When God said “NO.”

After three long months we got an answer to our prayer. It was a NO.

As difficult as it was to not be disappointed, we had to remember that we had been praying for God’s will to be done in this particular situation. Were we surprised with the answer? Maybe a little. In our minds we thought it was a great opportunity. But God knows best.

After my exhale (I feel like I hold my breath when I’m waiting, don’t you?) I had to stop and thank God. It goes back to the scripture found in I Thess. 5:18 when Paul tells us to “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

So, how do we move forward when we get the NO answer, or any answer different than the one in which we were hoping? Here are five things that help me and I hope they will encourage you.

Moving Past the No Answer:

  1. Remember that God created you and has set you apart for something and this may not be it. (Jer. 1:5).
  2. Believe in your heart that God has a plan for you, and this may not be apart of that plan. (Jer. 29:11).
  3. Have confidence that He will finish what He has started in you. (Phil. 1:6).
  4. Know that there is a season for everything under the sun. This may not be the right season for what you are wanting to accomplish, even though you think it is God’s will for you. (Eccl. 3:1).
  5. Remember that the secret things belong to the Lord. He doesn’t tell us everything so we must trust Him. (Deut. 29:29).

Thanking God For His Answer:

But of the five things mentioned, the most important thing we can do to move forward is be thankful. Our heavenly Father knows us better than we know ourselves and knows what is best for us. He also knows what’s in our future. Yes, I’m going to put my trust in Him and pray . . .

“Thank you Father for the NO answer. I’m glad you can see the future and know whether or not what we were praying for would have been good for us or bad for us. I thank you that you love us and care for us and when we come to you seeking your will that you are faithful to guide us as you see best. May we learn to trust you more as we wait expectantly for what your good and perfect will is for us. In Jesus name, Amen!”

How do you move past the “NO” answer? Let me know in the comments. I’m a “doer” and am always coming up with ideas and bringing them to the Lord. However, I seem to get as many “No” answers as the desired “Yes” or the hopeful “Maybe.” I would love to know how you handle when God answers your prayers with a “No.”

Scripture from English Standard Version (ESV)
pictures courtesy of www.pixabay.com