Growing in Faith
Posted: August 21, 2021
Author: Kerry Lytle
Isaiah 55:8-9, NLT
"My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts," says the Lord. "And my ways are far beyond anything you can imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts."
Whatever our thoughts were as children, we now understand that our parents had a reason for saying no to our requests. They were older and possessed more wisdom and knowledge than we could have ever had at that young age. They knew what was best for us even though we saw it differently. Let’s face it . . . all we could see is what we wanted and that we could not have it.
The same goes with God. He is a loving Father and wants only the best for us. He sees our whole life and knows what we need and what we don't need. You may have gotten unanswered prayers or a shut door from God and asked, "Is He there? Does He even exist?" The answer is yes . . . just because we didn’t get what we asked for doesn’t mean He didn’t answer our prayers or that He doesn’t exist.
A lot of people think God doesn’t answer prayer when things don’t go their way. What they don’t realize is that God did answer their prayers. He said no, or He said to wait, or they simply weren’t paying attention. When He says no, it's always for our benefit because He wants what’s best for us. God sees the whole picture of our life; we only see it in small bits. He is always looking out for our good. In Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT), He says, "For I know the plans I have for you . . . They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope." What we ask for isn’t always what’s best for us at the moment or at all. That dream job you’ve been waiting for may actually be a nightmare. What appears to be greener on the other side of the fence may not be so green after all. Sometimes the grass on the other side is hiding bad roots and sometimes the grass has hidden brown patches.
We have to stop thinking that no means an unanswered prayer. A parent who gives their child everything they want spoils them to no end and, when it’s time for that child to be on their own, they’ll be looking around for someone to take care of them because they are unable to stand on their own. Our Heavenly Father loves us as His children and wants the best for us. As much as we complain, pout, kick, and scream, we won’t always get what we want. Why? Because He wants us to be independent. He is testing our faith to make sure we can stand strong when things don’t go our way. He wants us to learn that when things get hard we can be firm and trust that He will meet our needs.
God always answers prayers, even when the answer is no. Sometimes we don’t get what we want because what we think is good for us really isn’t. Sometimes we don’t get what we want because God wants us to be independent instead of using Him as a crutch. He wants to know that we will still have faith even when He doesn’t give us what we have asked from Him. Behind every “no” from God is something greater that He has in store for His children. So, remember to thank God for those “unanswered” prayers. They may have saved your life and made it better!