WHEN GOD SAYS “NO” by PAMELA JOHN

Intro:

What is your attitude when you don’t get exactly what you prayed for from God? Do you get offended and charge God with wrongdoing or do you humbly accept His will? This article presents a balanced teaching on this subject so that we can serve God with the right attitude and not expose ourselves to physical and spiritual harm.

The article was written by an ordained minister of the gospel It brings in her personal experience as a believer and parent and is lovingly frank.


WHEN GOD SAYS “NO”

The relationship between believers and God is a love relationship in which we often ask God to do things for us in prayer. He is the Creator of all things and He has given us many wonderful promises in His word. It is, therefore, tempting to assume that because God loves us so much, we can get Him to do whatever we want, much like a doting parent would for his or her child.

But while God loves us so much, He is still sovereign and desires the best for us. And because our minds are finite (there are so many pieces of the puzzles of our lives and situations we have no clue about), we don’t know the future and frankly, we don’t always see things the way God does, it sometimes transpires that we don’t always have our prayers answered immediately and in the way we wish.

Our personal experiences have shown us that our prayers, whether big or small, will either be:
a) answered quickly in line with our request,
b) will not be answered immediately or
c) if answered immediately or later, may not be the answers we were expecting and finally,
d) may get a “No” answer.
There are many stories in the bible where prayers were not answered as expected. Remember, even John the Baptist before being beheaded asked his disciples to go and ask Jesus if he was the Messiah or they should look for another …. He did not want to die.

One thing I am learning on my life journey is to be thankful for what God has given me. If He does not give me everything I ask for, I accept His decision and keep living. I urge fellow believers to exhibit the same expressions of gratitude and thanksgiving regardless if God grants or denies their prayer requests. We must trust Him to do what is best for us. And the bible tells us that in all things we are to give thanks.

“And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” – Col. 3:17 (ESV)

Being a parent I can understand “Yes” and “No” answers. I can recall many instances, where I did not always give my children what they asked for. Heck, my parents did not give me everything I asked for either. Did I or my parents provide a reason for not granting the requests? Not all the time. That is how it is with God. Sometimes we pray and He will answer our petitions. Then there are times that He does not answer the prayers we put out there. Many times it is to our benefit that He doesn’t. Remember… that job you begged for, and the company went out of business 3 months later, #cough, #cough … you would have been jobless.

However, for many Christians accepting “No” from God seems not to be an option. When their prayers do not manifest to their satisfaction, they adopt a legalistic mentality of trying to earn things from God. Now enter the vending machine faith, give to get ….

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Sadly, for a lot of Christians, this actually is their lifestyle. They are constantly trying to get God to do something because they did something for Him. I mean, they wear themselves out trying to bargain with God and set up these transactions even when they have not specifically got any directives from the Holy Spirit. When the answer still turns out to be “No”, they begin to question: “Why, God, why? Didn’t your word say ask anything in Jesus’ name and I will receive it?”

Been there done that. Yes, I have said this quite a few times in the past when my prayers went unanswered. And no, I won’t try to proffer any excuses why God did not answer those prayers. The bible asks, “Who knows the mind of God?” I certainly don’t and will stay in my lane.

Also, we shouldn’t blame God when He says “No”. That is where you get into all sorts of problems, trying to second-guess God. You open yourself up to the enemy to try to discredit God in your heart. And when you develop a bitter attitude thereby, your heart goes out of sync with God and your worship becomes meaningless.

Therefore, I accept his “Yes” as well as his “No”, giving thanks for the prayers he has answered. The Lord is good and I’m happy (: Well, I am no super-Christian, I have my moments. ):

But the question that needs attention at this point is: Why do Christians insist on getting their way with God? Giving to get …ah Hercules, Hercules! I tell you why. It’s because many Christians are more interested in what they will receive from God than in God Himself. They have adopted the mindset that they can use their faith for any and everything and God is going to be that vending machine and pop it out.

