What if God says NO?

People have told me that God always answers your prayers.  I took this to believe that he always answers in a positive way. 

"Why yes, I'll make sure you get that amazing job."  or "You need a little extra cash this month?  I'll make that happen."

I thought that being a Christian meant that God would always see to your success and prosperity.  When I think about this, I actually realize how incorrect this notion is, especially since so many people in the Bible suffered for their belief in Christ.

Bottom line : God does answer prayers.  It's just not always a "yes".

We, as Christians, are not exempt from suffering.  We aren't exempt from a bad economy, or job lay offs, or tantrums thrown by our children.  We're not going to always have a plush life but there are plenty of examples of suffering in the Bible that can give us hope in our dark moments.

Job is a good one.  I'm currently reading his story (it's a tough read so I'm going very slowly).  Want an even better one?  How about Christ?  Son of God nailed to a wooden cross.  I'd call that suffering.

God doesn't leave us in our dark moments.  He's a sympathetic, loving God who has a plan that we, as humans living in our little bubbles of life, can't possibly understand.  But he can use anything for his glory.  Anything.

Martin Luther talks a lot of about suffering and says that faith is strengthened through weakness.  Think about it this way : When we are at our low points, we have nothing, sometimes literally.  When we are empty, God will fill us up.  When we are "full" - we have a nice house, great family, perfect job - we tend to get too busy to allow God into our lives.  Maybe we get a little vain.  Maybe we get to busy for church, or Bible study. 

Pain is an opportunity for humility.  Paul describes this when he literally had a piece of wood stuck in his side and asked God to remove it.  God said that all Paul needs is Him and that His power is made perfect through suffering.  Paul needed God.  He needed his comfort when he hurt, so God was able to work through him. 

Does this make any sense?  It's confusing, I know.  But it's like we're all vessels and when we're empty God has plenty of room to fill us up.  When our vessel is full of other things, there isn't a ton of room for God. 

I hope I haven't made this topic more confusing. 

Here's a song that helps put it into words:

What do you think about God saying no?  Feel free to comment!