When God Closes a Door – What do you do?

When God Closes A Door

Have you ever been in line at a store or public event to receive a special freebie they were handing out. Only to be disappointed that by the time you arrived at the front of the line, they run out? I have and it feels like  a wave of disappointment washes over you and you are left empty-handed.

Similarly, is the feeling that may occur in your life when what is perceived to be an open door of God’s perfect will for your life is closed. You may feel disappointed and left empty-handed and down-hearted.

What do you do when God closes a door?

You keep walking and you keep waiting.

  1. You keep walking with the Lord.

Don’t turn and run away from God because the door is closed. Think of the lyrics of Trust and Obey, the familiar hymn, by John H. Sammis:

When we walk with the Lord, in the light of His Word, what a glory He sheds on our way. When we do His good will, He abides with us still. And with all who will trust and obey.

Keep praying and talking to the Lord about your disappointments and desires.  Listen to His still small voice’s reassurance of His presence in your life as you read your Bible, He abides with you still, just trust and obey.

2. You keep waiting on His perfect timing.

The Bible has many reassuring accounts of God’s perfect timing in the lives of His people:

  • Abraham and Sarah’s waiting for Isaac
  • Christ’s perfect timing to be born after the promise of His coming hundreds of years before His birth by the prophets
  • Mary and Martha’s waiting four days for Christ to appear after the death of Lazarus to see him resurrected

God’s timing is marked throughout the entire Bible and when it is waited on and carried out it is perfect!  Your life and walk with the Lord is not any different that the examples of faith and timing that were mentioned above. God’s design is still the same, His timing will reflect a conscious plan for your life in the same way.

Watching and waiting. Two simple words that can explain a great principle of obedience in the questionable moments of life. Read Psalm 27:14 “Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.”

 

John the Baptist: Discouraged and Doubting Pt. 2

John the Baptist was going through personal difficulties after his active ministry was put to an abrupt stop when he confronted Herod about his infidelity. Herod in turn arrested John. There is no proof of what type of imprisonment he suffered, whether it was house arrest or in a dungeon, but we do know that he was isolated in a place where he could not longer view the works of Christ.

While John the Baptist was isolated, his disciples came to visit, and they were not able to do anything to be able to help his discouragement and doubt. He asked two of his disciples to go on a mission to ask Christ a specific question: “Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?”

In the last article we discussed Part 1 of Christ’s response to John the Baptist’s heavy question, which included them taking the good news of the works of He was doing outside John’s imprisonment. These answers can be found in Matthew 11.

The second part, includes a blessing with a condition.

John’s disciples also were dispatched to tell him, “And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.

Offended according to the Strong’s Concordance comes from the Greek word skandalizo.

Offended means:

  • to entrap
  • to trip up, or entice to sin
  • apostasy or displeasure
  • offend
  • The thought comes with it, “to cause a person to begin to distrust and desert one whom he ought to trust and obey.*

Jesus encouraged John not to distrust or desert Him.

Please do not allow yourself to be offended by how God is working outside of your situation. It is not about whether He loves you or not, because He does, it is about your choice not to become offended. Our difficulties in ministry and this life will come (Matthew 18:7), but Christ’s desire is that you do not become offended by them. Nothing should stand in our way to make us distrust or desert our Saviour.

Many of us are familiar with Paul’s writings and about the deserter, Demas, although it does not specifically say that he was offended in Christ, he left God’s work to follow after worldly desires. (Read about Demas in Colossians 4:14, Philemon 1:24, and 2 Timothy 4:10.) Our offenses, if not properly managed with Biblical answers, will lead us away from our ministry and calling to find earthly comfort apart from God’s will for our lives. Guard your heart to keep your heart from wandering.

Another Biblical example is in the story of the sower and the seed. One of the portions of ground was sown and this is said about it in Mark 4:16,17 And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness;  And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended.”

We do not want to have shallow roots enduring only until the persecutions and trials come into our lives, deserting God. Even though some pruning may happen in our lives we should strive to be the person whose heart is good fruitful ground.

THINK ABOUT THIS: Your present discouragement or doubt can be only as temporary as you will let it be. There is  joy when you are able to rejoice with those who rejoice. There is maturity when you can look beyond the bars of your jail cell and understand that hope really does exist beyond this situation and this life because we are blessed if we do not become offended. God allows us to choose fruitfulness.