Furthermore, they adopt a legalistic mentality of trying to earn things from God and some do this by sowing material seeds or offering service as currency to “buy” their desires from God. They feel this entitles them to command whatever they wish to manifest and to question God if He doesn’t respond.

Their prayers go from, “God, thank you for everything no matter how big or small” to “God I need this, I decree and declare that. Husband come now, wife come now, healing come now, money come now …” You get the point, right? They run from meeting to meeting, trying to get something from God. (I’m not saying it’s wrong to seek prayer and counsel to solve one’s problems.) But in this case, these believers have already got what God wants them to have at that moment and He does not make deals with anyone. Sadly, some end up going to the world or wicked powers to attain the desires they cling to or to get so-called quick solutions and answers that further complicate or destroy their lives.

It never bodes well when children of God decide to call the shots and insist on what they want irrespective of what God says. The children of Israel did it with their clamour for a king. God granted their request after pressure and their kings led them down the path of idolatry that resulted in their exile to other lands. Look at the unimaginable horrors they have gone through over the centuries.

Earlier, when they were crossing the desert en route from Egypt to Canaan, the bible recorded on their complaints about the manna God provided and their demands for meat that:

“14. In the desert they gave in to their craving; in the wilderness they put God to the test. 15. So he gave them what they asked for, but sent a wasting disease among them” – Psalm 106:14 – 15 (NIV)

In other words, we might get what we are pestering God for but lose our health. We might also forfeit our spiritual vitality or our entire relationship with God. Whatever it might be, we definitely lose something worth more than what we desperately sought. Even King Hezekiah who was acclaimed to have clung steadfastly to God much like his forbear, King David, showed strange signs of pride and self-centredness after God granted him a life extension in response to his desperate pleas and bitter weeping (2 Kings 18:5-6; 20:1-6, 12-19).

That is what usually happens when faith is redefined from “believing in and humbly serving a holy and sovereign God regardless of our circumstances” to “trying to control God to give us what we want”. Jesus said in Matthew 16:24,

“If anyone will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” (KJV)

Here Jesus is saying we are to abandon ourselves in faith by trusting IN HIM. He is saying that He is sufficient…that He can and will work…but on His terms, not ours. The bible also tells us in 1 John 5:14,

“And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us.” (KJV) Any other thing is just chasing shadows.

Let me end by stating, as the Psalmist did that,

“The LORD does whatever pleases Him, in the heavens and on the earth, in the seas and all their depths.” – Psalm 135:6 (NIV)

This is regardless of whether you name it or claim it. What He requires of us is honest and genuine faith in Him … complete submission to His authority and power in all things, big and small, even when facing death. So, get in line with His will for your life and learn to accept His “No’s” as well as His “Yes’s”. That is what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ. That is what will make the world see Him in you and desire to be saved. Remain richly blessed of the Lord in Jesus’ name.
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ABOUT THE WRITER

Pamela Johnson, who also goes by the pen name Beaute’ Naturelle, has been teaching and preaching the Word of God since she was ten years old. Growing up she was very active in the church as a Sunday School Teacher and choir member. Pamela and her beautiful husband as she refers to him, Hereford, are both ordained ministers and they are blessed with two loving children. One of their favourite sayings is, “Practice what we preach. When the world sees this in action, they will see the true love of Jesus and perhaps find themselves attracted to Christ too.”
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I am a university lecturer. I teach Mass Communication, mostly writing courses like Feature and Interpretative Writing, Magazine Article Writing and News Writing, and let’s just say I’ve been doing this for a long time. As you have probably guessed, I am a born-again Christian.

77 thoughts on “WHEN GOD SAYS “NO” by PAMELA JOHN

  1. I find this interesting in an intense fashion. It begins to address th@ question of balance between faith and understanding God’s will.
    I’ld read over and over.

  2. This reading is a contradiction of the word of God, The word of God is true,I think that when things don’t work out the way we want or think we often think God is saying no, but truth be told it is the working of our faith, James 1:3-8,. This just my opinion.

