When All You Seem to Hear from God Is No (the message of the cross)

Gold Brush Stroke

Is God’s answer no or really yes?

“Daddy, can I ask you even though you’ll say no?” I overheard a little girl ask her father this recently, and I had to chuckle. She asked for a cell phone; he said no.

Apparently she trusted his decision and moved on without complaint.

I’ve not always been so gracious in receiving negative answers, from others in my life or from the Lord.

When God Says No

When I submit a prayer request to God, I expect Him to say yes … and quickly.

But sometimes all He seems to say is no. I bet you’ve heard it too:

No to your request for relief from physical pain.

No to your plea to spare a loved one’s life.

No to freedom from the emotional pain assaulting you.

No to a better job, more money, and easier circumstances.

We ask Him for relief from some sort of uncomfortable or painful situation, and all we seem to receive is a negative answer.

Doesn’t Scripture say that if we ask God for anything, He’ll grant it? I think I know what’s best for me, and I ask.

Yet I ask and receive the same negative answer. What gives?

message of the cross- yes in christ

God’s Will

What gives is a little thing about asking according to God’s will (1 John 5:14). 

God’s will is for us to spend eternity with Him (John 3:16).

God’s will is for us to share the Gospel with all nations (Matthew 28:19).

God’s will is for us to grow in His likeness (2 Peter 3:18).

God’s will is for us to share in His suffering, so we can also share in His glory (Romans 8:17).

Maybe we hear no because a more comfortable life is not in our best interest.

Maybe God answers 'no' because a more comfortable life is not in our best interest. Share on X

Maybe we hear no because its not the best time.

Maybe we hear no because we ask the wrong questions, questions based on our will, not His.

Maybe if we rephrased our question we’d hear yes more often.

Yes to our desire for God to remain near.

Yes to our plea for strength.

Yes to our need for peace.

Yes to our request for His will to be done in our life.

message of the cross 1

Jesus Says Yes

It may seem we hear negative answers most of the time, but actually, Jesus has already said yes to each of us, to many important things, to the most important things. And He continues to say yes over and over in our lives.

Jesus has already said yes to each of us, to many important things, to 'the' most important things. Share on X

In fact, His ultimate answer is yes.

Yes, I care about your circumstances.

Yes, I suffered and died for you.

Yes, I took on the sin of all mankind and descended to hell so you would not have to. 

Yes, one day there will be no more pain, no more tears. 

Yes, I defeated death and rose again, so you can live with Me forever in heaven. 

Yes, I am with you always, even to the ends of the earth. 

God’s answer to your prayers may sometimes sound a lot like no, but He’s really saying yes: Yes, I love you enough to say no to what is ultimately not my best for you. 

God loves you enough to say no to what is ultimately not His best for you. Share on X

And He has clearly demonstrated His ultimate affirmative answer in the sacrifice He made.

Message of the Cross

Jesus’ brutal death on the cross screamed YES to you and me. His resurrection from the dead and ascension into heaven declared YES for all time.

It’s a resounding YES! Yes, you are loved. Yes, Jesus cared enough to die for you! 

His yes is forever stamped on His nail-scarred hands, forever stained on the empty cross, forever apparent in the empty tomb.

The message of the cross is 'Yes, you are loved. Yes, Jesus cared enough to die for you.' Share on X

Believe it. Rejoice in it!

For what a glorious YES it is!

“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8 NASB

The next time you hear God saying “no” to something you want, remember the “yes” He already declared on the cross and know you are loved well. 

When God says 'no' to something, remember the 'yes' He already declared on the cross & know you are loved well. Share on X

As a treat and a reminder of what Jesus’ yes means for you watch this beautiful video of David Phelps singing “No More Night.”



Reflections: What “no” do you struggle with hearing most? How can remembering the Savior’s sacrifice help soften the blow?

I am always thrilled to link up with Suzie Eller for #livefreeThursday and this week’s prompt, “um, no.” Click on the image to check out the wonderful encouragement.



By His Grace,



  1. Crystal Sunshine Hornback on March 24, 2016 at 10:06 am

    Powerful stuff, girl!!! #livefreeThursday

    • Julie Sunne on March 24, 2016 at 12:51 pm

      Thank you, Crystal. The message of the cross is powerful like no other.

  2. Cindy on March 24, 2016 at 4:02 pm

    Oh my do I find myself acting like Jonah way too often! Thank you for your wise words in this post! I sure need them! Cindy

  3. Julie Lefebure on March 24, 2016 at 9:31 pm

    Oh my goodness, Julie! We were traveling the same path on this prompt, weren’t we??!! Great post, my friend. I love how you brought the cross into it. Love your words! Blessings to you.

    • Julie Sunne on March 24, 2016 at 10:04 pm

      As I loved yours, Julie! Thank you. It’ll be fun to meet you in person, soon now.

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Julie Sunne

Hello, I'm Julie, an imperfect wife and mother of four. Life in this broken world is not always easy. Yet, joy can be found in each day through the grace and mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ.

I find it's easy for our day's blessings to get lost in its happenings. But God's "mercies never end" (Lamentations 3:22) and His "grace is sufficient" (2 Corinthians 12:9).

May the posts and pages on this site offer you a measure of peace and encouragement.

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