5 Things To Do When God Says "Not Yet" 

Melissa Cooper

by Melissa Cooper


Raise your hand if you have big dreams for your life? Guess what? I'm raising my hand right along with you, sister! You may have dreams of marriage, financial freedom, children, owning your own business, or even opening a restaurant. But, what if those dreams don't come when you expect them to or if you encounter a setback? I have been there where I have wanted something badly and made every effort to get there, but it didn't happen. I felt defeated, angry, disappointed, and I questioned God’s promises.

But, sometimes, God might be saying "not yet."

Here are 5 encouraging ways to continue to move forward even when your big dream hasn't happened yet.

Check your motives:

When we desire something, we have to check our motives (James 4:3). Is this desire to benefit you solely, or is it to give glory to God? Late one night, I was reading Deuteronomy 8:18 and God spoke to me through these words, "Remember the Lord your God. He is the one who gives you power to be successful in order to fulfill the covenant he confirmed to your ancestors with an oath". This scripture helped me understand that success's true definition is to glorify His image and name, not my own. As you dream big, continue to check what you are asking for and ensure it's really to elevate His Kingdom.

Melissa Cooper - Pinterest Image


Prayer is essential. Psalm 37:4-6 says, "Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun". The Lord knows exactly what we want, and He knows precisely if and when we should receive this desire in our heart. Continue praying to God for clarity and ask Him to confirm if this desire is in His will.

Build Your Character:

A quote from Rick Warren I read many years ago has stuck with me through many seasons of doubt: "You're not taking your career into eternity; you're taking your character." Anytime I am praying hard for something, and I don't receive it, I have to ask myself, “Am I ready for this dream? Or, is God strengthening my character so that I am ready and mature when I receive this gift.” God cares about who I am becoming while I wait on him.

Trust God's Timing:

We often take things into our own hands when we don't see something happen within our timetable, just as Abraham and Sarah did in Genesis 16. God isn't like microwaveable popcorn, and we don't have the power or authority to rush Him. When we rush God's timing, we can place ourselves on a wrong path that can set us back even longer. When something doesn't happen yet, know that God's timing is perfect, and He knows when we are ready to move forward.

Stay in Faith:

It can be challenging to wait on God’s promises. But, I encourage you to keep going. As you wait, you may second-guess God’s character and purposes. However, scripture reminds us that we can trust God’s plan because ultimately we can trust the Planner. Like 2 Corinthians 1:20 reads, “For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.”

Call to Action:

Think of something that hasn't come to fruition yet. Take time to get silent and pray to God on your next steps. Write down what God revealed to you and proceed on the path that He has for You. I’m cheering you on!




Melissa Cooper is a wife, mom, and loves cooking new dishes for her family.  She is the Co-Founder and CEO of Good Community LLC, whose mission is to empower individuals and organizations in breaking unhealthy and oppressive barriers through coaching and transformative learning experiences.  You can find Good Community on Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook.