(Speaking of Jesus) who, in the days of His flesh,
when He had offered up prayers and supplications,
with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death,
and was heard because of His godly fear, though He was a Son,
yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered.
“God answered my prayer for (insert your prayer). He is so good!”
We often hear people say this, and it’s true, God is good and faithful to answer our prayers. But what about when He answers them with a “no”? Or even worse, the dreaded “wait”?
Do we say things like, “God didn't let me get that house!" or "God hasn't brought me a husband or wife!" or "God didn't let me get that job I wanted!" or "God didn't heal me or my loved one! He is so good!” Not usually.
Are we sending ourselves, and each other, a subtle message that God is not good when He doesn’t answer our prayers in the way and time we wanted?
Hebrews tells us that even Jesus prayed loudly and with tears to be saved from death. He knew He had to face this death, but His humanness recoiled from the horror of it.
Jesus, God’s beloved Son, knelt in the garden, alone, sweating drops of blood, pleading to His Father to take the cup of suffering and death from Him.
And the Father heard His prayer. But His answer was no.
God had a good reason for telling His Son no. He had a greater purpose than keeping His Son from seeing death. He wanted to keep all of us from a spiritual death.
The death of One for the life of many. And God is glorified daily.
And it says that Jesus learned obedience by what He suffered. Jesus prayed and then rested in His Father’s wisdom to answer the prayer according to His good and perfect will.
And in saying no, God was so good.
When we pray to the Father, through Jesus Christ, with an attitude of godly fear--a reverence or respect—we can know our prayers have been heard. And then we rest in God’s wisdom to answer according to His good and perfect will.
Through the “no’s” and the “waits” we can have assurance that we are being moved in the direction of God’s plan for our lives. And as we rest in His wisdom, we learn obedience through the things we suffer. We learn that God has a greater purpose to accomplish than He could if He answered yes to every prayer. We learn that it is by God’s grace and mercy that He sometimes answers with a no or a wait.
So if our prayers aren’t answered in the way or the time we want, we can still say, boldly and with confidence, He is so good!