John 16:26-27 “In that day you will ask in My name, and I do not say to you that I will request of the Father on your behalf; for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me and have believed that I came forth from the Father.”
Most people hate the word “No.” When we have a request and ask someone to fulfill it, we hope the answer will be “Yes.” Being denied is a great disappointment and not very fun. But sometimes there are good reasons for the rejection. Sometimes the “No” leads to something even better than we had hoped for.
As a teenager I loved being at camp. When I was thirteen I started on staff at a small Christian camp in Pennsylvania. For six years I spent my summers there before applying to larger conference center in Speculator, NY. Camp of the Woods has always been known for its amazing musical talent. The accomplished music staff prepares for weekly concerts that rival any of the best shows you can find. Being from a musical family I thought that was where I would best fit. But God had other plans. He said, “No” to that desire and instead placed me in the education program teaching the Bible to fourth through sixth graders while their parents were in chapel.
I remember vividly my deep disappointment over not making the cut for the music staff. But the Lord gently comforted me with a thought. He was giving me the opportunity to speak to many boys and girls about His love and plan of salvation. I did this job for three summers and it was the beginning of a life-long passion for teaching and reaching others for Christ. His “No” brought about a huge “Yes” in my life.
There was another crucial time that God said “No.” Jesus, God’s beloved Son, was in deepest agony knowing that within hours He would be subjected to the cruelest of treatments resulting in His death on a Roman cross. While in the Garden of Gethsemane He pleaded with His Father saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will” (Matthew 26:39).
The Father’s answer to His only Son was “No.” The cup of suffering would not pass from Him. Jesus would carry the sins of the world to the cross where He would pay the price of justice in our stead. Because of His obedience those who believe would be spared the deserved penalty of their sins and would also have the right to become children of God.
Jesus explained to His closest followers that, because of what He was about to do, they would have the privilege of speaking to God directly. They would not need someone to be their spokesman. They could personally petition the Father, and not even Jesus Himself would have to request on their behalf.
Because God said “No” to His only Son, we who believe can receive the biggest “Yes” we could ever secure – salvation from our sins, membership in God’s family, and the privilege of bringing our requests directly to our heavenly Father in prayer.
Are you a child of God and seeking something from Him? Then go boldly before the throne of His grace and pour out your heart to Him. He loves you and wants to hear all your petitions. But while you may hope His answer will always be “Yes,” keep in mind . . . when God says “No” it will assuredly lead to something even better than you could imagine. In God’s wisdom a “No” always leads to a resounding “Yes.”