When God Says No
Though I’m ashamed to admit it, there have been times in my adult life when a “no” from God reduced me to a sulking, bitter child again. I sometimes even looked for a way around what God had denied me—-another way to gain satisfaction outside of His will. Nowadays when I feel that temptation coming on, I flip my Bible open to Luke 22. This chapter records Jesus’ final hours before He went to the cross.
Verse 39 says, “Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. On reaching the place, he said to them, ‘Pray that you will not fall into temptation.’
Then Jesus, whose heart was greatly burdened, poured out His agony to His Father.
“He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed,
‘Abba, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.’
An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.”
Even at the time of His betrayal and arrest, on the eve of His suffering, Jesus called God Daddy. Jesus brought His request to His loving Father and—-trusting Him completely—-left it there.
And His loving Father answered, “No.”
“No” to the one and only begotten of God, full of grace and truth.
“No” to the Daystar from on high, who brought light to our darkness.
“No” to the beloved Son with whom God was well pleased.
God said “no”—not because Jesus’ request was selfish or sinful—but because He had an integral part for His Son to play in the redemption of mankind.
God said “no” to Jesus because of us.
Because of that great “no,” Jesus did go to the cross and the veil was torn in two and the way made clear so that now I—a sinful daughter with no standing of my own—can enter God’s presence and lay my requests at His feet.
And because God delights in me and does all things well, I can trust that whether He tells me “yes” or “no,” His answer always comes from love.
A “no” from God does not necessarily mean that my request is sinful or selfish. It just means that He has something greater in mind for me than what I can imagine, much less ask for.
- His “nos” are always blessed.
- His “nos” are always best.
- And in His hands, our hearts can rest.