Justin Tucker, Worship Pastor LHBC
Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.
One of the most powerful words in the English language is also one of the smallest words. It’s a word that is one of the first words that we learn to use. It’s a word that we hate to hear. It’s a word that some of us don’t know how to say. It’s a word that can be used in anger, fear or unbelief. It’s a word that gives power to its opposite. It’s most often used in our house by an angry four year old or by Michele or myself in correction or protection of one of the kids. If you haven’t figured it out by now, that word is “no”.
As a parent of 3 small children, “no” is a consistently used word in our house. We don’t use it just because we want to be mean or just because we want to be in control, we use it because we love our kids and that we have a better longview for our kids lives than they do. We say no to them playing in the front yard because we want to keep them safe. How tragic would it be for one of them to chase a ball out into the street and be hit by a car. We say no to them when all they want to eat are fruit snacks or ice cream because we know that they will spoil their meal, rot their teeth, or feel bad later. Sometimes we have to say no to good things because we have to correct behavior. Again, all of these times that we have said no are because we love our kids and we want them to have the best possible outcomes for their futures.
Have you ever prayed for something and whatever it was that you prayed for didn’t happen? Did you feel like God didn’t answer your prayer? Guess what…He did. His answer just may have been no. Sometimes God says no to the things that we pray about for the exact same reasons that I say no to the kids. He doesn’t say no just to show us His sovereignty, He says no because He has something better in store for us. He says no because He has a better longview than we do. When I worked for UPS in Nashville I had to drive by the Clarksville facility on my way to and from work every single day. I felt like I was wasting time, gas, and money every day. I prayed that God would allow me to transfer to the Clarksville facility. Well, that transfer never happened. God said no. Looking back, I can see that while my plans were good, God’s plans were better. He had a better plan for my future than I could’ve ever hoped for, asked for, or imagined.
I want to encourage you today with something that I know to be true: God is faithful to answer every prayer that you have. It’s our responsibility to trust Him with His answer. We can’t say “God didn’t answer my prayer!” when He says no or He says to wait…we have to trust. We have to trust that He is good, that He is loving, and that His word is true when He says in Jeremiah 29:11, For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. So choose to rejoice in the no and trust Him.
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Lord, help me today to trust You. Lord, I know sometimes that my plans for life don’t always line up with your plans. Help me to rejoice in the no, trusting that Your plans are better than anything that I could ever imagine. Thank you for loving me and protecting me and correcting me with the “no’s”. Teach me to follow with every step that you provide and to not rush ahead of you in the process. In Jesus’ name, amen.
MEMORY VERSE OF THE WEEK:
Proverbs 23:17-Let not your heart envy sinners,
but continue in the fear of the Lord all the day.