When God Says No
It feels like a dead end to hear “no.” A parent, a spouse, a friend, a boss, or God can refuse your request leaving you with questions that may never be answered.
What do we do when God tells us no?
Throw a temper tantrum?
Stop praying or reading your Bible?
Stop attending church?
Let’s be honest and admit that sometimes we want to quit the faith when things don’t go our way.
Just as earthly parents tell their children “no” in order to protect them, God does the same thing with us. His unconditional love won’t allow a “yes” for requests that run against His will for your life or the generation coming behind you.
What should you do when God says “no”?
Step #1) Trust completely God’s loving hand over your life.
“In you, Lord my God, I put my trust” (Psalm 25:1).
When God says no, it will break your heart and you may be tempted to not trust in Him with all your heart. Yet this is what trust is—trusting when you can’t understand His ways. When you trust in God in the darkness, your walk with Him becomes more keen and clear than if you could always see what’s next.
Step #2) Recommit to follow Christ no matter what.
“But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up” (Daniel 3:18).
When Nebuchadnezzar threatened Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego with the agonizing death by fire, they recommitted themselves to serve only God even if they had to die. Every believer will be tested in this way that will stretch and grow our faith so that we will learn perseverance under fiery trials.
Step #3) Revaluate our life journey with God.
“Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me.” (Matthew 10:38).
Taking up your cross isn’t a pretty walk across a park. At times it’s difficult, painful, and heartbreaking. You need to make sure that you’re all the way in the faith. Jesus gives meaning in the madness, strength to the weary, and salvation to those who turn to Him with their whole heart.
Step #4) Surrender your will to His will
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:11-13).
God wants each one of us to come to the place of reckless abandonment to His will for our lives. We surrender our hopes, dreams, and visions for His ultimate glory. As a result, we faithfully trust in His ability to give us the good and perfect gifts in His timing.
When God says “no,” He is doing you a HUGE favor. Check out the next blog, When God says Wait, to learn the last step in answered prayers.
The New International Version. 2011. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.