So many people pray and get what they think are “no’s” to their prayers. They cry out for miracles and then when their miracle doesn’t happen, somehow they feel cheated. Trust me, I can sympathize with this attitude, because I’ve battled it over the last two years. I would sometimes pray, “God, if You would just intervene and do what I’m asking, that’s all I’d ever ask for Lord…so please Lord, heal and deliver Trey…do a miracle in him.” Well, that prayer wasn’t answered according to what I wanted, but it was answered perfectly according to God’s plan. God’s ways are simply not my ways…and the absolute truth is, HIS WAYS ARE BETTER! So, God’s knew what was best for Trey and He knows what is best for me and my family, and He did the miracle…He did what was best…and my inability to comprehend something doesn’t make it untrue or any less miraculous. His no to me, was really a yes!
Now, even though I know that to be true, I still battle the reality of it some days. When I start thinking in the flesh, my sin nature takes over…and that’s never good, but when I walk in the Spirit, my perspective changes radically. Something that I am learning is that while God’s answers to my prayers might appear initially as no’s to me, over time, I begin to see them as yes’s, as God reveals He was up to something greater. When we trust God in all things, we even get to the point where we thank God He did not give us what we asked for because what He was doing was so much better eternally.
I’m reading a book by Joni Eareckson Tada called, A Place of Healing: Wrestling with Mysteries of Suffering, Pain and God’s Sovereignty. It’s an excellent book and Joni is a hero to me. Her incredible faithfulness to the Lord after 40 years of being a quadriplegic and battling cancer on top of that is astounding. She writes the following in this book about receiving a “no” from God:
“A no answer from ‘from God’ has purged sin from my life, strengthened my commitment to Him, forced me to depend on grace, bound me with other believers, produced discernment, fostered sensitivity, disciplined my mind, taught me to spend my time wisely…and widened my world beyond what I would have ever dreamed had I never had that accident in 1967. My affliction has stretched my hope, made me know Christ better, helped me long for truth, led me to repentance of sin, goaded me to give thanks in times of sorrow, increased my faith, and strengthened my character. Being in this wheelchair has meant knowing Him better, feeling His pleasure every day. If that doesn’t qualify as a miracle in your book, then, may I say it in kindness? I prefer my book to yours.”
Folks, that is Christian maturity at it’s highest level. Real faith is trusting God when you get the “no,” but walking with Him until He conforms you to His will. We don’t believe to get what we want…we believe because we trust God and want His will to be done. Remember, the Lord knows those who trust in Him. I’m thankful for believers like Joni who set such an incredible example of dependence on the Lord and endurance through suffering. What an encouragement!
So Christian, if you’re receiving a “no” from God, just keep trusting Him and you will see how it was a yes…just of a different and better kind.