    • Not so, Sherry dear! Rather than contradict the Bible, the article takes a broad and insightful look at it to help us react properly when we don’t get what we want because it is a fact of life that we don’t always get exactly what we want. Can it be a test of our faith? It’s possible. But it could also be God pointing us in a direction that is diferent from where we were headed. James 4:3 says, “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.” Bless you!

  3. I am your mom and i am very proud of you continue serving the Lord for every one knows what God has done and is doing for them in their life be blessed

    • Awwwww! A big “Thank you” to Pamela’s mum for honoring this platform with her input. May God bless and keep,you in good health for many years to come in Jesus’ name.

  4. I am inspired by these words of wisdom and now knowledgeable about the word of God. I am so proud to call you my ohana;a wise, beautiful,African queen.

  5. Lady Of God
    I am so greatly inspired by your (God Given) words of wisdom. To God be the GLORY!!!! I honestly can’t recall reading an article of such frankness in reference to our faith and GOD’s will for our lives. Repositioning if the mind through the Holy Spirit, is the only way that we as Christians will understand what you delivering to us. Thank You Jesus. I’m so proud of you and keeping spreading the true word of God. Love You❤️~NITA?

  6. Such a powerful post. You are so right, many Christians today have a “vending machine faith. Giving to get.” May we all get to the point of seeking God for who He is and not just for what we want and be humble enough to receive even the no to prayer. Thank you for such a great word.

  7. Thank-you my Pam, my sister for the gentle reminder that our heavenly Father loves us and desires the very best for us. His word tells us that “he knows the plans he has for us, to prosper us and bring us to an expected end.” I too had to learn to accept his “no” and realize he had a bigger and better plan for me although I didn’t see it eventually I would. Thank you for sharing your heart.

  8. I had to take time and reread this. Definitely realized my mistakes. Ready to change. Blessings to you Mrs. Johnson and Aunty Edith!

  9. lol…i must say i do this. I always question him in any little set backs i encounter. but thanks to this. It has actually lit up every thought in me about him.

  10. Awesome. It’s not always easy to accept when God says ‘no’. But like always, he knows best and we should learn to trust him

  11. May God’s will be done in my life. Amen. Things must not always go the way one wants. Which ever way though, as far as it’s God’s way, I am okay with it. But the question is: How do you know it’s God’s will when things refuse to go the way you planned them to go?

    • I pray for God’s grace to accept whatever plan God has for me and also learn to be patient because he knows what’s best for me.

  12. Hmmm,you know,there was once a time when i didn’t think God could say no to any request brought before him.Then i started an intimate relationship with the Holy Spirit and got to understand that yes,God could actually deny us our requests,but only if they are not ours to have.That or He probably wants to make a name for Himself through our situation,draw us closer and use us for the glorification of his name.It can hurt a lot when He says no and that is why i pray He gives us the grace to accept that He knows what’s best for us and that in His own time all our worries and troubles will be no more.Amen

  13. Well Thank God my sisters. I agree with the words of wisdom given here. And i especially was drawn to “staying in one’s lane” For the Word is true…For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him? But what i respect is also the end of the scripture…” But we have the mind of Christ.” 1 Cor.2:16. A natural man cannot receive what God desires and has prepared for him…when he does not know the Holy Ghost.. The natural eye has not seen…natural ear has not heard, nor has it entered into the heart of man…until God reveals them unto us by His Spirit..as The Spirit searches the deep things of God. When we have received the spirit, not of the world but of God.Then we will know the things that are freely given to us of God. The Holy Spirit will lead & guide us into all truth so we will not be chasing shadows. Much to our own past experiences and sorrows we learned “as babes in Christ” we did not understand these truths being natural minded. But when the Holy Ghost came and we humbled ourselves to his teachings…comparing spiritual things with spiritual., then we learned those things were and are for our good.

  14. It is just recently that I came to understand why sometimes our prayers are delayed. God does not work on our terms but his and he is always planning something big for us if only we learn to to exercise patience and trust in him

  15. This is just the truth. This message is on point. God is not obliged to answer every of our prayers especially when such prayers are not helpful to us and our relationship and service to him. Nice one ma.

