II CORINTHIANS 12:7-10 "And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, "My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness." Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong."


There is only one thing you can do when God says no. Accept it and get on with your life. There are a few recorded times when God actually repented and changed His mind about something. Two of these were when: He was going to destroy the whole nation of Israel and make a new nation through Moses until Moses prayed. (Ex. 32:9-14) And, God was also going to destroy Nineveh until they repented. (Jonah 3:10)

Consider the apostle Paul; a strong Christian leader. Paul prayed for a specific affliction to be removed but God answered, "No". Paul did not cry or get depressed and quit. He accepted God's answer and kept on working. He could have let his "thorn in the flesh" keep him from doing the work God needed him to do. He could have gone to bed and bemoaned his illness to all who would listen. Or, he could have blamed God for his malady and become embittered, as do many afflicted Christians today.

Once, in the midst of an array of church related activities plus the care of my two small children and a two week old foster baby, I dislocated a knee and was told I would have to have extensive surgery, be in a cast for 3 months and virtually learn to walk all over again. I railed at God; I was so angry. How could God let this happen to me when I was doing so many good works. One night while in the hospital, I heard my roommate crying. Upon talking to her, I discovered whe was not a Christian and was crying because she wanted to be saved but didn't know how. I witnessed to her and prayed with her for over two hours. Finally, my pastor and I led that lady to Christ that morning at 2 a.m. Later that morning I realized why all that had to happen to me at that particular time in my life...so God could put me where He needed me to be...not where I thought I was needed! I have tried really hard since then to not question life's ups and downs!

It is hard not to question God upon the death of a loved one or when we find out a friend has cancer. It is only human to ask, "How could God let this happen?" And it seems sometimes we pray our hearts out to God to heal someone, but they die anyway. In times like these, try to remember God will never give us a cross that is too heavy for us to carry. Every trial, every test and every heartache is recorded in heaven. Every prayer and God's ultimate answer is also recorded. Don't ever neglect to pray for people in distress and even your own healing; God does occasionally change His mind! But don't be bitter if God answers, "No". He can see ahead and knows what is best for our future. Even when we don't understand, it's ok, because He knows and is in control. I can only hope His strength is made perfect in my weakness; then, like Paul, I will most gladly glory in my infirmities!



"Why did my Daddy have to die?"
The little girl asked me.
"Why did God call him away?"
She was only three.

I cast about in my mind
To answer such a quest,
As I stood and viewed her daddy
In his final rest.

He had suffered many years.
I tried hard to explain,
That God had called her daddy
To relieve him from his pain.

"But why did Daddy have to die?
Can't God look down and see
That I am just a little girl
And I need him here with me?"



The next time you have a prayer request
God may answer, "Yes",
He may answer, "No",
Or He may just say, "Wait"!
"But whatever He says, He hears every request!"




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