When God Says No

"In the day when I cried thou answeredst me" (Psalm 138:3a).

Our family was considered poor while we homeschooled. Living on one income left us with little money, and trips to the grocery store were made only for milk, flour, eggs, and other staples. We baked our own bread and supplemented our food budget with a bountiful garden. Thankfully, we always had something to eat, and my children never went to bed hungry. However, there were times during our homeschooling when I didn't understand why God allowed our financial situation. I longed for the convenience of prepackaged foods and thought, "It's not fair. Other homeschooling families don't have to cook from scratch, and they have so much more time for field trips and fun days."

My frustration continued until I taught my children the inspirational story of Amy Carmichael. Amy was a Christian missionary in India who founded an orphanage for thousands of children who otherwise would have suffered a bleak future. As a child, Amy prayed to have blue eyes instead of brown. When the color never changed, she was desperately disappointed that God hadn't answered her prayer. Amy's mother lovingly explained that "no" was an answer to prayer, too, and years later, Amy discovered the reason for God's answer. To rescue the abused children in India, Amy had to disguise herself as a native. Dyeing her skin with coffee, Amy was able to keep from being recognized as a foreigner because her eyes were brown, not blue. After reading Amy's story to my family, I thought, "Maybe God has a reason for telling me 'no,' too."

As time went on and my children grew into adulthood, I finally understood God's reason for those hours spent cooking in the kitchen. Because our resources were limited, my children had enjoyed a healthy diet of homegrown, homemade food. They were fit and strong, and they had also learned how to be good cooks themselves. What I had considered a detriment to our homeschooling had actually been a huge blessing.

What do you do when God answers your prayers with "no"? Satan will tempt you to pout as you see greener grass on the other side of the fence, but don't believe him. God's perfect plan for your life will only be fulfilled as you learn to follow Him in obedience, including those times when He says, "no." "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).

Father, thank You for answering prayer. I confess that only You know what's best for my life. Like a child, help me to trust You when You say "no" and realize that it's always for my good. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Comments(37 comments)

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JOYCELYN L 05/17/2009 05:58:44

This was absolutely for me. Within the past few weeks I had to homeschool my daughter. Then I had to resign from my job. Just this morning I woke up "pouting" about resigning and how I didn't feel it was fair. But then this devotional was like God speaking to me reminding me that "All things will work together for my good and my families good. all I can say is WOW and thanks for hearing the voice of God so that he could minister to me this morning.

ROLITA J 05/17/2009 08:53:56

What an inspiration. Everything happen for a reason though I might not like or comfortable with it, but God has his perfect plan. Rolita http://vunhome.com

ERIN J 05/18/2009 05:59:23

This Daily Focus came on just the right day. God must have had it in his plan for me because I was just pouting to my husband about not having grocery money and how we always have to scrape by. It's not that we don't have food to eat, but I found the need to complain about eating the same foods over and over. This article helped me to remember to be thankful for what we do have and that God will provide what we need, when we need it.

STEPHANIE Y 05/24/2009 18:03:05

This article was very necessary for the season of life I am in. After reading this article I am reminded that we must continuously died to our flesh and most of all it is not about us. One of our purposes is to live to fulfill God's will, not societies idea. Homeschooling is a tool God has given to build faith and teach us as parents to rely on him totally. When we learn to rely totally on God that is when he is able to get the glory out of every situation. Homeschooling is just as much about us as the parent as it is about training our children in the fear of God. If God takes care of the birds he will provide for us because we are the object of his affection. He is JEHOVAH-JIREH: "The Lord will Provide." Gen. 22:14. Be Blessed!

REGINA R 05/17/2010 03:39:45

I Thank God for this inspirational story. My family and I are in a similar financial hardship. This definitely helps me to understand God is always working on our behalf for our good. We always look at the world and think we want or need what they have but God provides our every need and the desires of our heart. As we begin homeschooling our oldest child for the new school term I can't help but think what greatness will come out of this ministry.

Sarah B 05/17/2010 06:02:33

One word will sum it up AMEN!!!

