“I said, “No!” Sometimes the repeated asking has to be met with a strong and decisive response. I’ve heard it and maybe you have too, and when you hear it, it’s over, the asking ceases and the countenance drops. You’ve hit the limit and the tolerated number of petitions and you probably should have seen it coming. God has a “No” in His vocabulary, but He is not the “No” God. Some view God as stern and quick to say “No,” when in reality, He is very willing and many times says either “Yes” to our request or “Wait.” Paul had been given a thorn in his flesh that he believed needed to be gone. Paul asked the Lord three times to take it away. He said, “Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 2 Corinthians 12:8-9
Paul must have believed this thorn was a hindrance to his ministry, but God didn’t say “No” to hinder Paul’s ministry. God said, “No,” because He knew Paul’s visions and his temptations to be “exalted above measure.” Another way to say that is, God knew Paul could get the big head, full of pride, and think of himself more highly than he should. And there was another reason God said “No” to Paul. It’s the same reason God will not hesitate in saying “No” to you and me today. God wants us to experience His grace. You can handle a “No” from God so long as you have His grace, otherwise, life is just hard and confusing. Has God told you “No” lately? He is a good Father and a good Father knows when to say, “No.” If you have been told “No” lately, why not ask God for more grace? Grace can keep you going even with a thorn stuck in you. And this is good news, we can actually live in God’s grace because there was a thorn that stuck in Jesus. Pray for more grace today—that’s all, just more grace.