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"My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And My ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so My ways are higher than your ways and My thoughts higher than your thoughts.

The rain and snow come down from the heavens and stay on the ground to water the earth. They cause the grain to grow, producing seed for the farmer and bread for the hungry. It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit.

It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it."

Proverbs 2 speaks about wisdom.

Breaking down Proverbs 2, we are told to turn our ears to wisdom and apply our heart to understanding - to call out for it and search for it like hidden, valuable treasure.

It says that God gives wisdom, knowledge and understanding.

He holds success for the upright;

A shield for the blameless;

Guarding the course of the just.

Knowing and reading and hearing and seeing and understanding that we have a good God Who is a loving God...

do you ever wonder if or why God says "no" to our prayers?

First, let's ask: Does God say, "no"?

Yes. Yes - sometimes, God says "no".

God also says, "yes".

God also says, "Not yet."

God also says, "Be still."

God also says, "When the time is right."

God also says, "It has already been done."

What makes us think that God wouldn't also say, "No."?

"I DO NOT HAVE THE STRENGTH FOR THIS!" we cry, when we have reached what we feel is the breaking point.

When the color has drained from our world and when the laughter seems like a hollow, unimpressive echo of sometime many yesterdays ago.

When grass has grown over the grave and when our body replaces tears with moans.

When we lose our voice from the screaming of a broken heart and when we see the lips of the doctor moving but no longer hear the words they are speaking.

When we miss our stop off the bus because we are too tired to keep our eyes open or when the blankets on our bed smell from constantly laying in them and not getting up for anything other than the restroom.

When you don't remember the last time you took a shower and you read about being led beside still waters but all you have known for years is a storm.

When everyone else seems to be passing you by and you are watching them, truly wondering how they could go on living because your every effort is focused on just surviving the next hour.

If God has you in one of those moments when you are solely working on making it hour to hour, remember that you don't have to lose your faith just because you lost a loved one. You don't have to lose your ground just because the enemy has knocked you down.

You don't have to lose your bearings just because you have to come to a complete stop before figuring out which way is forward.

You don't have to lose your trust in all people just because some people have hurt you.

You don't have to lose faith in the Church just because some people in the Church have made poor decisions.

You don't have to lose yourself just because you haven't found where you once used to be yet.

There may only be a shell of yourself left after the wars have waged their fire and winds have thrown you around. There may only be a shell.

But, the beautiful thing about an empty shell is that it can be filled.
Cracks can be repaired.
Holes can be filled.
God can still be exalted.
It doesn't depend on YOU but it does depend on what you let God DO.

God has a better plan.

God has a better plan because

  • He knows more.

  • He can do more.

  • He can see further.

  • He can create something from what we deem as 'useless'.

God has a better plan because WE ARE LIMITED and HE IS NOT.

In God's better plan... why does He say "no"?

God might say, "no".

Since God is not limited, we may think "why would He withhold something that is fully in His power to do?" While all things are within His power, they may not be within His best plan. God has many times used sickness as a tool for witnessing or an obstacle as a tool for humbling or the climbing of a mountain to gain fortitude in faith.

Speaker and writer, Joni Eareckson Tada put it this way, "God may remove your suffering, and that will be great cause for praise. But if not, He will use it. He will use anything and everything that stands in the way of His fellowship with you. So let God mold you and make you, transform you from glory to glory. That’s the deeper healing.

Another reason that God might say "no" is spelled out for us in James 4:3 which says, "When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures." Examine why you feel that God might be saying "no" to your prayer. Examine whether He is really saying "no" or saying something else that your impatience perceives as "no".

God might say, "not yet".

We often think that the best way is the easy way.

Oftentimes, the best way to answer our prayer is the way that is going to help us grow up or grow our faith. Or we might not be mature enough to handle what we're asking God for. We may need to grow up before God shows up.

God might say, "be still".

Waiting is supposed to grow endurance so that we mature but waiting can be painful - like someone tending to a rose bush day in and day out whose fingers are not accustomed to thorns. Waiting can be painful as their fingers slowly become resistant enough to handle the thorns that come with the beauty.

2 Peter 3:8 says, “Do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.” When we are pressed and burdened, one day can feel like agony. God's time is different than ours. He asks that we remain faithful in the waiting.

God might say, "When the time is right".

In John 1, we read about Elizabeth who was barren through her old age. I firmly believed that she prayed years and years for a child. She said in verse 25 that being barren had been a disgrace among her people. Although I am certain that she prayed, it was only when the time was right that God honored her, not just with a son, but with the forerunner for Jesus.

Lamentations 3:25-26 says, "The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him. It is good that one should hope and wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord."

Joseph was 17 years old when he first had dreams, given by the Lord, of rulership but it wasn't until he was 30 years old that he saw the fulfillment of the promises and visions given him. 13 years of waiting - and 13 years of being faithful - when the time was right.

God might say, "It's already been done".

Sometimes we don't see what God has already done because we're so distracted by what hasn't been done. 2 Corinthians 1:20 says, "For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God."

Sometimes, we don't recognize that it's already been done because it isn't done in the way that we wanted or expected or hoped for it to be done.

In Numbers 13 and 14, we see that the Israelites were in need of and crying out for the promised land of abundance and blessing. God provided the land and attempted to lead the people to it. The Israelites became scared of what they saw with their eyes, not trusting that God said it was already done.

Despite the pleading of Joshua and Caleb, they did not step into the promise and were still praying and lamenting over the very thing that God had already answered because it wasn't delivered the way that they were expecting.

Not realizing that God has already done a thing can set us far back, as we wait in hopes that it will be done our way, blinded to the fact that God has already done it - His way.

God might say, "Yes".

We have a loving God. A God Who knows the desires of our hearts. A God Who longs to be our Father and our First Love. He loves to say "yes" to His children, but He also loves to see obedience from His children. He is just and fair, righteous and pure.

We are assured that we can have the confidence that God hears us and we are reminded that our prayers should always be according to His will (1 John 5:14).

God is never too late and never too early. His timing is on time.

God will honor the prayer of a heart that chases Him.

One Biblical example of this is from 1 Kings 3, when the Lord asked Solomon what it was that he wanted. Solomon knew that he was young and inexperienced, and he valued the Lord's people. He asked for wisdom and the Lord said yes.

Bottom line: God hears us. He loves us. He loves when we pray like Jesus taught in Matthew 6.

The answers may not always be what we want, when we want them or how we want them, but we can rest assured that the King of Kings has our best interest at heart. We just have to trust Him.

Romans 12:12, "Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer."

Proverbs 3:5-6, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight."

Psalm 145:17-21, "The Lord is righteous in all His ways and faithful in all He does. The Lord is near to all who call on Him, to all who call on Him in truth.

He fulfills the desires of those who fear Him; He hears their cry and saves them. The Lord watches over all who love Him, but all the wicked He will destroy.

My mouth will speak in praise of the Lord. Let every creature praise His Holy Name for ever and ever."

Luke 6:12, "Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God."

❤️ Sarah Jane

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