TAMMY K 05/17/2010 06:06:15

I thank God for this inspirational message today. He is all powerful and truly awesome. With just one income it is hard to balance all the needs of a household budget, however we lovingly explain to our children why we accept the sacrafices our family makes in order to assure their education and upbringing are inline with God's word. I am thankful God never leaves us and He always leads us if we will only follow Him.

NINA J 05/19/2010 08:14:35

Thank you Lord!!!!!!!

DEMI L 05/20/2010 07:56:54

Thank you for your story, very encouraging. We decided to homeschool my son but I'm reluctant in leavng my job, off course for financial reason. But I know that GOD called me for a better mission. To teach my son .... jrl

SHERI T 05/17/2011 05:02:51

It is not pretty to see a grown woman "pout". Thank you for this story to move me out of my attitude of "self" and to remember I have what He believes I need.

OLIVIA S 05/17/2011 05:20:42

I love this post. I am going through financial issues as well. Story short is that my mom can go off island for free, and while my dad is living in Palau, were my mom travels,(he has been fishing for weeks to prepare for her arrival). By the time my mom gets there the cooler is ready to be picked up with all the natural foods/fish,coconut oils etc., and is brought back to Guam were we live. So we always eat healthy, plus my grandmother always cooks taro, substitute for rice, and we don't eat canfood/goods anymore. I noticed when money wasn't the problem it started affecting my health, I ate a lot because there was a lot of food, but they were mostly unhealthy, that's why I had gained a lot. Now I'm losing a bit, and diet is no problem, since there's not much money to get desserts, thank goodness temptation isn't a big deal for me :)

LISA S 05/17/2011 05:41:22

Thank you for writing what the Lord has put in your heart. God Bless You, for your obedience is blessing us!!

ABBIE S 05/17/2011 05:42:10

We started home schooling in the most finantially difficult time of our lives. God is showing me a lot in this time and severing many material ties for me. We dont have much materially left, but He is meeting our basic needs. Thanks for the encouragement especially as seen on the other side. It gives me much needed hope.

SABRINA W 05/17/2011 06:03:59

I so need this one this morning! Thank You Lord!

WANDY S 05/17/2011 06:34:25

God always want the best for our life. This morning I woke up and I was worry about a lot of thing I have to pay and buy. But I understand that everything is on his hands. We are bless in our life and He knows what is better for us. We have to see the blessings in each day of our life! God bless this site because is a blessing in my life.

AMANDA T 05/17/2011 07:07:27

Oh my goodness!!!!! We are in theis exact situation.... I quit 6 years ago. And have been struggling ever since then. I mean down to nickels and dimes. But it is in these times hat GOd shows himself faithful. When we are down to nothing...God is always up tp something. I've come to accept the fact that this is our way of life for this season. Sometimes I cry out to the Lord and wonder why this has to be....But then God always always proves himself faithful over and over. It makes me trust him all the more in these times. And he calls us to trust him. Wow what a powerful devotional!!!!!! That one really spoke to my heart!

KAREN L 05/17/2011 08:20:35

From one who has been through the fire and not been burned. God is faithful! He will never leave you or forsake you. He is the provider of all things good. His love never fails. Press on dear friends because the rewards of homeschooling your children will far exceed the things you are "missing out on." Struggles will come and go. But the relationships you are building with your children and God are everlasting. One of our scripture verses for the year is Jeremiah 33:3 "Call to Me and I will show you great and mighty things which you do not know." Call out to God, He will answer. Love in HIM.

SHANNON T 05/17/2011 14:49:59

while reading this it helps me to see that the choice I made in homeschooling will do good for my children and teach them. God in my case told me NO to public school for my three youngest and even while over the days I am using it also to summer teach my oldest son that is in public school. long story short God told me to do it and said No to him being in summer public school and I know nothing but blessings will come from it.

SHANNON T 05/17/2011 14:52:22

to added to my other comment no one else needs to know why I do homeschooling. through it it is also teaching me with patience.

