God answered NO to me a lot of times.
- I prayed to have a job right after graduation, He said no.
- I told him I wanted to lead a ministry, He said no.
- I told him I wanted to talk to this person to clear things up, He said no.
- I told Him I wanted this person, He said no.
- I asked Him if He can give me a job that I really want, He said no.
- I asked Him if I can have all my dreams right that moment, He said no.
- I asked Him to make it easy and convenient, He said no.
And here’s what I learned and gained from when God says no:
Patience is really a virtue and life is all about timing. A lot of times, we want things to happen in our own timing. The problem is that our timing always says “now”. We want it now regardless if we have already worked hard for it or not. But I learned that when God says no, He’s telling me not yet. And more than the dreams that I have, He wants me to fully rely on Him – the dream-giver.
Why is patience very important? Corinthians says love is patient. But why? Because beautiful things take time. God wants our patience because He wants our trust. That even though it doesn’t happen now, we are believing that He’s making all things work out for the good of those who love Him.
Partnered with patience is trust. Surrender means not just looking ahead but also looking in the now while looking up. It means thanking God because what you have now is what you need while knowing God is working. I don’t know if you are familiar with Joseph the Dreamer. His story is found in the book of Genesis. His brothers sold him because they were jealous of him. He was imprisoned for several years. But God did not abandon him. Soon enough, he became in charge all of Egypt. The God who delivered Joseph is the same God we have today. God made sure he received blessings beyond what He can think of. But imagine what Joseph has gone through first, waiting like that, being betrayed yet he didn’t lose hope. He kept on trusting.
One thing I learned is that I have a choice between these two: worry or worship. Peace lies not on the external factors but within. God really practiced peace in my heart. Peace for me means that you are in a total surrender to an ever-loving God whose main concern is loving you. So what do I have to worry about things when He says no? He’s God. He is my God and whatever happens, I have security that this God loves me. I think what He wants is for us to rest in Him and be assured that He knows what He’s doing. No matter what happens, He is in control. And you know what’s amazing about peace? It’s giving up the need to control things but letting Him handle it for you. Peace can only be attained through constantly going through His word. It takes courage and faith. Peace is what makes your heart still. As what Jesus said, “Be still and know that I am God.” God wants us to come to Him, to give Him all our burdens, all the unanswered prayers and let Him comfort us when we don’t understand.
“Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance.” Romans 5:3
We are humans and so when things happen don’t go our way, we feel down and frustrated. But through these sufferings, we may not realize it now, but He’s already doing something inside us that’s meant to improve our skills, our talent, or whatever it is that will make us a better version of ourselves. If we didn’t get what we want at the time that we want it, then are we just going to give up or we’re going to try again? Everything has a season. Maybe he said no because he’s still developing something in you. You’re not ready yet for the responsibility. Your story or testimony isn’t finished yet. Whatever that reason is, God is surely improving our character.
I always believe that God’s delays aren’t His denials. And even though we don’t understand His plans always, we got to trust His heart because this heart was the one who was ready to give up His life so we can have ours.