When We Don’t Like God’s Answer – Psalm 21:6-7

AMH Series // His Word is Written Across My Heart

We all know the feeling.  God answered me, but it isn’t what I had prayed earnestly for.  Now I feel deflated. My dreams are shattered. What about the promise that God is good?  Why does it seem like He’s just toying with me, hoping to make me stumble?

These are the lies that have run through my head on more than one occasion.  Growing up in a solid Christian home, I was taught from a very young age that God was sovereign over everything and completely good.  I really haven’t ever doubted these truths, but I have often felt a sinking fear that God was going to disappoint my dreams and plans.  I know that He is good, but sometimes I’ve doubted that He would ever allow me to get my heart’s desires.

Wanting My Heart’s Desire

Recently I was praying fervently for something.  I had dreamed about it for a long time. But it seemed like God was saying no.  Again. I was crushed. “God, how many times have I prayed for this and you said ‘no’?  Is it something I did? I know that you are good, so why does it seem like the good desires I have aren’t being fulfilled?  Is it because of my pride? What about “so-and so?” They got what they wanted, and they aren’t exactly humble.” My prayers would be filled with questioning.  Not questioning the character of God, but His intentions for my life.  

God didn’t leave me in that place of questioning.  On several occasions, He brought scriptures to remind me of His truth.  

“O Lord, in Your strength the king rejoices, and in Your salvation how greatly he exults! You have given him his heart’s desire and have not withheld the requests of his lips.  For You meet him with rich blessings; You set a crown of fine gold upon his head. He asked life of You; You gave it to him, length of days forever and ever.” (Psalm 21:1-4)

These words made me reconsider.  Maybe this time God wasn’t going to say no!  Maybe He was actually going to fulfill my desire!  The scriptures are filled with God’s promise of fulfilling the prayers of His children.  

But then I had another disappointment.  Something else I had been praying for didn’t happen as I had wanted.  Then the Lord brought me to Psalm 84:10-12.

“For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere.  I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness.  For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor. No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.  O Lord of hosts, blessed is the one who trusts in You!

Then it clicked.  I had missed the point that God was trying to show me.  I realized that God is good.  He doesn’t withhold Himself.  If I walk uprightly in the Spirit, the desires of my heart will be in accordance with Him.  

Realizing the Right Desires

I came to the realization that my prayers had been selfish.  They hadn’t been about building God’s kingdom. They were about building my own.  They were about making Kaela’s name known, not the Lord Jesus’. In Psalm 21, the king rejoices in the Lord’s strength.  His requests aren’t to glorify his own name. When I had initially read the passage, I missed the depth of verses 6 and 7.  “For You make him most blessed forever, You make him glad for the joy of Your presence.  For the king trusts in the Lord.”  

The king was blessed because he was filled with joy in the Lord’s presence.  Psalm 84 says that it is better to be one day in His presence than a thousand anywhere else.  It would be better to be a gatekeeper in the house of God, a lowly position, than to dwell in wickedness.  

The bottom line is that I had become so obsessed about the ‘good thing’ that I forgot about the Good One.  If I was truly focusing on Him, He would fill me with joy in His presence. I wanted God plus something else.  Of course I wanted Him, but I didn’t think He was enough.  I didn’t truly trust in His goodness. Why would He withhold these things from me when He has promised that He will not withhold any good thing?  The things I desired had become not-so-good in my heart because I had put them on a pedestal above my relationship with God.

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Faithfully Waiting on God’s Perfect Timing

In Genesis, we read about the long journey that Joseph went through.  He was a godly man with so much potential, but he had pride in his heart (see Genesis 37).  He was sold by his brothers and ended up a slave in an Egyptian household. He succeeded there, but then was thrown in prison after being falsely accused.  Years went by, and no doubt Joseph questioned why he was where he was. He had so much potential! But he was locked in prison. I’m sure he prayed many prayers for deliverance.  And God said no for a long time. But in the meantime, Joseph was faithful where he was placed.

Genesis 39:22-23 says, “And the keeper of the prison put Joseph in charge of all of the prisoners who were in the prison.  Whatever was done there, he was the one who did it. The keeper of the prison paid no attention to anything that was in Joseph’s charge, because the Lord was with him.  And whatever he did, the Lord made it succeed.”

Joseph was faithful even in prison.  But it was because the Lord helped him to be.  When Joseph learned to trust in the Lord’s plan and timing, he was eventually let out of prison and became second in command in Egypt!  Joseph didn’t see the full tapestry of grace that God was weaving, but he trusted that God could see the full design. He has a masterful plan.  But we first must learn to submit to Him.

Trusting God Knows What’s Best for Me

God is so good.  We don’t always get what we want, but we have His presence, which should fill us with so much joy.  If you are in a season of waiting, I encourage you to lay your dreams and hopes down. I know that it’s hard to trust because our view is finite.  But His isn’t. When we let go and let God do His work, He will bless us.

God isn’t withholding good things from you.  He is revealing Himself to you. He wants you to trust Him completely.  

“How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord of hosts!  My soul longs for you, yes, faints for the courts of the Lord; my heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God.” (Psalm 81:1-2)

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