We give our requests to God in prayer [Philippians 4:6-7], in faith [John 14:13-14]. We hope for the best. We hope His answer will be yes to all that we ask for. We do all we can to honor Him [Romans 12:1-2, Ephesians 4:1-2]. We are faithful, we are obedient [John 14:15], we are willing, but doors are shut or remain closed. The answer is no. His answer is no. We play it through our heads over and over again, and think, what went wrong? We did everything right. Did we not? We trusted Him, we surrendered to Him [Proverbs 16:3], we believed that His will would be done. But then…the answer comes, and we are shocked. This is not what we expected. He said…no…? Could that really be a part of the plan…His plan?
We have been through situations in life that we have desired something different from what the end result turned out to be. There have been quite a few instances when we have disagreed with God about how things should work out. The possibility of a job, a potential relationship, the desire for a child, the hope of doing something bigger and better, and so many other things…we see our options as good, we see our desires as good. We see one answer. He sees another. Lots of confession happens in the times when we elevate ourselves to where He is, when we think even for a second that we know better. The truth is – He is God and we are not.
Could our yes really be better than His no?
When God says no, our faith is stretched in ways we did not think it could be or even would be. When God says no, He remains in control just as He would if He said yes. When God says no, we can be assured that there is something better. But better does not always mean more beautiful, more fame, more money or more temporary blessings. As true followers of Christ, it rarely means those things. Better most likely means sharing in the sufferings of Christ, waiting longer than ever anticipated and completing impossible tasks. Better could even mean persecution and rejection. We can always be assured that His best will always be better than ours [Isaiah 55:8-9]. Jesus is always better.
God’s answer does not change Him. God saying no does not mean that He has stopped being faithful and loving. No does not mean that He will no longer work all things out for our good [Romans 8:28]. It does not mean that we are on our own [Matthew 28:20] or that He does not care about what we care about. No does not even mean that our inheritance has been taken from us [1 Peter 1:3-5]. No means He is saying, “Trust Me, child.”
Do not be deceived; circumstance does not dictate His perfect plan. He has the final word. Nothing or no-one can derail His purpose [Job 42:2]. Will we choose to accept His answer, wait, remain faithful and expect that He will continue to be who He has always been? Will we trust Him?
For the job that was not offered, the relationship that was not allowed, the baby that is desired, but not given…for all the unexpected twists and turns of life…the good news never changes.
Christ died, Christ was buried, Christ rose again
The gospel of Jesus Christ always puts things into perspective [1 Corinthians 15:3-4, Isaiah 53:4-6, Romans 3:23-24, Ephesians 2:4-5, Colossians 1:19-20, Titus 3:4-7]. Even when He says no, His love is sure and unconditional. His love is powerful. His love is constant [Hebrews 13:8]. His no is good because He is always good [Psalm 119:68]. Keep on rejoicing! We will be with Him soon [Revelation 22:20].
So, when He says no, we say, Yes, Lord.