Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me.

2 Corinthians 12:8

Sometimes it can feel like a dead end to hear someone tell us ‘no’. A parent, a spouse, a friend, a boss, or God can refuse our requests. This can leave us with questions that may never be answered. What do we do when God tells us no? Do we throw a spiritual temper tantrum and stop praying, reading our Bibles, or attending church?

Just as earthly parents tell their children ‘no’ in order to protect them, God does even better with us. His unconditional love won’t allow a ‘yes’ for requests that run against His will for our lives. What should we do when God says “no”?

We first learn to trust completely God’s loving hand over our life. (Psalm 25:1) When God says no, it will break our hearts and we may be tempted to not trust in Him again. Yet this is what trust is—trusting when we can’t understand His ways. When we trust in God even in the darkness, our walk with Him becomes more keen and clearer than if we could always see what’s next.

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Secondly, we can recommit to follow Christ regardless of a no answer. (Daniel 3:18) When Nebuchadnezzar threatened Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego with the agonizing death by fire, they recommitted themselves to serve only God even if they had to die. Every believer will be tested in this way that will stretch and grow our faith so that we will learn perseverance under fiery trials.

Thirdly, we reevaluate our life journey with God. (Matthew 10:38) Taking up our cross isn’t a pretty walk across a park. At times it’s difficult, painful, and heartbreaking. We need to make sure that we’re all the way in the faith. Jesus gives meaning in the madness, strength to the weary, and salvation to those who turn to Him with their whole heart.

Fourthly, we surrender our will to His will. (Jeremiah 29:11-13) God wants each one of us to come to the place of complete abandonment to His will for our lives. We surrender our hopes, dreams, and visions for His ultimate glory. As a result, we faithfully trust in His ability to give us the good and perfect gifts in His timing.


Dear Lord, even though you are closing this door for me, I still will trust in your loving hand. Give me strength so that I don’t get weary or discouraged in the journey. Amen.

In His Service,

Crystal McDowell Signature