“For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.” (2 Corinthians 1:20)
Are you having one of those days when everyone tells you “no”?
No, you didn’t get the raise. No, you can’t afford that new car. No, you can’t have that piece of cake. No, the doctor can’t see you now. No, you’re not old enough…or not young enough anymore. No, you can’t have everything you want. No. No. No.
“No” is a word we typically despise. It means we’re not going to get our own way. It tells us we’re not in control.
Puppies can have the same problem. Our mini-schnauzer Heidi, who is seven months old, knows what’s not allowed and gets into mischief anyway. For the most part, Heidi just ignores the word “no” and does as she pleases…until she gets caught.
Even as adult people, we chafe at restrictions, boundaries, constraints. We want to do as we please.
The Bible is chock full of “thou shalt nots.” Many skeptics use that as their reason for not reading Scripture or believing in God—they don’t want to accept the “no” commandments and be subject to God’s authority.
But we need those “shalt nots.” They limit us from harming ourselves or others. Without the “no” rules and laws, we’d be out of control, in danger, or in trouble. They give us fences of protection, guidelines for daily living, and—believe it or not—privileges.
One of the best descriptions I’ve ever heard for the Ten Commandments was from a former pastor at our church, Rick Searle. He described them as “fountains of life.”
Fountains? Really? Just listen to Proverbs 13:14—“The law of the wise is a fountain of life, to turn one away from the snares of death.”
What if we took that wisdom to heart? Looked at God’s “no” commands as His blessings to us?
Perhaps the “no” you’re hearing today or reading in Scripture is really His way to enrich your life. Maybe He’s teaching you patience. Maybe He’s encouraging you to persevere. Perhaps He is inviting you to trust Him more.
“No” in the Bible can be a very good thing. My favorite “no”? Romans 8:1 – “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” How much further evidence do we need in order to know how much He loves us???
But the biggest reason to take heart is that we have His resounding “Yes!” in Jesus Christ. What we cannot do, cannot have, cannot achieve is satisfied in Him. We have His salvation—a home waiting for us in heaven—not of our own doing but by His sacrifice alone. And all we have to do is say “yes” to accepting Jesus as our Lord.
When disappointment shows up today in the word “no,” stop and consider the possibilities. Maybe God is showing you that your cup isn’t half empty but overflowing with His goodness. Like a fountain. Full of joy and contentment in Him alone.
When “no” strikes, say “yes” to Jesus!
Father God, what a joy to know how much You love us—You have loved us with an everlasting love, a Father’s guidance, and divine forgiveness. Help us see Your privileges and blessings even in the “no” answers or rules we encounter. Pardon our reluctance to obey, our willful disregard for your commands, and our shortage of faith. Help us to rejoice daily in Your “fountains of life”! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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© Copyright 2021 Nancy C. Williams, Lightbourne Creative (text and photography)
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.