Post 25 What should you do when God says no?

When God says no to us it doesn’t mean that there is some type of judgment coming on us, but could just reflect God’s plan and divine intervention.  Maybe what you ask for is a good thing (in your mind), and maybe it is, but maybe you are not the one God wants to do it.   God could very well have someone else in mind to do what you are asking for.  When you ask for something it is not always a question of being right or wrong but accepting God’s decision in the matter. 

We all want God to say yes to us when we ask for something.  Many times, He does.  Sometimes He says yes, sometimes no, and sometimes…not just yet.  We know God answers prayers, but He doesn’t have to answer them in the way you want Him to.  God will answer them in His time and way.  He is never late.  Some things are just not in our best interest or in the plan of God at the time.

But………………………………sometimes accepting the no might even make us wonder what is going on.  For there are verses that say that if we ask in faith we will receive.  Mark 11:24, Matthew 21:22.  So are you building your faith around that?  Wouldn’t it be wiser to give God your request, and ask God to show you why not or what is going on?  We need the full counsel of God. Acts 20:27. We need to know the word not just pick and choose verses we want to be true, but to ask God’s opinion on the subject.  It is sort of like your child coming to you and asking for something.  You are/or should be wiser that the child.  Maybe what they want you can’t afford at the time, maybe what they want is not good for them so you won’t give it to them.  Maybe they are too young to do something they want to do so you tell them they must wait until the right time.  Does that mean you don’t love them?  Of course not!  You make decisions on what is best for your child.

Take for instance: Several times in Scripture, God did not do as someone asked. He is God, and He can see things we can’t see. King David pleaded with the Lord for the life of his and Bathsheba’s infant son. David fasted and prayed for days, but, on the seventh day, the child died (2 Samuel 12:16, 18). God said “no.” David responded in a way that is a model for us all. He accepted that what God had done was right and good, “and he went into the house of the Lord and worshiped” (verse 20, NKJV). He had hoped for a different outcome just as we often hope for a different outcome to our question and prayer. But God is God, and He has the right to make life-and-death decisions. In his grief, David did not become bitter toward the Lord or turn away. David’s response to God’s “no” was deeper worship and surrender, even in his heartache. Would we do this, or would we become angry?  We would like to think we would accept what happens and not question God…but many, many people would. 

Paul was plagued by what he called a “thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me” (2 Corinthians 12:7). Paul pleaded with the Lord on three separate occasions to take this “thorn” from him, but God said “no.” In this trial, Paul learned to appropriate greater measures of God’s grace and to live for the glory of God through the difficulty. His response to God’s “no” was to glory in his weakness (verse 9). Instead of giving up in frustration or deciding God did not care, Paul chose to “delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong”.  God never stops being God. He is sovereign: “I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me. I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.’ . . . What I have said, that I will bring about; what I have planned, that I will do” (Isaiah 46:9–11).

There are many times when God can say “yes” to our requests because they fit into the plan He is working out in our lives  But our faith-filled requests do not supersede God’s sovereign rule. If He was bound by our prayers, as some teach, He would, in effect, cease to be God. We would be gods by dictating His actions. Nowhere in Scripture do I see such a precedent.

God will often say “no” to things we yearn to see happen. Those with immature faith sometimes use this as an excuse to abandon Him altogether: “God didn’t heal my baby.” “God didn’t save my marriage.” “God didn’t give me that job I needed.” If our view is that God is obligated to grant our requests like a genie grants wishes, then we will be dismayed when God does not “perform” for us. We choose whether to allow a “no” from God to shatter our faith or build it up; a “no” from God can teach us to endure—even when we don’t understand (James 1:3).

It is often in the seasons when God says “no” that we are forced to pursue God more earnestly. God’s “nos” often shatter the tiny box in which we tried to keep Him and allow the real God to reveal Himself to us. He says “no” when it is part of His grander plan. He says “no” when our lack of faith indicates that we do not truly believe He is who He says He is (Hebrews 11:6). He says “no” when our requests are rooted in selfishness (James 4:3) or when a “yes” would harm us. And He says “no” when, like Paul, we must learn that His grace is sufficient for us. The biblical examples of servants of God who experienced God’s “no” help us learn the right response when God says “no” to us.

There have been times in my life when I cried out and the answer was not what I wanted to hear.  We don’t want to hear that.  We want what we want when we want it…and that is just the way our mind thinks.  When my son was killed, and I have to be honest here, I was angry because I did not understand any more than any parent would understand their child being ripped from them.  I don’t know why and maybe never will this side of heaven, but I know my son is with God and that gives me peace.  I don’t know what he would have suffered had he lived.  Maybe that would have hurt even more than what it did.  We just don’t know.  God doesn’t answer everything the way we think He should, but His answer is always the right answer.  We might not want to hear…but if that is the answer we get, then just keep standing on His word and hang onto Jesus.  That no you hear (at the right time), might turn into a yes, or maybe God doesn’t want you to be the one to do something.  It is time we accept the answer God gives us.  He is God and we are not.