John the Baptist’s end was going to be an unexpected death at the hands of wicked women, calling for him to be beheaded and his head to be brought before Herodias and her daughter. The Bible does not say what John the Baptist’s emotional status was before the beheading. I hope that as he received Christ’s personal message to him from his disciples, that he rallied with hope for eternity and for the souls of the people in the world who would believe and repent on Jesus.  I hope he made the choice not to become offended and chose the blessings of God.

Choosing not to be offended is not easy. It means it will take forgiveness. It means you will have to choose to be a blessing even when you may not feel like it. It means you may have to go the extra mile or strive to the peacemaker. It means you have the freedom to choose to love God, like Job, no matter what. It means you may have to overcome fears or walk away from hopeful expectations. It means that doors may be shut as you wait for the next one to open. It means you must be a living sacrifice, laying down yourself so you can receive God’s blessings.

Our God loves us more than we can imagine, but yet so often we forsake him like the disciples did that day of His crucifixion. We do not have to add to our own sorrow by adding offense to our situation. When you do not understand or you can see clearly the reason for your discouragement and doubt, love the Lord and desire to seek His face and know His presence. You will be all the better for it because God is fashioning you into the image of His Son.

Be confident in God’s workings in your life even if you cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel because, if you’re still here then God’s still performing His work in you.

Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: Philippians 1:6

 

*Olive Tree Bible Software KJV Strong’s

 

 

Mr. Grief the Teacher

This is something I wrote a few weeks ago and am just now publishing. It tells about my grief set aside because of a busy ministry schedule. I hope that when Mr. Grief the teacher comes to teach you that you will contemplate the meaning of your life, whether it truly has meaning or not. Whether you are spinning your wheels in the busy and “good” things instead of the right and godly things. We live and learn and as Mr. Grief teaches, God teaches…

My cousin passed away this week. Although we were not really close I still have felt grief and heaviness in my heart and my thoughts have been clogged with thoughts of life and death. I do not understand God’s ways, why He allows some people to expect their death and prepare for it, and for other people they are just taken within moments or days and then they are gone into eternity.

Some people say that death, no matter when it happens, you can never really be ready for someone to go. I thought maybe they were right until I watched my great-grandmother deal with a dementia and slowly go downhill over 7 years. She was begging God to take her long before she died and when she did go there was peace. Peace knowing she was no longer suffering and that she was with the Saviour. We were ready for her to go because of the sadness there was within each day as she struggled to think and even know who or where she was.

My cousin went unexpectedly when thrown from his vehicle because he was not wearing a seat belt and was driving too fast. His truck rolled and he was ejected out of the passenger’s side window. Being rushed to the hospital he was expected to live until his heart stopped and he was unable to be resuscitated.

Our ministry schedule was so busy with upcoming events that I had responsibilities in that I was not able to attend the funeral. I have felt sad about that all week. I have also felt like I have not been able to be sad because I just have to keep going to get the responsibilities at church and at home done so we can function as a family. None of the other staff families seemed to know about it and I just don’t know how to bring it up. I realize this is a minor grief because he was not immediate family, but my heart still hurts for his family and for his infant son.

My mom said something in the voice mail when she told me about his passing (because I was in church services) that she was glad that my sisters and I were still here because “love lost, hurts.” That quote has swirled around in my brain like water escaping down the drain.

My sister was mad because he had made many dumb decisions in his past and felt as if he had wasted his life and that got me to thinking about life and wasting it. I don’t want to waste my life.

I am so thankful God has called us to serve and work in His ministry because a life lived for Him in the right spirit and attitude can never be a waste.

“Redeem the time because the days are evil,” and our life is a “vapor.” I heard a story about a lady that had a bee trapped in their minivan so she parked her van in the driveway, which was at an incline, so she could get it out. The van ended up rolling over her and killing her that day. God reminds me of the brevity of life and how important it is to know the Saviour and serve Him each and every day in my family and to those around me.

I write notes and letters to my family before I leave on a long trip in the car. If something were to happen then I want them to always know that I love them. That my heart was toward them and with them even until the last day that I lived and breathed here on this earth, and that they need to love and trust our God and Saviour because He loves them. Never do I want them to doubt my love. I’m not a perfect wife or mother but I love my family.

The why’s of life are tricky. We have a superior God in heaven that weaves the tapestry of each person’s life according to His plan. I don’t understand some days, but I must trust His heart.

Isaiah 55:8-9 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”