“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
Bethany’s eighth birthday had been wonderful. Her parents had given her a shiny new purple bicycle with purple and white streamers on the handlebars. It was exactly what she wanted! She knew it cost a lot of money. She had dreamed about that bicycle, admired it in the store, and hinted about it to her parents for several weeks. And now it was hers! She had spent the last hour outside riding it up and down their street. Finally, Mom called her in for bed.
As Bethany passed the kitchen on her way to bed, she saw the leftover chocolate cake sitting on the counter. “Mom, can I please have one more piece of birthday cake before bed?” Bethany asked.
“No, honey, it’s too late at night,” said Mom. ‘I’m afraid it will upset your stomach. You can have some tomorrow.”
Let’s pause the story right here. What do you think Bethany will do? She has several choices. She could burst into tears and tell Mom that she’s mean and never lets her have anything good. She could march off to her room pouting and slam the door. Or she could run to her mother, give her a hug, and thank her again for the bike.
Of course, it’s obvious to us that the last choice is the best one. Mom has already given Bethany a wonderful, expensive gift. She has only denied Bethany one small thing that wouldn’t be good for her anyway. How ungrateful Bethany would be if she forgot all about the bike and complained about that one small piece of cake that Mom said no to.
If you have received Jesus Christ as your Savior, God has provided you with the most wonderful, most expensive gift there is. Salvation is bought for us at the cost of Christ’s blood. It is the greatest of all gifts. God never says no to those who come to Him humbly seeking this great gift.
But sometimes God says no to the lesser things we want. He says no because He knows the thing we want would not be good for us. The best way to respond to God when this happens is to thank Him. Remember all that He has already given to you in Christ. Trust Him to give you only the best things in His perfect time and way.
God wants us to respond with thankfulness in every situation.
» Have I thanked God today for His gift of salvation?
» How do I respond to God when He says no to me?