When God Says No

When God Says No

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I’m an eternal optimist. It’s the way God made me. I will normally believe the best in people until proven wrong. When I pray for the impossible, I believe God will do it because I believe He can. I’m not naïve. I’ve lived 40 years on this planet, and I know bad things happen. I know we live in a fallen world, so I don’t live with my head in the clouds. No, I just choose to believe the best.

My family and I are raising support to go to the mission field. Not an easy task by any stretch of the imagination. We need to be 100% supported before we can get on the plane to Ireland at the end of August. So in December, I began my crazy prayer of getting to be at 60% by the end of January. We were at 32% in December.

My husband and our partner development coach told me that wasn’t quite a realistic prayer. But I know God does the impossible. I’ve seen it. I’ve lived and experienced it. What’s 25% to God? He is most certainly capable of providing it. And I believed He would.

The month of January, I spent a lot of time “convincing” God why He should answer this prayer with a yes. I told Him why I knew He could do it. As January came to a close, God’s answer was becoming abundantly clear. But still, I believed He would come through at the end and reveal Himself to be the Great God who Provides that I knew He was and is.

Alas, January ended, and God’s answer was a simple, “No.” Oh, we moved up to 35% and were told by a few people that they would partner with us. And that was amazing! We were encouraged by our new supporters. Yet, God still said no to my impossible prayer.

What do we do when God says no? How do we respond? When we ask for healing for our loved ones with cancer and the answer is no; when our parent is suffering from failing health or our children aren’t making the best decisions. What do we do when we are at the end of our rope in utter despair due to depression or anxiety (anxiety I struggle with and had asked for healing)?

These are questions we wrestle with, we want and at times, demand answers from God. And I wish I had the perfect answer. I wish I could tell you that in the midst of no’s, here are a few easy steps to keep being positive.

But you know what I learned? It’s ok to be frustrated, and at times, angry, that you didn’t get your yes. It’s normal. The key, however, is not to stay in that state. Let the anger/frustration run its course, and then, move on to trust. Trust that God has a plan. He has a purpose. He has a reason. We may never know what that reason is this side of heaven, but we can trust in the One who does. Have hope that something is in the works that we can’t see.

I don’t know why God says no. However, I will do trust Him. The next time God says no to a request, I encourage you to keep trusting in Him who holds you in the palm of His hand.

Joi Copeland About Joi Copeland

Joi Copeland is married to a wonderful man, Chris, and has three amazing boys, Garrison, Gage, and Gavin. She lives in Denver, Colorado, but within the year, hopes to be living in Galway, Ireland. Find her on her blog or her Facebook page.


  1. God’s got you Joi. I know he’ll provide.

  2. Laurie Driesen says:

    Thanks Joi, for a wonderful post — it’s hard when God says no, but eventually, I’ve always thanked Him that He said no! He always has a better plan. God’s “no” teaches me to be submissive. I need to learn that because I do get stuck on wanting God to follow my plan. I really appreciate that you wrote on this topic!

  3. Joi, this is beautiful. Thank you for sharing. Great question, what do we do when the Lord says no? I have cried most of the time, but like you I had to ultimately accept it. I guess it is finding the peace in his decision that I use to wrestle with, but now, I know, in my heart, that He knows what is best for me. It took me a long time to say that, but I am glad I can now without flinching. God Bless you, and I will be praying that God turns it all around for you, and the mission trip for what I have discovered after God said no was that he is also the master of Suddenly!

  4. It’s always so hard when the answer is no. I’ve had that happen many times, and it’s disappointing. The key is not to let it shake our faith. I do believe God always has a specific purpose for His “no.”

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