Pastor Shane Ham : When God Says No

40 Days of Prayer · 35:12 · Recorded October 18, 2020

When God Says No

1 John 5:14 (CSB) Now this is the confidence we have before Him: When-ever we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.

Isaiah 65:1 (NLT2) The LORD says, “I was ready to respond, but no one asked for help. I was ready to be found, but no one was looking for me. I said, ‘Here I am, here I am!’ to a nation that did not call on my name.”

Matthew 7:7 (NKJV) “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”

God says “no” when he has a bigger perspective.

Isaiah 46:9-10 (NCV) Remember that I am God, and there is no other God. I am God, and there is no one like me. From the beginning I told you what would happen in the end. A long time ago I told you things that have not yet happened.

Hebrews 4:13 (NLT2) Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes.

God says “no” when he has a better plan.

Hebrews 11:6 (TLB) You can never please God without faith, without depending on him. Anyone who wants to come to God must believe that there is a God and that he rewards those who sincerely look for him.

Isaiah 55:8-9 (NIV) “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

Hebrews 11:36-40 (NIV) …others were chained and put in prison. They were stoned; they were sawed in two; they were put to death by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated– the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground. These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.

Acts 9:15-16 (NCV) But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! I have chosen Saul for an important work. He must tell about me to those who are not Jews, to kings, and to the people of Israel. I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.”

God says “no” when he has a greater purpose.

Psalm 57:2 (ESV) I cry out to God Most High, to God who fulfills his purpose for me.

Deuteronomy 29:29 (NCV) There are some things the LORD our God has kept secret, but there are some things he has let us know.

2 Corinthians 4:7-9, 13 18 (NLT2) 7We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure… 8We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. 9We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed… 13But we continue to preach because we have the same kind of faith the psalmist had when he said, “I believed in God, so I spoke.” 14We know that God, who raised the Lord Jesus, will also raise us with Jesus and present us to himself together with you. 15…And as God’s grace reaches more and more people, there will be great thanksgiving, and God will receive more and more glory. 16That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. 17For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! 18So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.

What to do when God says “no”

1. Trust that God always leads you in love.

Psalm 25:10 (NLT2) The LORD leads with unfailing love and faithfulness all who keep his covenant and obey his demands.

2. Pray what Jesus prayed facing the cross.

Mark 14:35-36 (NLT2) He went on a little farther and fell to the ground. He prayed that, if it were possible, the awful hour awaiting him might pass him by. “Abba, Father,” he cried out, “everything is possible for you. Please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”

3. Expect God to give you the grace to handle his answer.

2 Corinthians 12:8-10 (NLT2) Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

If you’re in a small group using the 40 Days to a Powerful Prayer Life guide, please refer to the questions found on pages 150-151.

  • Shane said that God always hears us and that he is always listening. Does it give you more confidence in prayer to know he is always attuned to your prayers? Have you ever felt he isn’t listening? What have you done when you felt that way and what was the result?

  • Which of the scriptures shared this week was most meaningful to you or do you need to spend more time with? Share this with your small group.

  • We read Isaiah 55:8-9 to help us see and understand God’s better plan for us. Now read the full chapter and consider these questions:
    -How does the question in v.2 strike you? What things have you spent money or labor on that have proven to be unfulfilling?
    -Would you say that recently you’ve been living on spiritual junk food or God’s healthy meals?
    -In light of verses 6-7, would you say you have been seeking the Lord or hiding from him this week?
    Consider what God’s better plan is in each of these areas as you pray for what you want or when his answer is “no.”

  • Has there been a time when you been disappointed by God’s answer to your prayer? Maybe it was “No”, maybe it was “Wait”. Which of the three steps in the second part of the message was easiest during that time? The most difficult? Who did you reach out to for prayer, encouragement, and support?

  • Parents – Check out the information on our kid’s page at northpointe.org/kids where you’ll find info on Sunday services and family resources to help you as you navigate this current season.

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