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How To Be Still When God Says No: A Hard Faith Lesson

 

Have you ever been in a season of waiting?  When God says no, or wait (which means no, not now), it can feel so hard!

It’s hard to be still when God doesn’t say yes, but you still want the thing God said no about. 

Today, as we continue in our 40-day fast of being still and knowing Him more, we see what happens when you get tired of waiting for the Lord to fight for you. 

What happens when you ignore the Father’s no and fight for yourself anyway?

To be specific, we will learn a hard faith lesson: how to be still even when the Lord says no.

When God Says No: How Do You Know If God’s Saying No?

In Exodus 14:14 we saw a beautiful picture of God’s people, walking in obedience to God’s plan. They were learning how to be still and let the Lord fight their battle. 

They taught us to quiet the fear, anxiety, and worry in our minds to trust that God will fight for us in the face of real danger.

Today we see a stark contrast in God’s Word. As we study, we have to ask ourselves an honest question, “How should we respond when God says no?” 

Examples of God Saying No in The Bible

The context of 1 Kings 22:3 gives us many applications to our lives today. In it, we see God’s goodness, God’s character, and the beauty of our loving Father watching over us even when we make foolish choices.

King Ahab is NOT known for walking in obedience to the Lord God like King David.  He had not been walking in the will of God for a long time if ever.

There was something he wanted and he got tired of being still when God gave a clear answer. When God said no, the king didn’t listen.

“Now the king of Israel said to his servants, “Do you know that Ramoth in Gilead is ours, yet we are still (Being Still) doing nothing to take it from the hand of the king of Aram?”” (1 Kings 22:3 AMP)

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What Does It Mean When God is Silent?

King Ahab had a come to Jesus moment three years before his death – sort of.  He saw God and understood, at least for a moment, that God was God and he was not.  King Ahab humbled himself and that pleased his Heavenly Father.

The Lord gave Israel three years of peace and King Ahab prospered.  He had wealth, power, stature, everything a man could want. 

The king even acquired an alliance with King Jehoshaphat (king of Judah) bringing an uneasy alliance between the split kingdoms of Israel.  Amazing!

But there was something King Ahab wanted, something he felt was his. 

  • He was entitled to it.
  • It should be his.
  • He could take it if he wanted it back. 

The place was Ra-moth in Gilead.

The hows and whys of all that will have to wait for another day, but today we just need to understand that the king wanted something God did not give him.

The king could not be happy without it.

God was silent for a time when the king wondered about this city. Often when God is silent, God is saying no.

Then, God said no clearly. 

What does it mean when God is silent?  It isn’t always proof of a no, sometimes it means to wait, but what happens when we push through anyway?

Disaster.

Related Post: A Wife’s True Story: Knowing The Importance of Forgiveness in Marriage Leads To Blessing

Signs That God Is Saying No

As I observed 1 Kings 22:3, I needed to ask a lot of questions.

Why is it so hard to see all the blessings when there is something you want (something God said no about)?

Do you take time to look around and count your blessings?  I try to spend some time each morning thanking God for the things in my life that are blessings. 

But when I want something… when God says not yet… or when God says let go of that desire for now… it is harder to see all the things He has said yes about. 

All I can think about is the thing I want but don’t have.

  • When God says no to a relationship
  • When God says no to healing
  • No to something for my children
  • When God said no to marriage or in marriage

Maybe sometimes God doesn’t say, “Yes” because I didn’t ask right.

Other times I don’t have it because God said no, or God said wait which feels like no… and I pushed through anyway. 

In that way, I can relate to King Ahab.  How about you?

Did you find this 40-day Fast to Learn How to Be still mid-series?  Go back here and read the intro and keep up with the series.

When God Says No and It Hurts

Honestly, I pray and ask God about so many things.  What I’ve learned is that God usually gives us one of three answers; The Lord says yes, God says no, or He says wait. 

When God has said no or wait I tend to keep asking. 

When He stops answering me it is often because He already said No and I need to accept His no! Even asking in Jesus’ name will not change the Father’s mind.

Waiting is hard.

How long can you be content to be still and wait on things you want?

There are things I want in life, dreams I long for, passions I want to see realized.  

If I’m honest, most of the time I trust my own plans, my own understanding, my own ways, and assume God should be on the side of my logic. 

It hurts when there are seemingly unanswered prayers. When there are things I have held as God’s promises and it feels like I should have them right now.

When my earnest prayers are met with the idea that God has a better plan I struggle.

So how do we respond?

Related Post: When Your Prayers Arent Answered (When God says no to your prayers)

How To Be Still When God Says No

The truth is, no good thing could possibly come to the Lord saying yes to our every request. We would spoiled and selfish. In that pride-filled place, we would stop relying on Jesus for all the things. It would be bad!

So the question stands, how should we respond when God says no to a prayer?

How do we sit in that place of trust and stillness when everything inside of us is screaming to act on our own understanding?

  1. Assess
  2. Accept
  3. Trust
  4. Pray
  5. Remember

Assess: Who Is The King of Your Heart?

What does the Bible say when God says no, but you think you can do it without Him?

Okay, let’s be honest, King Ahab had a point.  Ramoth Gilead should have been his. 

He had defeated this nation two times before. Now, with the current situation, his new alliance with Juday, defeating them a third time and taking back what was his seemed like a no-brainer. 