  16. There was a time in my life when I desperately wanted a favour from God, but in his still voice he told me No and this broke my heart. Now I realized his decisions for me are of greater good. When God make choices for us, he has a reason, therefore, we Christians should understand his still voice in our prayers telling us no, its not time yet .

  17. when God says No, His children should try to understand why, knowing fully well that he knows the best and has the best desires and wishes for us. Believers should not expect God to answer every prayer of theirs as his will for his children may sometimes not rhyme with their prayers which in such situations might not be answered. this is nothing but the truth. Nice piece. ride on ma!

  18. There is this that when man proposes God opposes. When God says no, we should always understand because He knows better than we do.

  19. We always want GOD’S NO to be YES because we want that thing, whether it right or wrong we don’t care. But when GOD says yes, who can say no. HE is the only one that has the final say in our life.I hope I will know when God says yes and no in my life.

  20. In as much as God is our heavenly and lovely Father, he knows the right provisions for us, it’s just that we most times ask amiss.
    Thank God really who understands what our needs are, and helps us in prayer through the holy spirit.

  21. Thanks for this beautiful post. Prayer is an act of communicating with God. While most Christians want to do the talking all the time, they fail to listen to God speaking his words of wisdom to us. Christianity is not a game where you give to receive in return all the time. God knows the best and he blesses us in his own time and not ours. May God help us to be patient while we wait for his blessings and also enlighten us to know when we are making the wrong request.

  22. God makes the best decision for us. He can see the future and determine what is best for us. So, when we don’t get exactly what we want or don’t have our prayers answered immediately, we should wait patiently and see what the future brings, because God definitely has a plan for us(which might be bigger than what we had in mind). Also, we should never doubt God nor question our faith for his time is the best. Thanks a lot for this post!!

  23. Undeniably, I get angry whenever I ask the lord for certain things in prayer and don’t get them. Many a time, I thought the lord didn’t love me or that I had committed an unforgivable sin, therefore I wouldn’t get answers to my prayer but the scripture has taught me that God’s ways are higher than mine, therefore I should always trust him and also accept his “no” response when I make certain request.

  24. God respond to us at the appropriate time,some times we feel that he has forgotten us not knowing his planning a better thing for us.Am a living Witness,God never fails his time his time is the best

  25. The Bible mentioned that “everything we need for live and godliness has been given to us in Christ”. Whenever God says yes or no to our requests, it is to our merit.We should learn not make God give us what we want because we don’t want to listen to Him rather we let His will for our lives be done.

  26. I feel like I’m in the church receiving some sermons from my priest and have greatly been impacted on. “God has the final say”, but people fail to realise this. Although God answers prayers, why does it take so much time before he does that? I think, “Favour and Greed”, a piece of work by Aunty Edith depicts clearly the intended message conveyed by Mrs. Pamela. Intriguing post.

  27. God is God all by Himself, so, you don’t get Him to do something for you just because you did something for Him. God does His things in a perfect time.

  28. God knows the best for us. Whatever He has allowed to happen to us, He allows it for a reason. When He decides to decline a request sent to Him by us, He has special reasons for doing so which we may not see at first but will definitely realize in the long run. So thanks for the enlightenment Pamela. This is a blessing.

  29. Thank God for this post. As believers we should learn to trust God to know what is best for us. So even when God says No to our request we should give him thanks.

  30. This is a clear evidence that in as much as God answers our prayers, He can also decline some. It is not because he cannot do them for us but he knows what best for us other than what we often ask for. Sometimes he just want us to have the virtue of patience. God never fails he only does his things in the best time. Thanks for this wonderful post.

  31. Why would He say “ask (and it shall be given to you…if you ask ANYTHING in my name, I will do it…if you ask ANYTHING in my name, the Father will give it you)” and still refuse to do it even after having used his name and believing? I know about praying amiss, but in this case one is not “praying amiss”, one is asking with a sincere honesty. Why??

