top of page

When God Says No

June 30, 2021

Praying Friends,

Thank you for praying each Wednesday for our prodigals and for revival. Thankfully, God is at work both in the lives of those we pray for and in our own.

The measure of our faith is our response to God’s will. Our desires and plans are not always the same as God’s. When we are shown what He wants, what is our reaction?

King David’s reaction was worship, as we see in 1 Chronicles 17:16-27.

It was a big day for David and all of God’s people when the ark of the covenant (where the presence of God dwelled) was finally brought back to Jerusalem. There was a great celebration of singing, dancing, rejoicing, and sacrifices.

After the festivities, when things had settled down, David had time to think. And his thoughts went something like this: Here I am, living in a palace fit for a king while the King of Kings lives in a tent. I want to build Him a beautiful house!

He communicated this desire to the prophet Nathan, who quickly told him to do all that was in his heart. I can only imagine how David’s heart must have soared with delight as he heard the news.

But the next day, David’s dreams came crashing down. Nathan had heard from the Lord, and God’s plan for David was different from David’s plan for David.

David listened carefully as the prophet communicated God’s will: you cannot build a temple for me because you have been a man of war. My purpose for you is to defeat my enemies. Your son is the one who will build my temple. And he will be confirmed in my house and in my kingdom forever.

Wow! What a blow! His heart’s desire - a good desire - denied. He could not do what he longed to do for God.

How would you react? The first thing David did was to sit before the Lord (v 16). His reaction was not anger or bitterness. He said, “Who am I, O LORD God, and what is my house that you have brought me thus far?” (1 Chr. 17:16).

He was thankful to be included in whatever God’s plan was. David truly was a humble man.

Lisa TerKeurst once said, “When God says no we are tempted sometimes to wonder if He loves us. In reality, it’s because he loves us that he sometimes says no.” God said no to David for that very reason. He had a great plan for David’s life and an equally great plan for Solomon’s life. In both cases, it was based on His love.

David then praised God for being willing to use him and his family, both in the present and future. And continued by saying, “There is none like you, O LORD, and there is no God besides you, according to all that we have heard with our ears” (1 Chr. 17:20).

Would you be able to praise God if He said no to you? If a promotion came and God said no? If a new exciting venture came and God said no? If sickness was terminal? If the trial turned into a lifelong ordeal?

David not only praised God but thanked Him for choosing to bless his family and allowing his son to be the one to build God’s house. It was God’s grace that gave David the strength to pray. He said, “Therefore your servant has found courage to pray before you” (1 Chr. 17:25).

Sometimes, we respond to God’s negative answers with resentment. Sometimes we are overcome with disappointment. Sometimes we allow a bitter spirit to grow within us.

If we are going to grow in faith, we need to learn to take our disappointment to God.

David was a man of faith. Not only did he resist bitterness, but he actively submitted to God’s plan. Since David couldn’t build the temple, he made extensive preparations so that his son would have all the supplies he needed to make a magnificent temple.

May God help each of us to be like David - seeking to discern God’s will, submitting to His will regardless of whether or not it coincides with our desires, and doing all we can to further His plans.

Love in Christ,

Bryan and Rachel


bottom of page