Confidence can be a fickle thing, swaying on the pendulum of life’s circumstances. If we are not careful, discouragement and disappointments can chisel away at our confidence in God’s promises. Perhaps, many times, we don’t realize it is happening. When a dream dissolves before it’s ever realized, or a job is lost, the budget is tight, our kids are struggling, or life is not what we envisioned, it’s easy to question God’s promises. Praying boldly presents a struggle as we fight the doubts eroding our faith.
This, we can imagine, was the temptation King David faced in 2 Samuel 7. David had a dream. Like many of us do, he gripped onto the excitement of that vision. He wanted to build an elaborate temple in the kingdom, a home for God. But when he sought wisdom on the matter, God gave a clear, “No.”
We can feel that “No,” can’t we? The deflation of a dream once held. Hope deferred. Yet this was not the case for David. Instead, he had a radically different response. David did not shrink back in disappointment, he “went in and sat before the Lord.” In discouragement, he drew near to God.
“Who am I?” were the first words David uttered before the Lord. God’s redirection, His clear “No,” reminded David who was in charge. David may have had a decent plan, but God had a greater one.
“Who am I, O Lord God, and what is my house, that you have brought me thus far?” David asked. Instead of sulking in what would not be, he reflected on how far God had already brought him. In 2 Samuel 7:23-24, David counted his blessings, listing the specific ways God had delivered and established the Israelite people. Reminding ourselves of God’s past faithfulness gives us confidence moving forward. The unchanging and faithful God will be faithful again!
God had not left David alone in His “No,” and He doesn’t leave us alone, either. God reached down and gave David a better plan to place his hope in. After telling David he would not be the one to build the temple, God went on to promise him of a bigger and better plan. God would establish David’s “house.” He would build an eternal kingdom, an everlasting dynasty through David’s family.
Our good intentions are not always God’s intentions. When God says “No,” His answer is often wrapped in hopeful promise. In the Psalm 139:1, David wrote, “O LORD, You have searched me and known me.” God knows your heart, and has a magnificent plan that is for your good and His glory. But sometimes it takes some “No” answers to discover it. He is gracious and patient as He guides us into all He has for us.
Holding to God’s promise, David made a bold course change in his prayer. We see it in 2 Samuel 7:25, “Now therefore, O Lord God, the word that You have spoken concerning Your servant and his house, confirm it forever, and do as You have spoken.”
The Bible is a collection of promises to us from God. When we pray with those promises in mind, we pray along with God’s desire and vision for us. As we read in Hebrews 4:16, we can “draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
This is exactly what David did. He prayed boldly, “Lord Almighty, God of Israel, You have revealed this to Your servant, saying, ‘I will build a house for you.’ So Your servant has found courage to pray this prayer to You.”
After hearing “No,” David chose to align his prayers with God’s promises. We can do the same.
Abraham grew in courageous prayer, also. We read it in Romans 4:20-21, “With respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief, but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully assured that what He had promised, He was able also to perform.”
What God has promised, He is able also to perform. His promises for us are vast. Will we lean with assurance on them today? Instead of allowing those “No” answers to erode our confidence in God, we can practice a deeper dependence on His sovereignty. As we learn what He says in His Word, memorizing His promises for us, we will gain a heavenly confidence found in His unconditional love — an assurance that life’s circumstances cannot shake. We can humbly sit before Him, reflect on how far He has brought us, and pray boldly along with His promises in Scripture.
“Lord how faithful You have been
I’ve seen it time and time again
You’re the God of miracles
And You make all things possible
So when it feels like hope is gone
You’ll be my strength, You’ll be my song
And I won’t let go of the promise that…
With God, anything is possible
With God, nothing is impossible”
Listen to “Everything Is Possible” from “Hidden In My Heart, Volume II”