CHRISTINA T 05/18/2011 07:38:36

This devotional today was perfect for me. I know it was meant for another day but God meant it for me today. My family is in the process of purchasing a house after 6 years of renting and God told us no on 2 houses we have made an offer on. Both houses we felt were perfect but I know that He has a plan for us and that he has a home for us. We are patiently waiting for Him to show us where He wants us even if that means moving to another town and another church. Thank you for the daily uplifting and for helping me to stay focused on God.

CHARITY L 05/19/2011 04:47:58

As I read through these posts I began to cry. Currently my children are in public school and my daughter will be going to Jr. High next year. I have been feeling such an extreme sense that I am supposed to withdraw my children from Public School and do homeschool however my husband is not convinced. I am the stronger Christian and I truely believe that this is what God's will is for my family. I am working currently and I know that I will have to quit my job if my husband agrees to allow me to do this. Even with me working finances are difficult and we are barely getting by. I am asking for prayer for encouragement and that God will direct our path and reveal his will to my husband. Will you please pray for us.

ELIZABETH H. N 05/19/2011 06:47:17

Charity, I am praying for you!

ONAKA R 05/19/2011 09:24:40

God is good! This post trully touched the heart of me.We are a one income family,for months we have been in this hole .I dont know if we dug it ourselves or by other means.we are now facing lights getting turned off,water getting turned off.The local DCF is giving us a hard time in getting benefits to sustain ourselves.We are literally on the verge of being homeless.We homeschool our last one,she learns without worry of what is taking place around her,which is a blessing.My husband does his best to keep our spirits up with scriptures and prayer.Sometimes i feel that the lord has forgotten us.Food is always scarce and growing for ourselves is hard.We live in Florida in an apartment ,we have no acces to the backyard.I tell you if it wasnt for the mango tress,avocado trees and countless others,we would starve some days.I give thanks for life !Thank you for your reasonings.

WANDA M 05/19/2011 17:34:57

2 Corinthians 1:19-21 19 For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us"by me and Silas[a] and Timothy"was not Yes and No, but in him it has always been Yes. 20 For no matter how many promises God has made, they are Yes in Christ. And so through him the Amen is spoken by us to the glory of God. 21 Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us. God says yes to our our prayers- But also there is warning of how we should pray- not holding anything against anyone or anyone against you, ask and do not doubt, And much more. Also Jesus when wanting the punishment to pass still stated Your will be done. In a situation like yours- I too find myself on one income not being able to take the field trips or joining groups at this time. But I speak life and look at every situation for the lesson He wants me to learn- and pray to be lined up with His will because Jesus died that we have life more abundantly so that we can bless others, be more fruitful in the world. When we have barely enough food I stood thanking and praising that we made it through the day. When things are scarce like finances I pray just as Jesus fed the 5000 with little He too can multiply what I do have to be more than enough. God works miracles and the more we stretch our faith beyond what we have seen in our lives as of now, The more we rejoice and walk in faith, the more I feel He leads us to resources such as Foundations for Homeschoolers who grant scholarships for families like ours. I was blessed with one to pay for HSLDA, I was blessed with a printer, I have come across numerous amounts of free resources and free days for field trips. We moved to a new state on a promise of a job, to later find out my job was given to someone else. it has my husband a while to find a job, we share one car and have no savings.... 4 children, bills and life- It can be reason for me to believe God has said "no" to many of my prayers... But I searched His word and like the drought and Elijah and the drought... No one saw a single sign of rain but Elijah was confident in the Promise of God- The rain, the nourishment is coming. If it happened in the Bible it can happen to me. I stand on His word and pray down- Thy Kingdom come thy will be done on EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN>.. There is no lack in Heaven and there will be no lack in my life. I had not because I asked not. I know He provides OUR NEEDS for sure and he leads us to Treasures in the dark. You are in my prayers to step out side the box and believe our Big God will do Big Works in your life.. Check the local libraries- ours offers 2 free admissions to museums per household, a friend of mine offered her 2 passes on her card so that is 4 free admissions and I can get one every other week. Blessings of Bounty! His Will, His Way, His Time!

