Sometimes God says “No”

Today’s Tuesday’s Trials I am going to discuss the difficulty of when “radical faith” does not yield radical healing. This comes on the heels of a post last week by a fellow blogger that has sat heavily with me. If you are interested, the article is entitled “Classified Crazy“. She and I have commented back and forth regarding the topic and better understand where each other are coming from, but it has led me to feel the need to address the subject further. In no way is this meant to be critical of her post. We are just coming to terms with the same subject from very different life experiences.

Time and time again we see in the New Testament examples of people being healed due to their faith. Matthew 11 retells the story of the woman subjected to bleeding for years simply knowing if she could just touch Jesus’ cloak, she would be healed. The gospels go on to describe the lame, the mute, those with leprosy, and the blind, all being healed according to their faith. They had what some would term “Radical Faith” believing that Jesus could do what nature said was impossible. And the impossible was done. They received a radical healing.

In conjunction with our faith, we are taught to ask for the desires of our heart. In Matthew 7 Jesus says:

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”

When we pray, we are to pray and not doubt. Mark 11:24 states:

Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”

And, Matthew 21: 21-22 says:

21 Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done. 22 If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”

The Bible is full of scriptures that pertain to the idea of faith and prayer. It is sound advice to encourage someone to have a deep faith and rich prayer life, to encourage them to have the radical type of faith that the scriptures describe. So many Biblical promises are wrapped up in this concept.

But, how do you present this same subject to those who are left broken-hearted? At worst, it can come off with the message that the individual simply did not have enough faith for the healing to occur. This is when the message of “Radical Faith” becomes dangerous.

I had “Radical Faith” in my prayers to become pregnant for a child of my own. As a nurse, I had seen first-hand that God can still make the seemingly impossible happen. I knew he was capable of healing my body as well. I didn’t simply ask, seek and knock for the desires of my heart. I banged, pounded, begged and pleaded. But, God’s answer remained, “No.” There was never going to be a radical healing response to my radical faith. My body would never be free from the disease that robbed my fertility until we took measures that left me irreversibly barren.

Was it because I didn’t have enough faith? Did I doubt his capabilities? Was my belief not “radical” enough? Certainly not.

I did not receive a radical healing in response to my prayers because God had a different plan, a better plan, for my lifeA Better Plan. He had his own radical response, but it was not in the form I was originally desperately hoping for.

Then along came Turkey-man. When I saw him for the first time, the soft glow of the warming lights could just as easily have been a light from Heaven shining down on him. In that moment, I understood. I understood God’s persistent “No.” God looked at us and said “Him. He is your son. No, you did not have a radical healing, but I have a radical response to your dreams. This baby boy is who has been waiting for you.” God illuminated all of our struggles and made me see that it had all been for this moment in time. He knew all along the end result.

I have come to transform my idea of “Radical Faith” to mean living my life radically glorifying God in all circumstances, even when I do not get the desires of my heart. It is not that I don’t believe He is capable. I fully believe in his power, but I now know that it all will happen in line with God’s design. My “Radical Faith” is now in the goodness and perfection of God’s plan, even when it does not align with my own. I have chosen to be radically faithful in my acceptance of His almighty plan. And for me, letting go of my control of a situation and radically believing that God is working for the good of those who love him, takes far more radical faith than praying for the desires of my heart. But that, I believe, is the exact faith that God is looking for.


  1. This has to be one of the best posts I have ever read. You did a beautiful job of describing something so complex. I completely agree with you and am grateful for your faith and willingness to share.


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