The French language has a peculiarity that I like. Often when the answer is, “Yes!” they don’t just say one “yes” in response but “Oui, oui!” (Yes, yes!) Sometimes even “oui, oui, oui!”
So, if your wife looks at you menacingly and asks you if you remembered to do what she asked you to, you can respond, “Oui, oui!” Otherwise you can slap your head and say, “Ah, I forgot!” (You probably won’t slap it as hard as she would have).
The Lord must be French because He has a tendency to answer, “Yes, yes!”
“For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us—by me, Silvanus, and Timothy—was not Yes and No, but in Him was Yes. For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.” (2 Corinthians 1:19-21, NKJV)
We’ve all heard it preached, “God always answers. Sometimes it’s ‘yes,’ sometimes it’s ‘no’, and sometimes it’s, ‘wait.'”
I beg to differ, and you can disagree with me if you wish. But, if I’m asking in faith something God has promised his response is, “Oui! Oui!”
I hear you rumbling out there, “Now hang on David. Don’t you remember that Paul asked three times that a ‘thorn in the flesh’ be taken away from Him and God said, ‘no.'”
Did God say, “No” ?
“Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Cor. 12:8-10, NIV)
God gives a “Yes” or He gives “grace and glory.” The second is just another form of “yes” and is just as good as the first “yes.” God didn’t say “no” to Paul. He gave him what he was really praying for.
That great theologian and country music singer Garth Brooks warbled a song about running into a woman at a high school football game. She had been the love of his life twenty years before. He’d prayed and prayed that God would give him this girl for his wife. But, this night twenty years later, he thanked God for unanswered prayer (because he loved his wife and not because the girl had become ugly. Just so you’d know).
“And as she walked away and I looked at my wife,
And then and there I thanked the good Lord
For the gifts in my life.
Sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers.
Remember when you’re talkin’ to the man upstairs
That just because he may not answer doesn’t mean he don’t care.
Some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers.”
(Writer: Patrick Alger, Copyright: Polygram Int. Publishing Inc., Universal Music Corp.)
(If you’ve got a high pain threshold here it is on You Tube: click here
Of course we must be asking for something God has promised, so it’s vital that we devour His Word to know what He has said He will do. Lots of people are asking but they’re not following God or really living in Him.
He said, “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” (Jean 15:7, NIV)
If it’s not in His will, He’s not going to do it, because that would hurt us. If God answered “yes” when it wasn’t His will, that would really be a “no.” Does that make sense? But we can know God’s will if we really want to, “We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives …” (Col. 1:9, NIV)
Oui, oui, oui! God responds to you. Listen to Eugene Peterson’s paraphrase of the first verses I cited:
“Whatever God has promised gets stamped with the Yes of Jesus. In him, this is what we preach and pray, the great Amen, God’s Yes and our Yes together, gloriously evident. God affirms us, making us a sure thing in Christ, putting his Yes within us. By his Spirit he has stamped us with his eternal pledge—a sure beginning of what he is destined to complete. (Corinthians 1:20-22, The Message)
Thank the Lord for His “yes’s” and for the, “no’s” that are really disguised yes’s.
Oui, oui, oui, oui, oui!
image: flickr, creative commons, madhavaYes
Forgive yourself for not being the richest, the thinnest, the tallest, the one with the best hair. Forgive yourself for not being the most successful, the cutest or the one with the fastest time. Forgive yourself for not winning every round.
Forgive yourself for being afraid.
But don’t let yourself off the hook, never forgive yourself, for not caring or not trying.