ASHLEY M 07/10/2011 06:58:38

GOD has blessed me sooooo much. When I felt GOD telling me to homeschool my husband was against it. Then he said one child (we have three school-age) that's it. But, I felt the LORD prompting me to do 2 and I prayed and the LORD moved in my husband's heart and made a way. This year the LORD started speaking to me about my oldest, and I prayed and said, "LORD if it's Your will you'll have to make a way." I trusted HIM with it, and now my husband is on board. I have so many testimonies of how the LORD has worked on my behalf to see HIS will done it would take too much room to write them all!!! GOD is faithful and true. When we truly trust in HIM, HE sets us free to live for HIM fully. It's not that life doesn't happen us, but that HE redeems the very hardships we encounter and brings good from them. We need to learn to seek HIM, because as we do HE provides wisdom, encouragement, life to our mortal bodies, and strength to accomplish HIS purpose for our lives. Praise GOD HE's able.

DOMINGA C 05/17/2012 05:40:51

Wonderful reminder that I, too, needed to hear today. Sometimes we need to change things... pursue things. Other times we need to accept things the way they are. Not always easy to know which to do. May God grant us wisdom to know the difference. :)

SABRINA C 05/17/2012 06:31:48

My husband and I had tried for 3 years to sell our house in the very small town we were living in to make a better life for our kids. Every time we put an offer in on a house in the town we wanted to move to it got rejected. God kept telling us no. We weren't suppose to move. We couldn't understand why God was telling us no but we accepted it and just made our tiny house in the tiny town work for us. Then one day God told us it was time to move and he showed us where we were to move to (not the town we had originally thought). We obeyed him and my husband got a new job in the new town and we packed everything up and moved. On the day we were moving out of our house it got sold. Looking back now we understand why God told us no for those 3 years when we tried to move. It wasn't the right time and it wasn't the right town. So when God tells us no now we just wait patiently knowing he will show us in his time why he said no.

TABITHA J 05/17/2012 07:30:17

I had to convince my husband about homeschooling and once he found out that there are some areas that he have strengths in (unit studies, grade school level science, grade school level social studies), he got really excited and wants to co-teach instead of me doing all of the teaching as he originally thought.

KATHY S 05/17/2012 07:48:52

God does forsee all that we cannot. I am thankful to say that even though we are finacially challenged, we always have plenty of food, clothes, there is a person who God put in our patrh to fix our 20 year old car when it breaks down. So very many blessings. Thank you Jesus! The thing that the Lord uses to get my attention these days, seems to be my health, can\'t buy good health, can\'t just have it repaired when it breaks down like the car (although Doctors have been repairing me so to speak). It certainly has kept me praying and focusing on Jesus, which sadly, I would not do as much before. I hope to get to the point that I will just do so much praying on my own, that the Lord will restore my health fully. Every night, and through the day, my son prays\"Jesus please heal my Mom, we claim no cancer ever, and please fix her heart disease\". Since my son asks in earnest, I believe God will say \"Yes\" to those prayers, just in his own time. I\'m quite sure that God has spared my life for a reason, and I believe that reason is to raise my son, I am all he has. Thank you Jesus! Amen

SHARLENE M 05/17/2012 08:35:44

I am a 60 yr old grandmother raising 5 of my grandchildren ages 2-9. I homeschooled my 7 children for years and loved it but when my husband turned away from God - into porn and other things-our marraige was destroyed. My children have a lot of scars and some have chosen to reject God-thus my five precious grandchildren without parents that care. I am the only source of income, and we are barely squeezing by much of the time. I feel very strongly that I need to stay home and home educate these little ones, and I know that sounds insane-due to the fact that I can\'t support us without working, but am praying and seeking His face. I am also waiting-which is ALWAYS hard to see how He will work His will in our lives. I have seen Him move miraculously so many times in my life but still my faith is weak - I sooo needed this devotion!! I encouraged myself in the Lord this morning as I thot of my empty bank account and unpaid bills & remembered the widow and the cruz of oil and barrel of flour. My conclusion is: God is still the one who holds it all together and He is always good!!!

