There are certain words that go together, such as “Yes, Lord,” “How, Lord?” and “When, Lord?” But there are other words that don’t go together. These include “No, Lord” and “Never, Lord.”
I was working on a message about this on the day my son Christopher died. When I went back and reread those words, they took on new meaning because they described how I felt when I heard the news: “No, no. I am not good with this. I don’t want this. I don’t accept this. No!”
There are times when we feel that way about the will of God. Even Jesus, when He was in the Garden of Gethsemane, recoiled from what lay ahead. He prayed, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine” (Matthew 26:39).
Jesus, who was sinless and perfect and holy, was looking into the abyss of all the wicked things in this world, everything that is sinful and unholy. And Jesus knew He would have to bear all of that sin upon Himself. That is why Luke tells us that “his sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood” (Luke 22:44). Jesus was under the pressure of it all.
Sometimes it is possible for the cup to pass. But then there are times when God will say, “No, you have to drink it. You have to go through it.”
If we believe in the providence of God, then we know the Lord is in control of all things. And we know that He will do something or allow something for purposes that we don’t necessarily understand. We might say, “Never, Lord” or “I don’t like it, Lord.” But ultimately we have to say, “Yes, Lord.”