When God Says NO

Seek: A Woman's Guide to Meeting God

Today in honor of the release of SEEK: A Woman’s Guide to Meeting God I’m printing an excerpt from the book–one I think we can all relate to: When God Says NO.  If you’ve popped over from Karen Ehmans’ blog, a special welcome!  Happy Monday and I hope you’ll find the following helpful when God says no to you….


It’s one thing to endure in prayer when God makes you wait, but

it’s another thing altogether when God tells you no outright. No

is a bitter pill to swallow if we fail to see the loving hand it’s sifted

through. When God says no, it’s easy to be angry with Him, or

become discouraged, disillusioned or disbelieving. It’s easy to buy

into the lie that God doesn’t love you as much as He loves other

people. Or maybe you even start to wonder if God exists at all.


It’s easy to lose faith.


You may have never considered this before, but Jesus received

a no to one of His prayers. Mark 14:32-42 records Jesus’ prayer

the night before His crucifixion. Deeply troubled and distressed,

Jesus asked the Father, “Take this cup from me” (v. 36), begging

for an alternative to the cross. In essence Jesus said, “Father, if

Your plan for salvation can be accomplished in any other way,

please do it. I don’t want to be crucified.”


Does it surprise you that Jesus felt troubled and distressed?

Does it shock you that Jesus didn’t want to be crucified? To die

by crucifixion meant the most painful, horrific death a human

being could experience. In His humanity, Christ asked for another



Ultimately, though, Jesus was willing to do whatever the Father

deemed necessary. “Yet not what I will, but what you will”

(Mark 14:36). Three times Jesus unloaded His heartfelt plea for

the Father to remove the cup of sacrifice from Him. Finally,

though, the answer came.




Jesus knows what it’s like to pour your heart out to the Father,

begging for an escape from a horrific circumstance. He also

knows how it feels to ask but not receive the answer you hoped

for. Most importantly, He knows how God’s no, though painful

at the moment, is always filtered through the hands of love—love

for us and for those around us. That’s why Jesus could pray, “Yet

not my will, but your will be done.” Jesus asked if there was any

way possible to be spared from dying a sacrificial death on a

cross. God said no.


God’s no, however, led to the ultimate yes.


Yes to salvation for millions. Yes to eternal glory for Christ.

Yes to resurrection life. Yes to victory over death. Yes to the defeat

of sin. Yes to God’s eternal plan. Yes to life everlasting.


One no meant a thousand wonderful yeses.


And so it is with you and me. When we pray, God hears and

answers. Sometimes He says yes. Sometimes He says not yet.

Sometimes He says no. But make no mistake—prayer always

moves the hand of God. The answer will result in His glory, the

benefit of others and our ultimate good.


What should you do when God says no? Remember Jesus.

Remember how God turned one no into a thousand yeses. Remember

God’s character—that He is always good, always loving

and always wise, even if it doesn’t feel like it in the moment.

Remember that His ways are not always our ways. Remember

that He sees the beginning from the end and knows the whole

story, while we see only part of it. Remember that God will

never leave you or forsake you. Remember that if you know

Christ as your Savior, you are God’s child and He has your best

interests at heart.



If you would like to order a signed copy of SEEK, hop over to the home page and order there. Today is the last day of the pre-release discounted price, so don’t delay! Or if you like, you can order SEEK at Amazon and Barnes and Noble, too.




  1. Pam Apffel

    Donna, I loved this perspective and found it so encouraging. Love the remindernof Jesus receiving a no answer, and that the “no” resulted in the ultimate “yes.” Also liked that the idea that of God’s “no” is not a rejection but a redirection!

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