When God Says No
When God says “No,” He's actually saying “Yes!”
What a backwards thought! Have you ever petitioned the Lord for something that was pressing on your heart, and the answer wasn’t what you expected? Perhaps it was “Not yet” or “Not at all.”
I know, in my experience, when I've been so clearly denied something by God, I either listen and move on, pout for a bit and then find the courage to move on, or worse, willfully disobey. It is in those terrible moments that I have failed to internalize the words in Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”
I falsely believe that I know what is best for me, and I act against the Lord’s will. Now, trust me, and I say this wholeheartedly, willful disobedience only leads to immense pain and heartbreak.
We serve a God who happily wants to grant us what we desire, but He knows exactly what we need. If I believe that He is good, then I have cause to celebrate whether He answers with yes or no. I want to change my perspective and always believe that the Lord is saying yes — perhaps not to my desire that I'm having right that second — but saying yes to the wonderful plans He has so intricately woven together for my best.
Before I started working at my current company, there were two openings I was interested in. One sounded like the ideal position for me. I felt like I had the right qualifications, and it was something I enjoyed doing. I felt like that position was more versatile and would open more future doors.
Ultimately, God said no. I ended up with the position I believed was second best to what I wanted, and I pouted. I pouted some more, but finally God mercifully demonstrated His love for me as always. A few months into the job, I had a conversation with the gentleman who was granted the position I wanted. I was saddened for him as I heard how difficult it was to work for his manager, but I was relieved to know that God allowed me to avoid a rough situation.
Almost two years later, I have yet to hear something positive come from him and his situation with his manager. All the while, I've been working for a God-fearing manager who I can easily communicate with — and even openly speak to about my spiritual life — and he sincerely listens and gives me advice to help in my walk with the Lord.
God knew what I needed in spite of all my pouting over the thing I wanted.
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.