When God Answers "No"

When God Answers "No" by Elizabeth George

Fanny Crosby, the famous hymn writer, believed that God’s purposes are good. You can sense this in her comments about the doctor who caused her blindness:

“I have heard that this physician never ceased expressing his regret at the occurrence; and that it was one of the sorrows of his life. But if I could meet him now, I would say, ‘Thank you, thank you, over and over again for making me blind.’...Although it may have been a blunder on the physician’s part, it was no mistake on God’s. I verily believe it was His intention that I should live my days in physical darkness, so as to be better prepared to sing His praises and incite others to do so.”2

Through a doctor’s apparent mistake, God gave to the Church the wonderful songs of a blind Fanny Crosby who wrote hymns until she died at age 95—hymns that have endured and inspired others to greater faith.

Impacted by Others

When has someone else’s “blunder” or “mistake” touched your life? Or when has someone’s malice severely impacted you? People who have faith in God and hope in Him accept such unexplainable events as “no mistake on God’s part.” Like Fanny Crosby, a Christian who experienced tragedy in her life and continued to love God, you can model a strong trust and hope in God despite the events you encounter. So to start—or continue—down the path of loving God even more, pray and think through these exercises.

Inventory of Your Life

Take an inventory of your life. Chart the path you’ve walked, and review how God has shown you His will through the years:

  • When did He stop you, send you back, or re-direct you?
  • How did God change your direction? Did He “forbid” or “fail to permit” something?
  • Was there an “accident” or a “mistake” along the way, a tragedy, an unjust slander, an envious person, a failure, a lack, a deep hurt in your past?

Now look again at the autobiography you have just sketched. Where has God worked bad for good? And where do you see Him making you more like Christ?

When God Answers “No”

As you consider your autobiography you’ll be able to see that it is in limiting that God reveals the limitlessness of His power and grace and purposes.

  • God’s “no” to one thing is “yes” to another.
  • “No” in one direction is an indicator of “yes” in a different direction.
  • “No” to certain pursuits only means “yes” to others.
  • With God as your guide, a “no” is never the end. A negative is never permanent.

And even in the darkness that comes when we are unable to see how anything good could possibly come out of the bad, God’s promise in Romans 8:28 offers us the light of hope. Romans 8:28 brings the hope that God, ever faithful to His promise, works all things together for good for those who love Him...and we do!

RESPOND

Lord, Your Word says ‘All things—including this ________________ —work together for good to those who love You’...and I do. Amen. (prayer by Ney Bailey)  

RENEWING RESOURCES 

Finding God's Path Through Your Trials by Elizabeth George – We all face hard times. That's why we turn to Jesus, where we will find hope, joy, and meaning in the journey, no matter how bumpy it seems. 

Loving God with All Your Mind– Discover six powerful Bible truths that will help you draw closer to God and know His joy and love. Round out this powerful study with the DVD and study guide. 

REFLECT

This week, review your autobiography. Give thanks to God for each specific time you can see His hand working bad for your good. Praise Him for His purposes and provision.

What is your first reaction when God answers “no” to your desires? Begin to see “no” as a blessing!

REMEMBER

Thank God for His wisdom and ways, as unsearchable as they may sometimes be.

2. M.R. DeHaan and Henry G. Bosch, Bread for Each Day (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1962), June 23.


Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

Jim and Elizabeth George

Jim and Elizabeth George are bestselling authors and national speakers dedicated to helping people live a life after God’s own heart. Together, they have written over 150 books with more than 14 million copies sold around the world. For over 35 years, the teachings and steadfast example of Elizabeth and Jim have helped countless men and women:

  • Simplify life by focusing on God’s priorities.
  • Appreciate God’s Word and apply it to everyday situations.
  • Respond to circumstances with confidence by seeing yourself through God’s loving eyes.
  • Increase closeness in marriage by serving and honoring each other.
  • Powerfully shape the hearts of children and teenagers.
  • Enjoy greater intimacy with God.

Learn more about Jim and Elizabeth George here.

Jim and Elizabeth George

Jim and Elizabeth George are bestselling authors and national speakers dedicated to helping people live a life after God’s own heart. Together, they have written over 150 books with more than 14 million copies sold around the world. For over 35 years, the teachings and steadfast example of Elizabeth and Jim have helped countless men and women:

  • Simplify life by focusing on God’s priorities.
  • Appreciate God’s Word and apply it to everyday situations.
  • Respond to circumstances with confidence by seeing yourself through God’s loving eyes.
  • Increase closeness in marriage by serving and honoring each other.
  • Powerfully shape the hearts of children and teenagers.
  • Enjoy greater intimacy with God.

Learn more about Jim and Elizabeth George here.


Also in From Our Hearts

A Timely Leadership Lesson from Nehemiah
A Timely Leadership Lesson from Nehemiah

by Elizabeth George January 18, 2022

The Old Testament book of Nehemiah recounts, in thrilling detail, a monumental time in Israel’s history led by an unlikely exile. I encourage you to read it for yourself to discern in full the qualities of a great leader — patience, confidence, and trust in God alone. 

Read More
Making Your Time Count by Jim and Elizabeth George
Making Your Time Count

by Elizabeth George January 11, 2022

Time is redeemed when you make the most of your life by fulfilling God’s purposes. As you line up your life and seize every opportunity for useful service, your life takes on an efficient quality. 

Read More
Dedicate Yourself to the Long-Distance Race by Jim and Elizabeth George
Dedicate Yourself to the Long-Distance Race

by Elizabeth George January 04, 2022

The Christian life and spiritual growth are not sprints. They are long-distance races that require lifelong perseverance. You grow in spiritual maturity as you run the race moment by moment, day after day, and year after year. 

Read More