We so often misunderstand why God responds the way that He does to things we seek and ask for. We’re conditioned through worldly teaching to associate ‘no’ with the negative. But like with many things of God, they operate in contrast to our assumed and finite understanding of how life works.
The truth is, God doesn’t get pleasure out of saying ‘no’ to us just to see us squirm or disappointed. When God says ‘no’ to something, it’s actually for our benefit — not to take away from us, but to give us His best.
God doesn’t say ‘no’ to be mean, He does it for our benefit. Think about it. What does an all-powerful God have to benefit from telling a less than powerful human, ‘no?’
A ‘no’ from God doesn’t always mean it was a “bad” thing, it just means it wasn’t what He wanted in that way, time, or place.
When you’re confused about why God said ‘no,’ here’s another perspective to consider. When God says ‘no,’ what is He really saying ‘yes’ to?
… So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud. Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 2 Corinthians 12:7-9
Paul here in the scripture is asking God to remove a struggle in his life. God says ‘no’ and doesn’t remove the struggle, but He does give Paul something much greater — awareness of the gift of grace and power working in his life. He equips Paul for greater later. His thorn/struggle kept him on track from veering off of course (destiny). God will use our “problems” to position us.
God doesn’t always take us out of situations, but He will teach and equip us to go through. Strong faith is faith that’s been tried and proven.
What separates Christianity from others is that we view God as Father. A Father loves His children unquestionably. And any parent knows there are some things that you have to say ‘no’ to and your children will not understand why. But you as parent have a much broader perspective of the landscape of your child’s life. One that hopefully they will come to know and appreciate someday.
So it is even more so with God. As wise and experienced as we believe we are about what makes logical sense to the human mind, God makes parenting-like decisions on our behalf that we will not understand right now.
When you’re confused about why God said ‘no,’ rather than anger or get depressed, consider this:
What might God be saying ‘no’ to on this side of heaven? Is God saying ‘no’ now so that He can say ‘yes’ later?
If I were to be brutally honest with myself, am I even ready to maintain what I am asking for? Is this even what God wants for me?
When God says ‘no,’ what does this now make possible?