When I was a little girl, I would ask my parents for things like a new bike, candy, or to stay up late, and they would usually say, “No.” I would often reply, “That’s not fair!”

I didn’t understand why my parents didn’t let me have what I wanted. However, after becoming a parent, I understood. I’ve had to say “No” to my kids when they wanted something before it was wise. It wasn’t always easy, but it was for their own good.

I’ve said “No,” to set boundaries, teach my kids patience, and protect them from harm. I’ve said, “No, you can’t have chocolate before breakfast. No, you can’t jump on your bed. No, you can’t use your brother as a human pillow!”

Sometimes God says, “No,” when we are hoping and praying for something that we think we want or waiting on a word from God. When God says, “No,” it may be to protect us, or it’s not time yet. Whatever the reason, God knows what’s best for us.

When we don’t get the “Yes,” we want from God, it can create bitterness in our hearts. We’re like children asking our father for something, and he says, “No.” We might feel like God doesn’t love us because, if He did, He would give us what we want.

When God says “No,” He acts in our best interest. If He said “Yes” to everything, He would not be a Good Father.

Psalm 84:11  declares,For the LORD God is a sun and shield: The LORD will give grace and glory: No good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly” (KJV).

God may say “No” for a season because He knows our heart is not ready to receive it or we’re not spiritually mature enough to handle what we seek.

When David was anointed king, he was only a young man. It took fifteen years for David to become the man God wanted him to be. God said “Yes” to David being king, but He said “No” until the right time—when David was ready.

Biblical examples of when God said “No,”:

  • When David prayed that the son he had with Bathsheba would live (2 Samuel 12:16-18);
  • When God told David not to number the people (1 Chronicles 21);
  • When God told David not to build the temple (1 Chronicles 28);
  • When God told Abraham that Ishmael would not be included in the inheritance (Genesis 17:18-21);
  • God told Balaam not to curse the people of Israel because they were blessed (Numbers 22:12);
  • When Paul asked God to remove the “thorn” in his side (2 Corinthian 12:7);
  • When God told Moses he would not enter the Promised Land (Numbers 13, 14, and 20:2-12).

In every example, God said, “No,” for a reason.

My older sister wanted to go to a party at a friend’s house when she was a teenager. My parents said “No,” because they knew the other girls’ reputations, and there wouldn’t be any parental supervision. My father also suspected the party would include things my sister should not participate in.

So, when my sister asked mom again, “Can I go to the party?” Dad responded, “No, I don’t want my daughter to get hurt.”

My sister pitched a fit, stormed out, went into her room, and slammed the door. Our parents didn’t know that she snuck out of her bedroom window and went to the party anyway.

It didn’t end well. Within thirty minutes, my sister called my dad crying, saying that many bad things were happening at this party; she was scared and wanted him to pick her up. My parents were furious, but my father’s goal was to arrive at that house as fast as possible and get his daughter home safely.

Needless to say, my parents’ “No” to this party was for a reason. It was to protect my sister from something that could have hurt or killed her.

Do you find yourself in a situation where you’re asking God for something? If He quietly whispers, “No,” or “Not now,” trust God!

I was in a relationship before I met my husband when I heard God say, “No,” but I didn’t listen. I’m thankful I had praying family and friends because infatuation blinded me.

I was in my twenties when a young man came to our church. A few months later, we became friends because the church was small, and we were about the same age.

I later found out his intentions were not good. He was pretending to live for God. I continually heard God telling me “No” to the friendship. But, the man’s words were smooth, and the compliments were flattering every Sunday at church. I heard everything I wanted to hear except God’s “No.”

One night I dreamt God was warning me that this man’s intentions towards me were sinful and for me to stop seeing him. The urgency in the dream finally convinced me to end the friendship.

It was painful to cut off the relationship, but God saved me from heartbreak because this person was not interested in God or a healthy relationship.

When we are in the will of God, all things will align according to His plan, not ours.

No good thing will God withhold from his children, but because of His love for us, He will say “No” from time to time.

When your prayers align with God’s will, you will hear a resounding “Yes!”  Be encouraged; God loves and watches over His children.

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end (Jeremiah 29:11).


Rebbecca Horner lives in Utah with her husband of eleven years and her four kids. Her family attends New Life Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, pastored by Eugene Guerrero. She serves in the music ministry and her husband, Mathew, is the men’s ministries leader.

1 Comment

  1. Oh sister! How beautiful your words and God’s love for us is. Thank you for reminding us of how great God’s love is for us. God bless you.