Have you been praying for something that is a desire of your heart? You may be single and asking God for a husband. Or perhaps you are asking God for your first child and it’s taking longer than you had hoped. It may be a specific job, or a “dream” of accomplishing something, or a new direction, or healing from a condition or disease.

How do you handle it when God doesn’t give you that desire, when God says no? Do you respond in anger and become bitter? Or do you rest in God’s sovereign, loving hand in your life? Do you believe that He knows what’s best for you?

This past week I taught on James 1:1-18 at the women’s Bible study at my church. The topic was trials and temptations. We all face them, but how do we handle them?

If we know our God and His character, if we trust His hand, we can rest in the truth that God wants what is best for us, even if that is not the desire of our hearts. James 1:17 reminds us of God’s character: “Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.” God is a good God and gives us good things. If God does not give me the desire of my heart, it is because of one of three reasons: it’s not good for me; He has something better for me; or it’s not the right timing.

God gave me the opportunity to live out what I taught this week. I had been praying for something for months, asking God for a “yes” in a specific situation. But Thursday, I got a “no.” There was an initial disappointment as I read the email, but a peace came over me as those words came back to me: God is good. If He doesn’t give me the desire of my heart, it’s either not good for me, or He has something better for me, or it’s not the right timing. I thanked Him for His sovereign hand in my life, doing what is good and best for me. I trust Him, even if His answer is “no.”

God’s Word is powerful and James 1:17 lifted me up yesterday as I got a “no.” What verse(s) has God used in your life to carry you during a difficult time or in the midst of disappointment? Press on! Even when God says no.