Can you imagine what it would be like to get everything you wanted? I can’t think of a single place in the entire space-time continuum where that would be a good thing. We forget that we aren’t as smart as we think we are. We have a limited perspective, a limited understanding, and a very limited knowledge of what is truly good. If we got everything we wanted, most of the time it would be a really bad thing. Sometimes we need God to give us a gracious no.
God Know Better
God has promised that he will always provide a way out of temptation (1 Corinthians 10.13). Jesus tells us to ask for something even better than that: that God would keep us out of temptation entirely (Matthew 6.13). God knows where everything will ultimately wind up, and sometimes we ask him for things that will end terribly for us.
Maybe we’re asking for something that’s fairly neutral but the answer still seems like “no.” Why is that? God has also promised that he can bring good out of every situation (Romans 8.28), but that doesn’t mean he’s going to do exactly what we want. It means that God is going to do whatever is best for us and others eternally. It means that God will do what is best according to his eternal plans. We don’t get to know those plans, so we have to trust that God’s got everything under control.
God Gives What Is Best
Deuteronomy 6:24 says that God’s commandments are “for our good always.” God always has our best interest in mind. He loves us and only wants good things for us. All of God’s commandments lead us into righteous joy that God intended from the beginning. God made the world for us to enjoy, and he knows how to do that the best. We should listen to him.
Additionally, God knows how to give good things to his children. He knows what we need, when we need it, and why we need it. If we ask for something and don’t get it, we should automatically assume there is a really good reason why. I have seen God say “no” in my own life because there was a better “yes” waiting down the road. If you seem to be getting “no” to a prayer right now, just wait and trust that something better is coming.
God’s Gracious No
Sometimes the greatest thing God does for us is say, “No.” Just like small children, we don’t like it when our heavenly Father tell us no, but part of faith is trusting in the wisdom and guidance of God. We know that he loves us, that he wants to give us good things, and that he will give us all the spiritual blessings in Jesus (Ephesians 1.3). Even though we may not like it in the short-term, we must trust that God knows what he’s doing when he tells us no.