Sunday Scriptures — When God Says No or Not Yet

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

For numerous years now, I have participated in a wonderful non-denominational weekly Bible study that delves deep into a book of the Bible from September to May. The mission of Bible Study Fellowship is global, in-depth Bible classes producing passionate commitment to Christ, His Word and His Church. Our vision is to magnify God and mature His people as they cultivate a deeper relationship with Him. If you aren’t in a BSF class, I suggest you check the link above, and see if there is a class near you.

This year we are studying the book of Romans. Some of you who read this blog attend Bible Study Fellowship also. Although BSF began worldwide this year on September 13, 2017, those of us here in Houston did not begin until October 11 due to Hurricane Harvey, so we are playing catch-up with our lessons for a bit.

While preparing one of my early lessons for discussion, I knew I needed to share some thoughts from that lesson with you on the subject of when God says “No” or “Not Yet”.

We’ve all been there, haven’t we? Our requests are good. They are godly. They aren’t selfish. Yet, God says no or not yet. Frustrating, is it not?

Looking at Paul’s request to go to the church in Rome to preach and see how they were doing gives us insight into this very idea and I’m pretty sure if you are like me, you can see similarities with your requests.

Paul’s request was for godly purposes, still God told Paul no, not yet. Paul did go to Rome, however, the day near the end of his life when he was taken in chains as a prisoner, and later executed there.

In my life there are unanswered prayers I will never understand until I reach heaven. There are some unanswered requests I’ve made where I’ve later said, “Thank you Jesus for not answering that request.” There are also prayer requests I feel are stacked up like airplanes on the tarmac waiting to take off.

Perhaps you can nod in agreement. Maybe God tells us no or not yet because we are not the one God has tapped to accomplish the thing we’re praying to accomplish. If we find that to be the case, then shouldn’t our prayers shift toward praying for those God has tapped?

Could it be when God tells us no or not yet he has something else mo’ better planned instead? How many times have we prayed for a certain job position or relationship, not gotten it, and found the one God does provide fits us much better?

Finally, God may be working on us to change our heart, or the heart of others. Who knows?

Because we don’t know if our unanswered prayers will result in a no or not yet, let’s follow Paul’s example and pray without ceasing.

How do you handle your unanswered prayers?

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject.

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Please don’t misinterpret my failure to visit you, friends. You have no idea how many times I’ve made plans for Rome. I’ve been determined to get some personal enjoyment out of God’s work among you, as I have in so many other non-Jewish towns and communities. But something has always come up and prevented it. Romans 1:13 (MSG)

I wish you well.


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