AUDRA K 05/17/2012 09:26:28

Praying for you and your situation Sharlene. God will certainly bless your faithfulness and God is the provider for all your needs. God bless you and give you wisdom as you decide what will be best for you and your grandchildren.

JENNIFER R 05/17/2012 10:22:43

Reading this brought tears of relief and joy because I\'m not the only one. I chose to quit working to homeschool my two daughters and we do struggle. Since then I have had a third child with another one on the way. I have been critized by people in my church and others. I\'ve been told I need to get back to work and take care of my family. I\'ve lost friends and often feel so alone. Other homeschooling parents in my church do not struggle like I do. Sometimes I\'ve wondered if I\'m hurting my children because we can\'t take family vacations or because I can\'t put them in extra-curricular activities. I often have to remind myself to keep my eyes on the Lord and not on the world. I just pray that I can meet one friend that is in the same situtation so we can encourage eachother and share new ways to save that the other one hasn\'t thought of. Otherwise, I\'m so grateful that I can feed my family, we have shelter, we have clothes, and our needs are meet. Thank you Lord for the opportunity even when it is hard. :)

KATHY S 05/17/2012 19:37:46

Jennifer R. I pray that you will find some some true Christian friends in the near future. Don\'t feel badly about no family vacations, I never had them as a child, and my son and I will not be having any in the near future either. And we are doing just fine!! Love is all your children will remember. Just as I remember all the time my Mother spent with me. I was not Homeschooled,( although I wish I was). But I have wonderful memories of walking home from school for lunch and my Mom always had hot soup a sandwich, and she would turn the T.V. towards the kitchen so we could watch a show and she, I and my brother would all visit. ( We had 1 hour lunches back then). We did without so many material things, but, we had my Mom with us for all our free time, and that, you cannot buy. I am so thankful for the time she gave us, and I know my son is so thankful that I am with him always. I bet if you asked your children would they rather have a vacation or you, and they will for sure choose YOU!! Be encouraged!! May God Bless you!!

TAMMIE P 05/18/2012 07:02:48

I am glad I read this inspirational story. I will copy this and spread it around to my friends at Church. So just know that you have inspired many with your story. God works through you to others that are struggling right now. This is how God works. Lets thank Him for giving us a chance to help others to come near to Him. Like the verse says, and this is your challenge, find where it is in the bible......Come near to God and He will come near to you......This story proves it. Thanks

TAMMIE P 05/18/2012 07:09:14

Sharlene M, this is something for you to try, that works, http://duggarfamily.com/content/duggar_recipes/30455/homemade_liquid_laundry_soap_front_or_top_load_machine_best_value go here and make good laundry soap for cheap. All these can be bought at Walmart all on the same shelf. It has helped with our budget, and we are struggling like never before too. I will pray for you, and I hope those grandchildren get some foundation from you. They will probably go through their teenager years and act like they are away from God, but I have faith that the foundation you are pouring into them will help them to stay near to God, and God will stay near to them. When they grow up and have kids, they will always remember what you are teaching them, and they will in turn teach that to their kids, so please for them dont be too frustrated to teach them the love of God. Good luck.

SARAH D 05/18/2012 11:43:57

Wow, I just read the inspiration and it moved me. God gave me a sense of peace that I haven\'t felt in the last two days and how and what I am going through with just income is really going to be a blessing in the long run. Thank you for giving me hope and a future when it looked so bleak.

DANIELLE L 05/22/2012 16:20:04

Sharlene M. May God be with you. For your love is so deep... Love on those children and please teach them the Word of God. I tell you the younger this new generation learns how to love on God the better. I will remember you in my prayers tonight. As I am 30 years old. A single mother with 5 children homeschooling them all. My financial hardships are seemingly as big as the red sea. But I am fighting for hope and I will continue to believe that The Lord is with me and that I\'m headed towards greatness. I do not have Any of my elders here. No grandparents for my children nor myself. I know that The Lord hasn\'t forgotten about me. Godbless you and I pray for you stay encouraged my friend!

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