In Every “NO” , God Has a Plan
“And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.”
Luke 2:7 (ESV)
My heart pounded as I read the subject line “Announcing this year’s devotional winners.” I debated whether I should open the email right away or wait till later to give my nerves time to settle. Well, my nerves would have to get with the program because I couldn’t contain my excitement or curiosity any longer. I took a deep breath and clicked open. My eyes quickly scanned the words on the screen, hoping and begging God to find my name somewhere. As I read the email, my heart shattered. My name was nowhere in the email. I was devastated! The “yes” I had hoped and prayed for had now become the “no” I had dreaded.
I wonder how the mother of Jesus felt the night she would give birth to the Savior of the world. Exhausted, uncomfortable, and sick of bumpy roads, Mary and Joseph had finally reached their destination only to find out there was NO place to go. “And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.” Luke 2:7 (ESV) The long-awaited Savior had finally arrived, and there was no room! Being told “no” as his wife is in excruciating pain was probably one of the most agonizing moments of Joseph’s life. However, “no” was God’s plan.
Years before this moment, even decades before, Biblical prophecy foretold a king would enter the world, not under normal circumstances. He would be born not with a silver spoon in his mouth. Instead, this king would arrive in the lowest place – a stable. It happened this way so that the world would know the long-awaited One had finally come.
On the night Jesus was born, a “no” was God’s hand at work. The word “no” would lead Mary and Joseph to the birthplace of Christ. “No” would be a prophecy fulfilled. It would set the stage for the most significant birth in mankind’s history. This powerful word often associated with pain and disappointment would become the very thing that would usher in the Messiah and secure salvation for His people. The word “no” is a hard pill to swallow. It’s never easy. It’s often the culprit of shattered dreams and long-awaited promises. However, in every “no,” God has a plan! Although we might not understand His plan, we can trust that right in the middle of our prayer and His answer are His promises. No matter what, His promises are always yes and amen.
1.Think of a situation in your life where you’ve struggled to accept God’s answer. Although God might not have answered the way you thought He would, how have you seen His hand at work? In what way has the promises of God shown to be true despite your pain and disappointment?
2.Where in your life have you struggled to accept God’s answer? What promise from Scripture can you cling to instead? Write a letter to the Lord as a sign of surrender.
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