When God Says No

Have you been praying and crying for God to change your circumstances?

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- Posted on Nov 18, 2020

Path through a misty forest during a beautiful foggy autumn day; Getty Images

While Jesus was here on earth, he offered prayers and pleadings, with a loud cry and tears, to the one who could deliver him out of death. And God heard his prayers because of his reverence for God. Even though Jesus was God’s Son, he learned obedience from the things he suffered. Hebrews 5:7-8 (NLT)

My dad had already been diagnosed with congestive heart failure and had suffered two massive strokes when his doctor diagnosed him with advanced prostate cancer and lung fibrosis.

I lived nearly a thousand miles from my parents for most of my adulthood. I visited them whenever possible, but it never seemed enough, especially when Dad was so sick. As the end approached, I prayed and pleaded for the privilege of sitting with him when he entered Jesus’s presence.

God said no.

I was teaching at a string of women’s conferences in Eastern Europe when Dad died. I wasn’t able to attend his funeral. I felt like my prayers and pleadings had gone unheard—until I remembered Jesus’s situation.

Jesus prayed and pleaded to avoid the cross, but God said no. He accepted God’s answer even though He knew it meant suffering.

I chose to follow Jesus’s example. I hurt deeply, but He comforted me because He’d walked a similar path.

Have you been praying and crying for God to change your circumstances? How will you respond if He says no? I encourage you to follow Jesus’s example. Accept His answer and your circumstances. You won’t avoid pain, but you’ll certainly avoid regrets.

Faith Step: Write a description of a circumstance you’d like Jesus to change, then add a prayer of surrender.

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