Devotional

“Dear friends, you always followed my instructions when I was with you. And now that I am away, it is even more important. Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.” – Philippians 2:12-13.

Isaiah 40:10 “God says My purpose will stand and I will do all that I please.” God isn’t obligated to explain to us everything He does. He doesn’t need our approval. Everything God does in your life He has a purpose for it–including problems and including saying no to some of your prayers. There’s a purpose in it.

2 Corinthians 4:17 says “For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!” So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal!” Behind every problem there is a purpose. That purpose is an eternal purpose that you don’t even see right now. If you’ll get your eyes off the temporary situation and look beyond it you will see the eternal purpose that God wants to do in your life. Don’t always look at the circumstance you’re in right now. Circumstances are like a feather mattress — you get on top and you’ll rest easy, you get under and you’ll suffocate! It depends on where you are. God says no to your request because it involves the temporary and because there is a greater purpose that involves the future. I think of Joni Ericson Tada, the paraplegic. I’m sure she’s prayed that God would heal her. Yet God has said no. Instead He has a greater purpose for her life. I think Paul had to learn this in 2 Corinthians 12:7-11 where Paul prayed to be healed. even though I have received such wonderful revelations from God. So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud. Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong. Paul had to learn that God is sufficient in every situation.

One of the marks of maturity and one of the marks of faith is the ability to accept a no. Immature people cannot accept a no for an answer. Ask your kids. As we grow we learn to accept no as a legitimate answer. Even Jesus had to learn what it meant to submit to God’s will. In the Garden of Gethsemane, right before the cross, Jesus prayed, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”  (Matthew 26:39) God let Jesus Christ go to the cross because of a greater purpose — our salvation.

When God says no it’s because He has a bigger perspective. Maybe He’s protecting you from an unforeseen problem you don’t even know about. Maybe it’s because of a better plan. He’s not limited to just one way; He has many ways. God has a greater purpose in your life that is greater than the problem you’re going through.

Discussion Questions:

  1. How is it possible to know what God is trying to do in you?
  2. What can we do this week to get in step with what God is trying to do in our lives.