore.com and subscribe to the email list.

Find me on Facebook:  www.facebook.com/TraceyLMoore2012

Follow me on Twitter:  @TraceyLMoore1

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles via http://www.freedigitalphotos.net