Thursday, May 16, 2013

When God Says "No" 5/16/2013 (rp)

"Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me — to keep me from exalting myself! Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me. And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." 2 Cor 12:7-9

There is quite a bit of speculation regarding the particular ailment suffered by the apostle Paul. Many feel that it was an affliction of his eyes. Nevertheless, Paul asked God to relieve him of his discomfort. Unfortunately for Paul, the answer was no.

Hearing "no" from God can be an awfully disconcerting thing. Over time, we have come to a belief that if we were to pray earnestly enough, God will grant us our every desire. After all, why wouldn't He? We put all of our hopes into the fact that He will cure the illness of a loved one, grant us the employment position we desire, repair the relationships in which we participate or simply fix whatever our problem might be at the moment.

Where did we get the idea that the Creator of the universe exists to simply take and fill our orders? That having been said, there is certainly no intent to trivialize our darkest times. Our needs are real. Our pains are real. But so must our faith be real. We must trust our Father to know and do what is best. His ways are higher above our ways than the heavens are above the earth. Though it sometimes seems that we have been abandoned by Him, perish that thought.

Beloved, if God's eye is on the sparrow, it most certainly is on us. We must ask ourselves how many times have we felt disappointed only to look back and realize that things went the way that benefited us most in the long run. Maintaining our faith can certainly be challenging, particularly when it seems that God is saying "no" or "not yet." Just know that He is in control and that He has never failed.



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