Monday, October 24, 2016

Dial Daily Bread: When God Says "No"

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

What do you do when you pray … and pray … and pray … and you don't get an answer? Or at least, you don't get a "Yes" answer? Did you say that you have never had that experience, that all your prayers get a "Yes" answer? If so, you are most unusual. Many people, especially children, are disturbed and confused when they hear stories of other people getting wonderful miraculous answers to prayer, and they don't seem to get them.

Even the apostle Paul had to suffer the disappointment of not getting the "Yes" answer to his prayers. He tells us of his experience in 2 Corinthians 12:7-10. He had a painful physical problem, and three times he earnestly prayed, "Lord, take this away--set me free from this." And the Lord said, "No," "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness."

Paul's response was: "Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong."

We need to understand, and children need to understand, that sometimes the Lord says "No," but if He says "No," it does not mean He does not love us. We know positively that every heart-felt prayer is heard, and even when the Lord cannot say "Yes" because He loves us too much to give us something that would in the long run hurt us, one thing we can know for sure: He will always give us enough grace to endure the trial that we wanted Him to take away from us. And that grace is often much better than having the trial taken away. Why? Because His wonderful power is strongest when you and I are the weakest.

When God says "No" today, it means that in the long run, that "No" was better than the "Yes."  And that's good news to remember.

--Robert J. Wieland

From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: 1994 Phone Message.
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