If you have spent any amount of time in church, someone has given you the advice to pray about it. Many have tried to turn God into our cosmic concierge, forgetting that He is the sovereign ruler of heaven and earth. He has His own plan and will for us, and regardless of our relationship with Him, there are times that we ask for something outside of that, causing Him to say “No”. I’m not talking about anything blatantly sinful or clearly beyond moral reason, but something that is a legitimate desire; and God says “No”.
Yes, that can really sting. Despite his deep revelations of God, and a unique relationship with Him, the Apostle Paul had a “thorn in the flesh” (2 Corinthians 12:7). Neither scripture, nor history tells us exactly what it was, but whatever it was gave Paul a lot of trouble. So much so that he pleaded with God, in 3 separate seasons of his life, to take it away (verse 8). God answer was the same every time, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in weakness,” (verse 9a); which is just God’s beautiful way of saying “no.” While Paul had a legitimate complaint, God’s response was yet “no.”
In no way does God have to explain Himself to any of us, but I have experienced, in my own life, the blessings of God’s “no”. Here are five reasons why God’s “no” is a good thing for you:
- It’s not punishment, but perfection. In the case of Paul, God made it clear to him that this “thorn” was not chastisement or punishment; but it was a tool to make Paul better. Muhammad Ali once said, that he hated training, and he despised running, loathing every minute of it. But in order to be a champion he had to do it. Likewise, God will say no, in order to make us as great as we can be. Greatness comes at a sacrifice.
- It’s for your protection. Everyone can’t handle everything. Something as simple as a peanut can mean death for some people. Dairy Queen posts a sign stating that they use peanuts in some of their food, which may cause cross-contamination, for the safety of those who have food allergies. Perhaps God knows what you can handle, and is shielding you from what could destroy you.
- God has something better in mind. Every year, when the fair (carnival) comes to town, people ask if we are going. The answer is always no, because every year for the past several years, we have taken our kids to amusement parks, such as Six Flags. No shade to the local fair; but it pales in comparison to Six Flags. While you may have something in mind, God wants something better for you.
- God knows “yes” will make you miserable. When the nation of Israel pleaded for a king, God decided to give them exactly what they wanted: Saul. Saul was tall and good-looking, looking very kingly, but was in no wise a great ruler. God warned them, through the prophet Samuel, their king would cause unprecedented misery throughout the land (1 Samuel 8). Let God steer you away from that, because desiring something, is not reason enough to have it.
- He doesn’t want to lose you. God knows that if we get our way, we will leave Him, because He is a jealous God. While this may sound like an over-possessive husband, it is quiet different. God is our maker and sustainer; apart from Him we will most definitely be consumed. At the end of the day, we are the only ones who can separate ourselves from Him.
Sometimes, God will just say “no,” and in those times, let me encourage you to be spiritually mature enough to accept it. God has a reason for everything He does, and ultimately, His “no” is your blessing!
© 2016 Derek J. Murphy Enterprises, and I AM KINGDOM Publishing, All Rights Reserved.
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