“THE ANSWER IS NO!”
2 Corinthians 12:7-10
It’s a very simple, but powerful two-letter word. Webster’s Dictionary defines it as a word used to give or communicate a negative response to a request or question. In fact, this is one of a few words child developmental psychologists suggest children don’t have to be taught unlike other words in the English language. The word is “NO!” You may have said this word to your spouse, children, co-workers, friends, or family members several times today. The Bible mentions “No” more than 1393 times as opposed to “Yes” or “Yea,” a mere 344 times. “No” is an answer most people don’t like or want to hear. It creates all types of memories, emotions, and feelings. But, hearing and receiving a “No” has benefits unbeknownst to us.
As Christians, we have been acculturated to believe that we can always have whatever we ask of God. 1 John 5:14-15 says, “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.” While “all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us,” the same is not true of all your requests of God! In fact, some of us are frustrated and angry with God now because we haven’t received what we’ve requested! But, how do you feel or act when God says, “No”? In today’s sermon, we will examine several high-profile Biblical characters and what we can learn from them when “The Answer is No!”
II. PERSIST! (Canaanite Woman) Matthew 15:21-28
- Have the kind of persistence that makes God relent! v.28; Exodus 32:14
- Don’t let go of the Blessor until you receive your blessing! Genesis 32:25-30
- Push past pious people! v.23; Mark 10:48
III. PRAISE! (David)
- Learn to praise God from painful places! 1 Chronicles 28:2-8; 29:10-13
- The devil desires to silence your praise! Psalm 43:5
- Our praise should never be situational or circumstantial! Psalm 34:1
IV. PREPARE! (Moses)
- God’s justice requires punishment for disobedience! Numbers 20:7-13
- God’s “No” may be “Yes” for a future generation! Deuteronomy 3:23-29
- “Nos” strengthen and encourage us and others! v. 28
V. PARTAKE! (Paul)
- We should boast in our persecution! v. 9; Romans 5:3-5
- God’s power is in us! v. 9; 1 John 4:4
- Take pleasure in the pain! v. 10; James 1:2-4
VI. PREVAIL! (Jesus Christ) Luke 22:41-44
- No Glory without Gethsemane! 42
- We have overcome because Jesus did! Revelation 12:11
- God’s “No” to His humanity give us VICTORY! 1 Corinthians 15:55-57
We must learn to accept that “No” is a legitimate answer to our prayers! What’s said in Jesus’s Name is already in God’s heart! These aren’t distinct. We can’t just add “in Jesus’s Name” to our prayer and expect God to answer. We must not become bitter, resentful, or angry toward God because we haven’t received or won’t get what we’ve asked. Understand that God is omniscient. That means, as Isaiah 46:10 says, “Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done….” When God says, “No,” know that it’s working for your good!
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