    • We may sincerely want something but it may not be the best for us ever, or at that very moment. I believe that God overrules in our interest, even though it doesn’t seem so because we feel disappointed. Cheers!

  32. Yes! Most times we feel disappointed when God says no to some of our prayers but it is made known to us that he knows what’s best for us. So we should never feel less loved by him

  33. Yes, that is a nice one. Some times we are more concerned about the things we need God to do for us rather than the will of God being done in our lives. Even James said, we pray and do not receive answers because we pray wrongly. Jesus prayed that the cup be taken away so that He does not drink it but when He realized the importance of the will of God being done, He said ,” let not my own will be done but that of the father and the will of the father is that he drinks from the cup(dies) and the will of the father prevailed and so, He died. but thank God He resurrected.

  34. I find this very helpful, Aunty Pamela, God bless you.
    As students realising that God has an answer for us at every point in time would help us to persevere a little more and learn no to cast blames on God. We must indeed learn to key into what God is doing for us, even in times when He seems far.

  35. Am truly blessed by this piece.God bless you Madame Pamela. The part that really struck a chord in my heart, is where you said that we Christians feel or think it is our responsibility to make God do something for us because we did something for Him. This is not supposed to be so. when things don’t turn out the way we expect or understand,our plea and cry at that point should be ‘Father let thy will be done.’

  36. God knows the best for us. If we don’t get everything we ask him, we should still believe he knows the best for us all. May God help us understand this.

  37. When God says No doesn’t mean we should let go of our trust in Him. No because it’s for our benefit, No because we may be on test. But never No because we don’t deserve it. All things work together for the good of God’s people.

  38. For there is always a reason for any action from God. His No might be for the betterment of our lives. I urge us all to preserver even in difficult situation because his plans towards us is everlasting.

  39. God always know the best for us and there is this saying that God’s time is the best, so if our prayers are not answered at the time we made the prayers we should know that it’s for our own Good because God cannot deny His children anything good, we don’t know the mind of God, His ways are not our ways that doesn’t mean that we should not keep praying for what we want but let’s not make it a must that God will answer our prayers at that moment we made the prayers

  40. As Christian we believe God provides us with our major needs in life and sometimes not our wants, that is why whatever we demand from God one has to pray with faith.

  41. When I pray, I ask the lord, according to his will and according to the depth of my desire. So when my request is not granted I see it as, either my desire is not deep enough or It’s not God’s will.

  42. I don’t believe that God says no to our requests. Whenever we pray and situations seems unchanged, is either God says its not yet time or He has better plans in mind. He always knows the best for us.

  43. God is not man that you bribe by putting money side-by-side with your request, so that you make Him give you your desired answer.
    We should learn to accept the actions of God cause He knoweth all. He knows the reason why He did not give a “Yes” to your request, so, don’t question Him.

  44. God always knows what is right for us, he wouldn’t gift us things that would be detrimental to us, His blessings adds no sorrow. The fact that we don’t get what we want, when we want it or don’t ever get want we want doesn’t make God unjust or evil, His ways our not ours, his thoughts likewise, the bible says that His thought towards us is of good and not of evil to give us an expected end. Even when God says no lets have the understanding that he knows what’s best for us and has our best interest at heart. Thanks for this piece Pamela.

  45. It is said that when God says yes, He gives what was asked, he says wait and gives a better one and if he says no, he gives the best. truly, many does not take no for an answer in their relationship with God, forgetting that we are too little to understand the mysterious ways of the Most High. I think the a better attitude is to ask and, like Jesus, leave it to the will of God.

  46. “While God loves us He is still sovereign and desires the best for us” GBAM!(exactly). His plans for us are of good not of evil (#HIS PLANS, NOT OUR PLANS) Many a time we don’t seek for God’s plans rather we orchestrate our plans and present it before God to bless them. No, He says His plans, not our plans. God is sovereign and desires the best for us, hence even His “NO” is for our good.

  47. we should always bear in mind that God knows the best thing for us, the best time to give us and in what measure. our faith is not to command God but to trust in Him.

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