If you haven’t discovered it yet, you will eventually face a specific time in your life when God seems to say “No” to your prayer. Or when He allows you to face a life-changing difficulty. No amount of begging, praying, or faith-claiming changes the outcome. The physical healing just doesn’t happen. A wonderful job opportunity falls through. Your intense prayers for a child seems to fall on God’s deaf ears. And it hurts. Deeply.
This is typically when many individuals walk away from what faith they had in God. And those who still remain within the church, quit trusting and begin closing off their hearts to the Father.
Since our family has faced our share of struggles, I’m passionate about helping others prepare for these distressing times when God’s answer seems to be “No” to a heart-cry request.
R.T Kendall has said, “100% of all believers will go through a time where it feels like God has abandoned them, or it seems like God has let them down.” He went on to say that more than 90% of us fail to ever break though this betrayal barrier. Our grief, pain, and our feelings of abandonment will get in the way of truly trusting God again.
When we struggle with these feelings of betrayal, it hinders us from having a close relationship with the Father, which is exactly what the enemy intends, and why it’s important for the church to prepare each person for the battles we will eventually face.
Since we live in a fallen world, I believe I need to take a moment and talk about the difference between God’s “No” and our own consequences.
For example, should we demand God to heal lungs that are scarred from years of smoking? Should a young person ask for God’s protection as he is knowingly going somewhere against his parent’s wishes? How logical is it to pray for God to heal our headache or obesity, when it’s caused by our poor eating habits or lack of self control? Our flippant and poor choices shouldn’t suddenly become God’s responsibility to correct. Don’t blame God for saying, “No” when you may be experiencing a consequence or the result of living in an imperfect world.
I know we can never do everything perfectly, and I’m not intending to bring condemnation. But, all too often, God is blamed for our own failures, lack of self-control or responsibility.
But what about those times when you’re doing all you know to do and bad things still happen? God just doesn’t come through for you. At least not in the way you intended. Then what?
We are prone to be prideful, selfish individuals. We believe we deserve to be happy, comfortable, and healthy. We complain and become angry and bitter when we’re not. After all, our good works have earned God’s favor. Or so we think.
But, my friend, our spiritual maturity is not measured only by our faith in God to change circumstances, but how well we worship during our storms. Our depth of faith is determined by how easily we can see God’s goodness in spite of our shattered circumstances. Sometimes real faith isn’t claiming God’s healing, as much as it is claiming His goodness even when healing doesn’t happen.
Our physical infirmities and losses pale in comparison to our blessings. True beauty can be discovered in our most unlikely places. Just as we can never appreciate the beauty of the rainbow until we face the storm, faith is realizing that beauty is sometimes waiting to be found in our desperate and unanswered prayers.
We delight in seeing God’s goodness in happy endings. Yet, there is beauty to be seen while sitting at the bedside of a dying person who’s eagerly waiting to see the face of Jesus. We can easily rejoice when healing happens, but rejoicing during intense pain and loss requires a greater faith. And many within our churches aren’t taught the importance of it and how to do it.
Our faith in God should never be based on how well He answers our prayers. When God says, “No,” He must have a greater “Yes” in mind. A better plan. A bigger purpose for our pain. When God says, “No,” let’s exercise true faith and worship the Healer more than the healing.
~Cindy (For The Mullett Family)