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.
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