Christian Living

Why Does God Sometimes Say No?

We Must Trust that God Always Has Our Best Interest in Mind Regardless of What Happens

I recently prayed for a friend who was interviewing for a job. I have prayed for her interviews many times in the past only to not receive the answer we wanted.

Sometimes she was summarily removed from consideration at the very beginning of the process, but often she would make it to the final round only to be edged out by another candidate.

This time the position was a perfect match; the situation, ideal. I prayed in faith with confident expectation. I knew this was it: the right job, in the right place, at the right time. I assumed God would finally say “Yes.” How could he not? This was exactly what my friend had been waiting for.

She progressed through the interview process; all indications aligned. It got down to two people, a fifty-fifty chance, but with God on our side, I was sure it was a slam-dunk.

But slam-dunks don’t always work out, and neither did this job opening. The final answer was “No.”

Devastated for my friend, with my faith a bit deflated, I vented to a wise friend. He tactfully reminded me what I already knew but had forgotten in the emotion of the moment. Here is what he shared:

Protection From Unseen Danger

It could very well be that a landmine of troubles surrounded this job: internal strife from coworkers, personal attacks from patrons, a hostile work environment, poor working conditions, or any number of potentially devastating hazards.

Maybe my friend didn’t get this job because God was lovingly shielding her from harm.

A Better Opportunity Ahead

It could be that God has an even better job awaiting my friend, one even more ideal: better pay, closer to home, superior hours, more fulfilling, or a better work environment.

Maybe my friend didn’t get this job because God was lovingly guiding her to an even better one, a job she wouldn’t be looking for if she had received this one.

The Other Person Needed the Job More

It’s not all about us. God isn’t our personal wish-granter. He has other children he cares for, too. It’s quite possible the other person also prayed for this job. What if his need was more pressing, his situation more urgent?

Maybe my friend didn’t get this job because God was lovingly caring for another of his children whose situation was more dire.

In this life it is likely we will never know the reasons why sometimes God says “No.” Yet we must move forward, despite profound disappointment, confident that God wants the very best for us and will provide it at exactly the right time.

After all, that’s what the Bible says: that all things work together for good (Romans 8:28).

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.

Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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