There are a lot of quotes about closed doors, like, “When God closes a door He will open a window”. I think the real truth is that when God closes a door, we often try to break in anyway. Down through the ages, people have been trying to take matters into their own hands, trying to hurry God along. We often are not content with God’s timetable, or we think that the situation is a little too big for God to handle.
When God closes a door, then what?
You have probably heard the phrase, “When God closes a door He will open a window.” Sounds good, right? But let me be honest about it. If a door is closed to a building and someone doesn’t want you in it, why would they then open a window? I think a better quote would be,
“When God closes a door, don’t break in anyway. God will lead you to something different.” S.K. Brown
What does the Bible say about closed doors?
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 ESV
There is any number of circumstances that can close doors for us. But regardless of what happens, in this Scripture, we are promised that God has a plan that is good. We can trust Him when doors are closed.
Joseph experienced closed doors
We are told in the book of Genesis that Joseph experienced quite a few closed doors.
- Comfort of his own home as he was sold into slavery
- Respect of people around him as he was falsely accused of rape and thrown into prison
- Forgotten by those he helped while in prison, that is, until Pharaoh needed someone to interpret a dream.
In spite of closed doors, here is what Joseph had to say:
” As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.” Genesis 50:20
Rather than fighting his circumstances, Joseph went with the flow because he knew God was bigger than what was happening. Joseph knew God had a plan.
Job (pronounced Jobe) experienced closed doors
Talk about closed doors! Job lost pretty much everything except his life. Gone were children, wealth, comfort, health, you name it. I can’t imagine so many closed doors. Given the same circumstances, I might have asked, “God where are you?” Here are some of Job’s words.
“Though He (God) slay me, I will hope in him … I know that you (God) can do all things and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. ” Job 13:15a, 42:2 (emphasis added)
The Apostle Paul experienced closed doors
We know from Scripture that Paul had some kind of health-related “thorn” that he wanted to be removed. But God had a reason for closing the door to perfect health.
“Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ ” 2 Corinthians 12:8-9
Jesus experienced a closed door
Though being God, Jesus was subject to a mortal body that could feel pain, emotional stress, and all of what we feel. When the cross was looming on the horizon and His physical life was about to end, His words were:
“Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done. Luke 22:42
Jesus gives us the perfect example of how to handle closing doors. But how often do we pray, “Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done?” I fear much of the time we try to keep the doors open.
When God closes a door do you recognize it?
I will use some personal examples to illustrate God closing doors. When we are fighting to make something happen, we really should ask, “Is a door being closed?” Humans are really good at taking matters into their own hands. The problem is that we can’t see the future and know how things will work out.
When God closes a door on a relationship
You may be in a dating relationship and God is closing the door. There are many ways this could happen. Unfortunately, many women believe that marriage is the beginning of real-life and will grasp for relationships no matter what. They ignore red flags or think they can change the other person.
Personal examples of When God closed doors on a relationship
After 18 1/2 years of marriage, my first husband decided to leave. To say I was in shock was an understatement. Unfortunately, it takes two people to make a relationship work. As much as I didn’t want a divorce, it was not something I could force on him. This was a very clear door being slammed and locked. It hurt big time.
And then there was my second marriage. I realize now that there were red flags before we said, “I do”. Red flags are ways for God to help us close the door ourselves before He has to do it later on. I could have saved myself a lot of grief 10 and 20 years later when everything began to manifest the consequences of those first red flags I ignored.
Other examples of closed doors on relationships
God also closes doors on relationships through Scripture. But women sometimes think they can “missionary” date. They tell themselves, “I can win him to Jesus”. Ladies, if he is not in love with Jesus when you are dating, the time when he is on his best behavior, why would you think it would be different after the wedding ceremony? Missionary dating rarely works.
Our identity is not in a relationship with the opposite sex. However, that is what the evil one wants us to believe. Relationships are complicated and for them to work requires that both parties enter into it as a way to serve, not to have their own needs met. No one can meet our needs completely, except Jesus.
When God closes a door on a job
I had worked as a middle manager for a health care agency for several years. It was a great job until top management started changing. Middle managers, like myself, were being let go at about 1-2 a month.
Before long, I too was let go. It was a blow to my pride. I felt humiliated. This was a forced resignation, which essentially was being fired. I knew I should resign several months before this happened. The stress levels were increasing. But I needed the job, so I hung on.
God clearly closed the door. Looking back I am glad He did. My next job did not require that I take work home, or put pressure on me to compromise or cut corners. God always knows what He is doing but we so quickly forget.
I have also applied for jobs that seemed perfect, yet didn’t get them. In these situations, we have to trust that God can see the big picture and is protecting us in some way when He closes a door to a job.
When God closes doors for your protection and healing
Sometimes God heals us and sometimes He doesn’t. It can be a bitter pill to swallow if we don’t know that God has a plan even in deteriorating health.
But for those who love Jesus, death is only a brief second away from being in the presence of God. If you are facing this closed-door, I would encourage you to read Donna’s story. It will give you great hope. This closed-door is also an open door to heaven.
When God closes other doors
When we are fighting to make something happen, there is a question we need to ask ourselves. “Is this door being closed”? It could save us and our family a lot of grief down the road.
The Bible tells us about men and women who took matters into their own hands. They did not wait for God to fulfill His promises, in His time, and in His way. The consequences are real and continue for some people groups to this day. It never works out well when we don’t wait for God, regardless of what our feelings may be telling us. God’s plans for us are good. But we often don’t believe Him. Scripture tells us plainly:
“Trust the Lord … don’t rely on your own understanding … in all your ways put God first, and He will direct you.” (my paraphrase of Proverbs 3:5-6)
When God opens new doors
The good thing is that God doesn’t just say “no” when He closes doors. He doesn’t leave us in a void. He has a plan. God opens AND closes doors. Therefore, you can count on God to open doors of opportunity. Scripture says that:
“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him” (1 Corinthians 2:9). NKJV
Closed doors sometimes feel like storms. Yet they are the beginning of something new. The Israelites had to leave Egypt and go through the Red Sea in order to be free from slavery. They had to go through the desert in order to get to the promised land. The desert was no fun but it led to the new life they longed for.
Is there something you are longing for? When we love Jesus, His plans are satisfying. But first, it might involve closed doors.
Do you know Jesus? When God closes a door, it is so much easier to walk away from it in the strength of the LORD.
Closed doors often break our hearts. Fortunately, the Bible tells us that Jesus is the great physician and heals broken hearts.
Closed doors often feel like giant storms. When we love Jesus, He will calm the stormy feelings inside of us.
Closed doors often feel like a dry, desert place in life. But we are told that Jesus is the living water that hydrates our thirsty souls.
When we know Jesus, and when God closes a door, we don’t have to try to break back in anyways. If you have questions about knowing Jesus personally, please call, text, or chat with the people at Chat About Jesus. They have a website and toll-free phone number. Someone is waiting there to answer your questions.
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