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What if God Says No

In the days of His flesh He offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His piety.
– Hebrews 5:7

I’ve seen pictures and drawn the scene in my own mind of Jesus offering up those prayers (Matthew 26:38-44)–intense, fervent, emotional, desperate, tearful prayers. And we’ve just read that He was heard. But, even though His prayers were heard, apparently they were not answered as He had petitioned.

That seems incredible to me. If anyone should have His prayers answered immediately and to the most minute detail, it would be Jesus, the Christ, the Son of God.

You know, that happens to me too. A crisis comes. Difficult circumstances. I pray, and when the answer doesn’t come as I expected, all sorts of thoughts invade my mind. What do I do? Have I done something wrong? Is my prayer not right? The difficult circumstances that Jesus was facing were not changed despite His prayers. What did He do? What did He have to stand on?

Well, He must have known that He was in God’s plan. How can I say that? Because the plans were not altered, even though His prayers were heard when He suggested Plan B. Have you ever suggested to God that there might be a better plan, only to have Him apparently reject your suggestion? Have I? Yes, many times. Doesn’t that mean that He has said, “No; My plan is better; well go with Mine”? Jesus stood on that, and so can we.

He was assured of His ability to meet the circumstances because the circumstances were not changed. God is faithful. He will not give you more than you can endure (see 1 Corinthians 10:13). If He were not totally confident in my ability to endure, He would remove the circumstance. I can believe that and walk in it, and so can you.

And how about this: He was not comforted by the knowledge of Gods presence with Him. In fact He cried out, “Why are You not with Me? Why have You forsaken Me?” At the most crucial time–the most difficult time in His life–God left Him on His own. He abandoned Him.

Have you ever cried out, “God, where are You when I need You so desperately?” Does He ever leave you or forsake you? No. We never have to experience what Jesus did . . . because of what Jesus did! “Even when we are too weak to have any faith left, He remains faithful to us and will help us, for He cannot disown us who are a part of Himself, and He will always carry out His promises to us” (2 Timothy 2:13 tlb). That is ours! We can stand on that.

He then proceeded on what He knew to be Truth and what He had come to know of God in days past, not on what He was experiencing at the moment. Isn’t that walking by faith? “For we walk by faith [we regulate our lives and conduct ourselves by our conviction or belief respecting mans relationship to God and divine things, with trust and holy fervor; thus we walk], not by sight or appearance” (2 Corinthians 5:7 amp). Oh, the circumstances may be intense and they may not change, but I know God. Ive walked with Him through the years. So I will proceed in what I have come to believe.

That door of faith was open to Jesus, and it is open to us.

His prayer was heard “because of His piety” (meaning godly reverence), not because of who He was, not because of His outstanding miracles, but because of His “godly reverence.” Do you understand? This piety, this godly reverence that brought about answered prayer, can be ours just as it was His.

This one act of sacrifice was the final proof of His worthiness. “It was after he had proved himself perfect in this experience that Jesus became the Giver of eternal salvation to all those who obey him” (Hebrews 5:9 tlb). He had fulfilled the plan. From the very beginning He set His face like flint toward Calvary (Isaiah 50:7). He refused to be deterred.

“For who knows but that this is the very reason that you came to earth? For just such a time as this, for this very hour?” (Esther 4:14 my paraphrase). Like Queen Esther, like Jesus, maybe Gods plan for us involves “such a time as this.” Quite a high calling. Can I accept that high calling? Yes, I can, by His grace and strength. So can you. Like Jesus and so many saints over the centuries, we can stand on these truths . . .

God’s will–Gods plan–is supreme. I will rest in Gods will.God will not allow something to come into my life that I cannot bear.It may seem like He is far away, but He has promised that He will never leave me.I know the Lord. He loves me. I will walk by faith in that truth.He hears my prayers because of my love for Him.This may be the one experience in my life for which I was created. I certainly dont want to blow it!

I watched You, Lord, when You were facing circumstances of a magnitude that I have not experienced. I listened to Your prayers. I walked by Your side. I learned. Thank You, dear Jesus, for showing me the way through this maze of hurt, confusion, and unrest.

About the Author

Anabel spent decades teaching in many contexts through Lifetime Guarantee Ministries. She has taught countless others how to have a genuine intimate faith and a sound marriage. She shared from her heart about living from the heart. Lifetime’s beloved founder and mentor passed away November 7, 2010. Her legacy and influence are timeless and priceless.