Why even bother asking God, his good Father, about it? He could defeat them for the glory of God on his own.

When logic says yes, it is tempting to leave God out of the decision-making.

Can you relate?

With our limited understanding, we see things and understand things from human logic which we feel can lead to great things for God’s Kingdom.

With this false confidence, we leave God out of our planning or we fight with Him when He says something that seems illogical to us. Oh how often we need new lessons in trusting the goodness of God!

King Ahab finally asked the prophet of the Lord if they should go to battle.  The answer was no. In fact, the reasons were even given! “If you go to battle you will die.”

Still, he didn’t listen. Ahab was the king of his own heart.

Who else can relate?

Relate Post: 40 Encouraging Bible Verses About Choices and Making Wise Decisions

Accept That When God is Illogical He Knows Best

It is hard to be still when God seems illogical.  He says no but logic says yes. We see the struggle as we apply 1 Kings 22:3.

Many times, God’s answers to prayer are hard.  Period. Hard!

The truth is, that God’s ways and thoughts are higher than our ways and thoughts.

As much as we want to obey the Lord, we think we know best… because we can’t see everything the Lord can see.

Because we think we know best there is a struggle to obey the Lord when He says, be still, no, wait, or not yet. There is a struggle to trust Him, even though He has always been faithful!

God sees the whole of our life.  He sees the turns and twists, the future we can’t imagine.  Why is it so hard to trust God when He says, “Be still, trust Me?  Let me handle this?”

We have to accept that God has something better when He tells us now.

When God says no will you trust his heart today? Share on X

Trust God When He Has Said No There Are Good Things

The conclusion or final thoughts about 1 Kings are that we need to trust the Father when HE says no.

King Ahab died in the battle.

He died – deliberately disobeying the Word of the Lord. 

The Spirit of the Lord clearly said no but King Ahab thought he knew better.

When God says no, He is protecting you from what you don’t actually know.

What has God said no to you about?

He has said no to me about so many things.

  • He has said to be still and wait in this season of mothering small children.
  • Be still and let ME fight for you as a married woman, when your marriage is difficult.
  • Do. Not. Fight. For. Yourself. when others criticize you for following Me.
  • Do not plan based on your understanding of your ministry and business.
  • Trust Me, lean on my understanding.
  • Be still when there is a battle all around you (Spiritual, mental, or physical battle).
  • Don’t worry, fear, or be anxious about these hard things you see all around you.
  • Trust that I have them under control.

Related Post: 33 Bible Verses on Prayer for Relationships Strengthening: What To Pray

A Prayer to The Father To Be Still When God Says No

When God is saying no or wait, it helps to pray. This is my prayer today.

Holy Spirit,

Forgive me for holding onto my rights when You clearly say no.  Give me the strength to relinquish my rights and shoulds and discontentment to You.  I trust You.  You have been faithful and trustworthy.  I don’t know why I can’t just leave this with You, trust You about it, and be thankful for all the yeses.

Today I surrender our finances to You… again. 

Again I submit to Your will about my dying momma.

Today I surrender my husband to you… Again. 

Take my fears over my children’s future. 

I lay my pain and anxiety at Your feet. 

I trust that since You said, “No,” there is a good reason and I am asking You to help me want what you want for this life.

It’s hard to be still. Calm me. Hold me. Surround me in your peace as I surrender to You today.

Amen.

Remember The Lord’s Faithfulness

If only King Ahab had remembered the encounter with the Lord that led up to that fate-filled moment.

Why is it so easy to forget how faithful the Lord is when we are tempted by what He has denied?

I don’t know about you, but Jesus has moved in powerful ways in my life. The Holy Spirit has guided, and directed, and protected, and provided for me beyond what I could ever have asked for or imagined.

Yet, when I want something and He says no, I forget all of those yeses. How can we remember?

It’s been a while since I’ve heard a good, “When God says no sermon,” but having one of those on standby would help. Certainly, having Scripture memorized would be a fantastic aid.

Here are 70 when God says no Bible verses to help you.

When God Says No Will You Trust His Heart Today?

It is hard to be still and wait on the Lord when things are hard.  When I feel I should be doing something that Jesus said to let go of, it hurts.

It’s hard to trust that God has something better when I want something that feels like it should be mine.

It is hard to be still but we can learn this by remembering that God knows best.  Even when you can’t understand God’s hand in a situation, you can always trust God’s heart.

When God says no, His heart has our best interest in mind.  I can trust Him.  So can you.

Whatever it is that God said no about, can you surrender it today?

in HIM,

If you enjoyed this post you will love these:

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Tiffany Montgomery

Tiffany of Hope Joy in Christ inspires Christian Women to grow in faith, live out Biblical Marriage Principles and raise Godly Children.  Join the Wives Only Facebook Group here or keep up with her through Pinterest.

15 thoughts to “How To Be Still When God Says No: A Hard Faith Lesson”

  1. For me waiting is so hard! I’m the kind of person that wants all the answers right away, or I think I know what I want, but he knows what I need and when I need it.

  2. Good things to think about! I can take parts and incorporate into my day!

  3. It is never easy when God says no, but I love the tips you share here. Because when God says no, it’s always for the best.

  4. Life doesn’t always happen at the pace we desire. Patience is a great virtue to learn.

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