When God Says No

Does anyone get frustrated with God? Anyone ever been disappointed with God when things did not turn out the way you had planned or even hoped for?

Every person has experienced these things and as a Christian, the question remains, “How do we react when God says no?” This is especially significant when we were certain that our prayers would be answered in a specific way, or perhaps when we were sure we had heard from God.

I would not suggest to you that I have the answer tied up in a neat box with a bow on it. Truth is, I can only answer you with another question– the question that Jesus asked His disciples Who do you say that I am? 

And by the way, have you noticed that Jesus did this on occasion — he answered a question with another question? His poignant questions got to the heart of the matter.

Then John’s disciples came and asked him, “How is it that we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples do not fast?” Jesus answered, “How can the guests of the bridegroom mourn when he is with them?” Matthew 9:14-15a

Then some Pharisees and teachers of the law came to Jesus from Jerusalem and asked, “Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They don’t wash their hands before they eat!” Jesus replied, “And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition?” Matthew 15:1-3

His disciples answered, “Where could we get enough bread in this remote place to feed such a crowd?” Jesus asked, “How many loaves do you have?” Matthew 15:33-34

Friends, Jesus asked 307 questions! This gives us a hint that He was more concerned with people’s heart change, with discovering Truth, than He was in spoon-feeding them the answer.

Let’s put this in context with our struggles when God says no– our loved one dies, our finances crash, our health deteriorates; this is where the rubber meets the road. We come up short with answers. We are disappointed, discouraged, disillusioned (the three deadly “d”s.) This is the moment where our faith is tested and this is a very significant moment; an opportunity to press into Jesus and listen to the question He whispers into our hearts.

Do you trust me?

Do you remember the promise in my Word that I will never forsake you?

Do you recall that though the world may fail you, I will not fail you? I am here

Can you look upon your personal road to Emmaus and see that my plan is much bigger than yours?

This is the moment of Truth. These are the questions the Holy Spirit asks to draw you deeper so that at the end of the stress of the trial, you will be transformed more closely into the image of Christ. And after all, isn’t that our end goal– to be like Jesus? So for those of you who are going through a deep disappointment, I do not wish to minimize the sorrow and sense of defeat. What I want to offer you is hope; that though the fire threatens to overtake you– God will fight your battle and in the end, you will come out stronger on the other side.

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned… (Isaiah 43:2)


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