I was sitting at church listening to the message the pastor was giving. In it, he was talking about praying for a man who had cancer. Despite praying fervently, his health deteriorated. But what stood out to me was that the pastor went to visit this man in his last days and despite the prayers, simply told him that sometimes God says no and God had a purpose for this.
When I first heard this I was saddened, confused, but it made me think. Everyone wants life to be good. When it comes to following God, it almost becomes an expectation. But God can say no. That’s a tough pill to swallow because we see God as someone who is supposed to give us everything we want. But that’s not the case. We will never know all of His plans in the bigger picture. But I won’t deny that disappointment is hard to come to terms with anyway.
Why Does God Say No
Feel good messages can be the reason so many people believe our lives are supposed to be perfect. We believe that God just wants us to be happy. But there are plenty of times in the Bible that God talks about trials. (See Romans 12:12 as an example) They’re going to happen regardless if we follow God or not. Does God answer our prayers? Absolutely. However, if the thing is not in His plans, He won’t make it come to pass. He does say no. We have to remember that. It may hurt but it’s His plans, not ours. At the end of the day, He knows best and He understands the overall picture of our life. He doesn’t say no to hurt us. There is a bigger picture in our lives and He sees that.
The Seasons of Life
For myself, I know when God says no. But I do tend to go back and wonder what if. I wonder a lot if God is wrong. When the door closes I doubt myself and wonder if it was really God or it was my own thoughts. Life goes through highs and lows. I know I deeply question and panic in the lows and wonder why God is doing it. Hearing no makes me hope there’s a yes right after. However, I just need to learn what God wants me to learn in the season and why He said no.
This is Where Faith Comes In
Trusting God in the unknown is never easy. Proverbs 3:5 is a good verse to lean on because it reminds us to lean on God and not our understanding. Painful things make us question God. But He is good. He forewarned us in the Bible that we will have trials and we can see what the disciples endured. It’s hard but we just have to trust Him. He will give us peace in the storm and will help us when no comes because He knows what is to come.
It’s hard to understand that God knows what’s best when He says no but He does. A lot of things don’t make sense now but He will make it clear eventually. All you can do is hold on to His promises and allow Him to give you peace in the disappointment.
Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. – Philippians 1:6 (NIV)