Summary: God ALWAYS answers our prayers, but sometimes His answer is "NO!". This message deals with how we are to handle God’s "NO!".
“When God’s Answer Is “NO!”
NOTE: I first preached this sermon in 1999; I’m not sure where I got the sermon idea, but it may not have been original with me.
INTRODUCTION – God ALWAYS answers prayer! SOMETIMES, His answer is YES … sometimes it’s NO … sometimes it’s WAIT … sometimes it’s “You’ve got to be kidding!” We like it when He says YES. We can endure it when He says WAIT. BUT … we can’t usually handle it when He says NO.
When God says NO, we become disappointed in God. WHY? BECAUSE … that’s not the answer we wanted … OBVIOUSLY … or we wouldn’t have prayed for it! As spiritually mature Christians, we must THINK it’s His will, or we wouldn’t have asked Him for it. We would NEVER ask for anything we knew wasn’t God’s will … would we? We think it’s BEST for us. How can God deny healing, salvation, protection, etc.?
What do we do when God’s answer is NO? How should we take His NO answer?
John 14:13-14 – all turn.
BUT … Sometimes God doesn’t do what we ask. Let’s take a look at “When God’s Answer Is NO!”
I. WE ARE IN GOOD COMPANY
1.- JOB – Job was a Godly, faithful, unselfish man. He refused to curse God when the Devil had a free hand over his body. He lost his children, his wealth, his health. He was covered with boils and sores. All he asked for was some relief from his torment. LISTEN to God’s answer - Job 30:20 – “I cry unto thee, and thou dost not hear me: I stand up, and thou regardest me not.”
I would have given Job what he asked for! BUT … God said NO! What happened? In the end, God gave him twice as much as he had before.
2.- DAVID – David was a man after God’s own heart. He was an ancestor of Jesus. He was the King of Israel, a writer of the Psalms. His son was sick. David was a man of prayer, and he fasted and prayed for 7 days. He prayed so intensely, that his servants feared for his life. BUT … God said NO … AND … his baby died.
3.- THE APOSTLE PAUL – Paul wrote most of the New Testament. He not only experienced miracles from God, but he was able to perform miracles. On several occasions God saved him from death. Paul had a “thorn in the flesh” – 2 Corinthians 12:7-9 – all turn.
We don’t know what this “thorn in the flesh” was. Some think it might have been malaria, poor eyesight, or a special demon. It was painful (“thorn”) … it was evil (“Satan”) … it was chronic (“tormented”) … it was frequent (“3 times”) … he was desperate (“pleaded”). BUT … God said NO! At least, God told him WHY … 12:9. When God told him WHY, Paul was able to handle it.
When God tells you NO, He’ll always give you the grace to live with His NO. When God tells you NO, just remember … you are in good company … Job, David, Paul.
II. WE ARE IN GOOD CARE
SOMETIMES, YES can be bad for us … AND … NO can be better for us. EXAMPLE: If your grandson asks you for a sharp knife, matches or beets, your saying NO can be the best thing for him. God really does care for you. Sometimes, He says NO in order to give us something BETTER … THOUGH … at the time, we can’t see or understand it. Remember Romans 8:28 – “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
We don’t always know what’s BEST for us … BUT … God does … ALWAYS. SOMETIMES, God says YES, and gives us the desires of our heart … WHEN … we would be better off if He said NO. Psalm 106:15 – “And he gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul.”
Let’s take a look at some EXAMPLES of this:
1.- ISRAEL ASKED FOR A KING – GOD wanted to be their King … but they insisted on a King that they could show off (Arnold S.) God gave them Saul, the King they wanted. They lived to regret it, as Saul failed both God and His people.
2.- GODLY KING HEZEKIAH – When God announced to him his death, Hezekiah prayed to God that he wouldn’t die. God said YES, and added 15 years to his life. It was the worst thing that could have happened to Israel. His son Manasseh was born, and he brought Israel down spiritually, leading them into Babylonian captivity.