What’s So Amazing About God’s Grace – Pt. 6
When God Says No
2 Samuel 7:18-29
God answers prayer but His answer may not be the one you are looking for. What do you do when God says, “No!” to your prayer request?
King David made the initial plans to build a temple erected to God because he wanted God to have greater honor. David shared his desire with Nathan the prophet and God spoke to Nathan concerning the matter. The Lord’s response was not the one David wanted. The LORD declared that after David’s death He would allow David’s son to build the temple. When King David received God’s response to his request he went in and sat before the LORD, and he said: “Who am I, O Sovereign LORD, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far?”
Food for Thought
We don’t always understand why God says, “No!” However, consider these four (4) possibilities:
He Has Another Plan
There is an old Yiddish Proverb that says, “When man makes plans, God laughs.” The bible teaches us in Jeremiah 29:11 that God has a plan for our lives. It is important for us to remember this is God’s Story, not ours. We are merely actors playing a role in the divine play of life and there are times when what we ask for goes against the plan of God.
The Timing Is Not Right
God didn’t deny David’s request. He simply said, “Not now.” David’s son, Solomon, would get the answer to prayer that David prayed for. Sometimes the prayer request you pray for is not for you. I once heard a quote by W.T. Glynn that Paul Tillich once said, “Above the throne of God are suspended prayers that God has not answered yet.” The truth is, we may never see the answer to our prayers in our lifetime.
Your Heart Is Not Ready
James wrote in his epistle that some of our prayers are derived from our own lust and have nothing to do with the will of God. Some prayers are unanswered because our hearts and desires are not in the right place.
To Better Understand God’s Grace
The Apostle Paul asked the Lord to remove a thorn from his flesh three times and the Lord said, “No”. However, God’s “no” taught Paul that God’s grace will help you get through the “no” and will sustain you with a steadfast hope.
When God Says “No” Remember What’s So Amazing About Grace.
Grace Helps You Look Up – Although God said, “No” David looked up and gave God praise.
Grace Helps You Reflect Back – Grace will remind you of all of the undeserving times that God said yes when He should have said no.
Grace Helps You Move On – The great hymnist Isaac Newton’s words are ever so dear; “Grace has brought me safe thus far and grace will lead me on.”
How did David respond to God’s “No?” David did 3 things:
- He Looked Up: When David realized that God would not honor his request he went in before the Lord and began to pray. His prayer was not one of haughtiness but that of humility. His prayer was not of protest but of praise for the promises of God. Although God did not answer “yes” to David’s prayer, David began to praise God for what He promised to do for his family.
- He Reflected Back: In verses 23-24, David began to reflect on what God had done in times past. He reminded God of what He had already done while at the same time reassuring himself that God has always kept His people’s best interest at heart.
- He Moved On: In verse 29 David moved on. He has resolved in his mind that “Father Knows Best”. David said to God, “The answer you gave me shall be established forever and we will do what you have said. We will magnify your name forever and let the house of David be established before you.” You said it and that settles it!
Dr. Oscar T. Moses