It’s usually not an easy thing to hear.
Sometimes it brings a sense of relief or direction, but it’s more likely to produce questions, frustration, maybe even resistance.
When we’re staring at something we think we really want, it’s important to acknowledge and accept that God’s ways are much higher than ours, and His plans for us are amazing, even though we may not fully grasp what those plans are.
Of course, we don’t enjoy it when God says, “no,” but it’s not always a reprimand. Sometimes a “no” is required to keep us on the path to the “amazing” thing He has for us.
Whether you’re waiting for an answer or have been given a No, I want to remind you of some things and hopefully encourage you.
5 Things To Remember When God Says No
1. It doesn’t always sound the way we think it should.
I don’t know about you, but when I’m waiting for an answer from God, I want Him to come down from the heavens, take a seat in front of me, and give me an audible answer (preferably with all the reasons why).
Unfortunately, it doesn’t happen that way.
No matter how much I beg Him to do things my way, His way always wins out. With good reason, too! There’s so much to learn in the process, in both the seeking and the answering.
When God says no, it doesn’t always come in that audible answer we desire. And, it doesn’t always sound the way we think it should.
It may sound like the voice of a pastor, or the sound advice of godly counsel. It may not sound like anything at all, but rather feel like an uncomfortable experience or interaction.
Don’t let your desires or preconceived ideas of how God should communicate keep you from acknowledging His answer.
2. It’s often found in the Word.
When we’re in need of an answer, the Scriptures should be the first place we look.
We will never get an answer from God contrary to His Word.
He doesn’t change, and His Word is established forever.
1 Samuel 15:29 tells us that God doesn’t change or lie, and Hebrews 13:8 (NIV) says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”
Jesus tells us in the gospels, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.”
Now, we don’t intentionally seek an answer contrary to what we consider “the big things” found in Scripture. But, what if we’re seeking something that doesn’t allow God and His Kingdom to be first in our lives?
His Word reminds us to seek His Kingdom first (Matthew 6:33), to submit to those who rule over you (Hebrews 13:17), and submit to your husband (Ephesians 5:22, Colossians 3:18), to honor and obey your parents (Ephesians 6:1-3, Colossians 3:20), and so much more!
Make sure to stay grounded in His Word, and obey what you already know is written there. Your answer from God will never offer an escape, or an option to go around His Word; no matter how much you may want it to in the moment.
3. Don’t ignore the No.
When we don’t want the answer to be No, and it doesn’t sound quite the way we were expecting it to, it’s easier to ignore it. We can convince ourselves that He hasn’t really answered us. Worst of all, we can start to think that our situation is different, as if no one else ever had that thought.
Don’t ignore it!
Don’t choose to walk in disobedience (which is sin), deceiving yourself and taking a path that God never intended for you.
Even if it hurts right now, and it’s not the answer you wanted, accept it.
Trust that God knows what He’s doing.
He not only wants what is best for you, but He knows what is best for you.
Don’t prolong the pain of indecision by ignoring the voices and signs that God has placed in your life.
4. Don’t be distracted by the No.
Sometimes it’s just hard to let go.
I mean, we have questions we want answered!
If not this, then what?
If not now, when?
We can mope. We can obsess. We can let what we don’t need consume us.
And we can miss out on what God has planned.
If we’re distracted by the No, we aren’t looking up and forward to what the future holds. We’re not learning from the experience. We’re not trusting God.
We may even miss out on the Yes.
Which leads me to the final thing you should remember when God says No: The Yes.
5. There’s a bigger Yes waiting for you.
Don’t be so consumed with what you can’t have or don’t need, that you miss the amazing Yes God has for you.
When the answer is No, it’s not the end!
When our trust is in God and the plans He has for our lives, a No simply indicates that there is something else, even greater, around the corner. Something beyond what we could have imagined!
We may never get all our questions answered, and sometimes the No is for our physical, emotional, or spiritual protection. Sometimes it’s for God’s purpose, which is even more important.
But, He has a great big love for us, and we can trust Him.
That’s a promise we can hold to, even when God says “No.”