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When God Says No (Part I of II)

Considerations Bill Bright, a magnificent Christian man, died in the summer of 2003. Shortly after World War II, Bill Bright founded Campus Crusade for Christ (CCC). Today, this ministry is a $400 million-a- year organization with a staff of 24,000 and a beautiful headquarters. If you had checked the annual report of CCC during Mr. Bright’s tenure and guidance, you would have discovered his salary, year in and year out, was listed at a mere $30,595. His wife and co-founder received another $19,975. The couple drove two older Lincolns donated by friends. They never owned a home, preferring to rent a company-owned condo. All of Bill Bright’s book royalties, which are considerable, were pledged long ago to various charitable organizations. Bright struggled mightily with his health the last few years of his life, finally succumbing to pulmonary fibrosis. He had lost 80 per cent of his lung capacity and was perpetually connected to an oxygen tank. At the end of his life, every movement of his body was painful and exhausting. At that time, many thousands of prayers were sent heavenward on behalf of this tireless, suffering servant of God for the restoration of his health. But Bill Bright’s medical condition slowly and steadily deteriorated and it became increasingly apparent that in answer to those many prayers on behalf of Bill Bright, God had said, “NO.” II Corinthians 12:7b-9 (NIV), ... there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But the Lord said to me, “(No), My grace is sufficient for you, My power is made perfect in (your) weakness.” So very often, the one thing you want is the one thing you never get. All you want is a different situation, an open door, an extra day or an answered prayer, for which you will be grateful. And so you pray and wait. No answer. You pray and wait. No answer. You pray and you wait. A very important question is, “What if God says no?” What if the request is delayed or even denied? When God says no to you and me, how will we respond? If God speaks to our hearts and says, “I’ve given you my grace (God’s unmerited mercy and love) and that is all you need,” will we be content and still love the Lord? Is the state of your heart in such a condition that ...

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