When the Answer Might Be No!

11    For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor.  No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.

12    O Lord of hosts, blessed is the one who trusts in you!  Psalm 84:11, 12

Have you ever asked God for something over and over again so much so that you have already fashioned your life in pursuit of it? You are so sure that God is going to give it to you because 1) you’ve been faithful to Him and you think you deserve it, and 2) his giving it to you shows His faithfulness to you and His reward for your faithfulness? Of course, you’ve never felt like God owes you anything so I’ll just sacrifice my reputation for a moment and confess my own thoughts.

“If you don’t have it – whatever it is – its because you don’t need it! You may want it – but its not necessary in order to accomplish what He knows is most important for your life today – Otherwise, he’d have given it to you – He loves you too much to withhold the good from those who live with integrity (Psa 84:11).”

This was a quote from a book I read entitled Resolutions for Women.  I was completely blown away, convicted and encouraged all at the same time! I had been banking on the fact that God was going to give me what I have been asking for all these years.  I had been fashioning my life around it – getting ready for it – preparing myself for that glorious time when he would give it to me and all the while fully expecting that He would do it.  But as I read this sentence, he whispered in my ear ever so gently, so, so, Fatherly, but yet so distinctly, “Candie, what if I say no?” Huh? What did that mean? Did that mean that I have been pining away all these years hoping and trusting and waiting for something that God would not give me? It never crossed my mind that He wouldn’t do it! I’ve been faithful, I work in ministry, surely He would respond to my faithfulness by giving this to me! So after I wrestled with the idea that He just may not give it to me, I pondered on the sentence and on the scripture in Psalm 84: If you don’t have it – whatever it is – its because you don’t need it! You may want it – but it’s not necessary in order to accomplish what He knows is most important for your life today!

WOW!  As always God is concerned with the whole of our lives! He knows the end before it arrives.  In so doing, He knows that this particular thing I’m asking for is not necessary for Him to accomplish His will in my life – it’s not important for my journey! I thought it was! I thought it was going to make me happy! I thought it was going to fulfill me! I had plans for it for my life! But God – who is a sun (shines in my life) and shield (my protection) bestows favor and honor – grace and glory – specific for my life – specific for my outcome – specific for His purposes in me and specific for RIGHT NOW! And because of all this He doesn’t withhold any good thing from those who walk uprightly before Him – which means that He has so many good things lined up for me and He will not withhold them from me – so perhaps this thing that I’ve craved, wanted and just knew I was going to get – He has not deemed “good” for me – otherwise, I’d have it or will get it! He loves me too much to withhold good and He loves me too much to give me something that isn’t good for me!

Now, let me be clear – He didn’t say NO – He asked me, “What if I said NO?” He expects that I will do as in verse 12 and trust Him to do what’s best for me and in the meantime, if His answer is not clear or in the future He declines the request – I need still be content and faithful.  I realize that I don’t deserve anything! I am existing, moving, and being only because of the finished work of Jesus Christ. Yes, He does promise us things, yes, He does give us some of the things we desire (as they fall in line with His will) but sometimes we don’t get what it is we think we need.

I don’t know what it is you’ve been asking Him for, or how long  you’ve been asking and waiting – but you have to trust Him and know that He isn’t going to hold back any GOOD thing from  you – continue to trust Him and serve Him and accept his favor and grace that he’s provided sufficient for your life today! You need be content in Him, even if He says NO!

Just like a child that wants something so badly and his/her parent says no, I was disappointed and a little bowed down, but we all know children move on to the next thing and get over it, so I turned my attention to His grace and mercy – His SONshine and His protection….and I’ve moved on. I’m blessed just because I trust in Him!

c/Candie A. Price

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