But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, - 2 Corinthians 12:9a
In the Old Testament book of 2 Samuel, David’s newborn son was dying and he went before the Lord and fasted in hopes that God would heal the child. Seven days later he received word that his child had died. This time God said no. Harold Peterson was about to learn that God doesn’t always say yes
Randy was the first to find Harold as he sat in the front pew of the church crying. “Have you seen my Dad yet?” Harold asked when he saw Randy walk in, “He said he would come as soon as he got news from the vet.” “About Muffy?” Randy asked. “Yeah” Harold replied, “The vet will make him better and God won’t let him die, will he?”
“Well, sometimes....” Randy started to tell Harold but Harold interrupted “I can’t wait till Muffy is better and we can go running around again. I keep praying and praying and praying so I know he’ll get better.” As Randy tried to finish what he had started to say, Harold’s dad Bill showed up.
“Dad!” Harold said looking around “Where’s Muffy?” “I couldn’t bring him” came a sad reply from his dad. “Oh,” Harold said, “he has to stay there to get better. That’s okay.” “If only that was so.” Harold’s dad said, “Muffy didn’t make it.” “What do you mean?” Harold said with a puzzled look on his face, “What didn’t Muffy make?”
“Harold.” Bill said with a lump in his throat, “Muffy died.” “No he didn’t,” Harold quickly replied, “ He’s just sleeping. I know because I prayed and God is going to make him better. When can I go and see him? I have really missed him a lot.”
“You can’t go see him,” Bill told Harold “Muffy didn’t make it, The vet couldn’t save him. He died” “.NO! NO! NO! YOU’RE LYING!” Harold shouted back at his dad, “I’ll prove it to you. He’s still alive. He has to be alive, Randy tell him Muffy is alive.” “I can’t” came Randy’s reply “NOOOOOOOOOOO!” Harold screamed and ran off. It was going to be a long night at the Peterson household.
2 Corinthians 12:9a But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." (ESV) I wish I could say everything has a happy ending but as we all know not everything does.
Have you ever prayed for something and received an answer you didn't want? Even great men in the Bible didn't always have things turn out for them the way they wanted. Let's look briefly at three of them.
The first of our men is David, a man who would be called “A man after God's own heart.” Of all the men in in the Bible, surely God answer David prayers with a yes, but wait, David was still human.
In 2 Samuel 11 & 12 we read of on not so wonderful moment in David's life. While walking around on the roof of his palace he saw nude Bathsheba taking a bath and though she belonged to another, David called for her, had sex with her and got her pregnant. In attempt to cover up his ill gotten deed, he had Bathsheba's husband killed. God saw it all and as a punishment David was told that the child was going to die.
For the next seven days David fasted and prayed to God in hopes that he might change God's mind and that he would let the child live but it was to no avail, the Child died. God had said no to David's prayer.
The next man is the Apostle Paul. Surely God would listen to the man who wrote much of the New Testament and preached the Gospel to the Gentiles convincing many to be come Christians. Yet, like David, Paul was still human.
Unlike David, Paul did not commit sexual immorality but he needed to be held at bay. Because of his closeness to God, He had been given special revelations and with such special privileges comes the temptation to become proud. God sent Paul a “Thorn in the Flesh” to keep him at bay. Paul didn't like it and he prayed three times to God to have it taken away. (2 Corinthians 12:7) God said no! Paul had to live with his thorn.
There is no way God would say no to our third person or at least you would think He wouldn't say no, after all we're talking about God's Son Jesus. On top of being God's Son, he was perfect in every way but we are still human, and we have fallen short of God's glory and need redemption.
To redeem us, God sent Jesus into the world to die on the cross. The night before he was to be killed he prayed asking God for another way but in the end, God turned His back on Jesus and left Him to die on the cross. (Luke 22 & 23)
God doesn't always answers us the way we would like. Sometimes it's because we don't deserve an answer but other times it's because He has something better in store for us for His ways are so much better than ours. Think of these two verses
- Isaiah 55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. .(ESV)
- Psalm 18:30 The ways of God are without fault. The LORD’S words are pure. He is a shield to those who trust him. (NCV)
The next time you pray and God doesn't answer you the way you think He should remember, He knows what He's doing and we should dwell on the positive out comes we can not yet see rather than the negative outcomes we feel.
Here's Something To Ponder
- When God gives you the wrong answer do you turn on Him?
- Have you found the positive outcome from one or more of God's answers?