So I’ve recently become consumed by MercyMe’s new song “Even If”. This song is challenging for me for a lot of reasons. But I think we can all relate to some degree. Yes, it’s a message of hope. But it’s also a message of pain, desperation, and submission. The chorus alone is enough to humble the pride of the flesh. It says:
“I know You’re able and I know You can,
Save through the fire with Your mighty hand
But even if you don’t
My hope is You alone”
IF. We sometimes have the tendency to get so caught up expecting that He WILL but only in HIS timing. But what happens when He won’t? What do we do? We get angry. We get frustrated. We are confused. We throw tantrums and try to negotiate with Him. “God, all I’ve done is pray.” Or, “Jesus, you see I’ve been struggling. You see I’m weary. Where is my rest? Why won’t you lighten my load? I thought You were my refuge!” Why? Why? WHY?
It’s in these moments, the moments that the answer is NO, that we come face to face with our arrogant self-righteousness. It’s in these moments that He is watching us closely to see how we react to not receiving the favor or relief we thought we deserved. He watches to see if our faith in Him is contingent upon His “Yes’s” and the battles we win. It’s in these moments that our faith is put on trial. We are forced to confront and battle, not just our flesh, but the lies the enemy tries to implant in our hearts. The enemy whispers, “Why would He save you?” “You think faith is enough?” “If He really wanted to save you from _____, He would have done it by now.” “God doesn’t care”.
When He gives us a NO, we take it and we cling to who He is and remember that He is good no matter what. We take that “no” and we praise Him and thank Him for knowing our needs better than we do. We take that “no” and we continue to have hope.
“But God when You choose
To leave mountains unmovable
Give me the strength to be able to sing
It is well with my soul”
Even when He won’t, it doesn’t mean that He stops being faithful or that He ceases being good. When He won’t, disappointment is permissible. Doubt is impermissible. Faith and hope are obligatory. Only He knows His plans for us. So when the answer is “no”, choose to say “it is well with my soul.” Because His “no’s” are a blessing to us just as much as His “yes’s”.