Posted by: ritagone | October 23, 2019

WHAT IF GOD ALWAYS SAID YES?

Here’s another great devotional out of the book “Book of Hope” by Nancy Guthrie, which I’m using this year as one of my morning devotional studies.  It really hit me this morning, and I hope it impacts you in a profound way too.

 

WHAT IF GOD ALWAYS SAID YES?

 

He went on a little farther and fell face down on the ground, praying, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will not mine.” – Matthew 26:39

 

While some people understandably took offense at what they deemed a lack of respect for God in the movie Bruce Almighty, I appreciated how it illustrated what might happen if God always said yes to our prayers. Jim Carrey’s character in the movie is granted the power of omnipotence and assumes responsibility for answering prayer requests sent via email to God’s computer. He takes the easy route and types “yes” over and over, which he later discovers has profound and harmful implications he never anticipated.

The fact that so many of us become indignant toward God when he does not answer our prayers as we would like him to reveals the superficiality and consumer mentality we have toward God. If he gives us what we want, we think he is good, and if he says no, we quickly assume he must not be good. But the reality is, often God’s noes are the best gifts he can give us, because we pray as sinners, using prayer to advance our selfish interests. If we knew that God would grant our every request, certainly we would ask for those things we think are best for us – health and wealth and success and comfort – rather than what God has deemed to be best for us – our increasing holiness and humility, faithfulness in service, and awareness of our utter dependence on God. So in his mercy, God spares us from getting what we want. When God says no, he is protecting us, preparing us, and loving us.

And lest we think our Father doesn’t love us when he says no, we need only consider the love for us that caused him to say no to his own Son. Kneeling in agony as he faced the Cross, the fully God, fully human Jesus asked God to take away the suffering that was ahead for him on the cross if there was any other way to accomplish our redemption. And God said no. Imagine if God had said yes to this prayer of Jesus. Jesus would have been spared the wrath of God pouring down on him, but we would not have been spared. In saying no to Jesus, God said yes to you and me and all those who will believe.

 

My eternal Yes, you have shown me how to submit my will and my desires to yours so that I want nothing more than for your will to be done. Teach me to hear the yes in every no I receive from you in prayer.


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