Why God Closes Doors By Sarah Martin

DOOR CLOSED

I sat with my computer on my lap and Google at my fingertips. Surly this search would come up fruitful and all of my heart troubles would be alleviated by one confirmation from the ever knowledgeable, all knowing search engine. I typed in this phrase into the little box with the eyeglass…

When God shuts a door, He opens a window.

After years of seeing this phrase on those cutesy little posters with kittens perched on windows, I was for sure this tidbit of wisdom was straight up truth from the Bible. Right? Weren’t there songs in the 90’s on our mixed tapes that assured us that when we sat in front of a closed door, God would absolutely open a window of bigger and better opportunities?

My friend Google kindly dropped the news to me… “When God closes a door, He opens a window” is not, in fact, in the Bible. I’m not sure what concerned me more: that this well-known Christian cliché was not in the Word or the fact that I had no good reason for my season of camping out in front of that proverbial closed door.

Three months prior, I sat dreaming and planning and creating my agenda. As I made moves to set these dreams and plans into motion, I abruptly received “no’s” or “not right now” or “no way!” The echo of those doors slamming in my face rings in my ears to this day. After a couple of months and a hurt heart, I couldn’t help but recognize the Lord was doing something here. I wasn’t sure what He was up to but I knew this was pivotal moment in my life and in my understanding of who He is. You see, I’m am really good at kicking doors open and making things happen. At the beginning of my closed door season I stood ready with my super cute cowboy boots ready to kick the doors open and make my dreams and plans come true. But when my “feet” grew tired of kicking to no avail, I surrendered.

Lord, I get it. You have me in front of a “no.” I will sit here and wait. I will not pop my head up to peek around for that open window in which I was for sure you would open right now. Have your way. I surrender.

That one prayer changed it all. God showed me that what He would do IN me during this season of waiting is of more value than what He would or would not do WITH me. I found freedom in that moment to lay my dreams and plans and agenda in front of the closed door and began to seek after God. I mean, really seek after Him through His word and through intentional prayer and worship.

Have you found yourself with the echo of closed doors –– “no’s” and “not yet’s” and “no way!”? Can I take a moment to encourage you straight from experience? Embrace it! Take some time to prayerfully ask God…

What do I need to learn about YOU during this season of waiting?

What do I need to learn about myself in front of these closed doors?

What do You need to root out in my heart and in my spirit to prepare me if and when You say “Go!”?

I timidly asked these questions, too. When we are licking our wounds from closed doors it certainly isn’t fun to go deep with the Lord and seek out the greater purpose. Our Father knows our hopes and dreams. He also has a greater Kingdom purpose and plan and in His sovereign ways, the Lord melds the two together all the while holding our tender heart. Our job is to sit, wait, and obediently trust His ways. This is the Scripture that convinced me this inward work is just as exciting and valuable as my hopes and dreams––what God would hopefully do WITH me.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. 9 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. 11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.”(John 15: 5-11)

As I abided, sat ever close to Jesus, He did His work in me.

Sometimes the pain was unbearable. Oh but His gentle hand. All in love…

He rooted out pride.

He rooted out my obsession with control.

He rooted out pride some more.

Simply abide. Take some time to soak in His truth. Sit with Jesus in prayer and allow God to use your season of waiting to take you to a new level of faith, trust, love, mercy, joy…whatever it is that He is doing IN you. It will be so worth it. Trust me. I’ve been through it and made it to the other side. I’m better for it and so will you be, my friend!

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I KNOW GOD HATES ME!

Woman sitting on bed crying

I KNOW GOD HATES ME! YOU CAN’T TELL ME ANYTHING DIFFERENT BECAUSE MY LIFE REFLECTS HIS HATRED TOWARDS ME…

SOUND FAMILIAR?

Well, believe it or not, you’re not the only one who feels this. In fact, one of the people in this world who was supposed to be closest to God, His actual Son, asked a similar question when He was hanging from a tree, dying. He cried out into the Jerusalem air, “My God, My God, Why have You forsaken Me?” (Matthew 27:46 KJV). Even Jesus, God’s very Son, wondered where in the world God was!

If that isn’t enough, several of the writers of the Bible suffered from depression and anxiety, wondering why they couldn’t feel what other people were feeling. Take Paul for example. Paul, who was once known as Saul, actually killed Christians back in his day. He must have really thought God hated him. But even after he began having a real relationship with God, proving that God didn’t hate him, there were times when God felt a million miles away from him, too. Paul describes this feeling in his letter to his friends in Corinth: “It was so bad we didn’t think we were going to make it. We felt like we’d been sent to death row, that it was all over for us.” (1 Corinthians 1:8-10 MSG). So even world-famous Paul felt like God had turned His back.

Jesus asked it. . . Paul asked it. . . and now you, too, are asking where in the world God is and why He seems to hate you! So you’re not alone! I’ll even be so bold as to say that if more Christians were honest with you, even some of your friends, they would say that they’ve had times of doubt in their lives. David, the guy who wrote Psalms, goes on and on in many places with things like “Why, O LORD, do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?” (Psalm 10:1). And David even had people all around him, telling him that God hated him and wouldn’t help him out. In Psalms 3:2, the people in his life said, “God will not deliver him.” So not only did David feel like God had deserted him, but even his friends were in agreement.

You’re probably thinking right now, “Then there is no hope! God really does hate me.” But wait! There’s more! Remember Paul, who talked about how terrible life had become for him? Well, in the very next sentence, he said, “As it turned out, it was the best thing that could have happened. Instead of trusting in our own strength or wits to get out of it, we were forced to trust God totally — not a bad idea since He’s the God who raises the dead! And He did it, rescued us from certain doom. And He’ll do it again, rescuing us as many times as we need rescuing” (2 Corinthians 1:9-10 MSG). And David; he couldn’t stop going on in the later chapters of Psalms about how much God had provided for him. “The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer” (Psalm 18:2).

And who can forget perhaps the most well-known story of the Bible? Even Jesus, who on Friday was asking where God was, was resurrected from the grave on Sunday, just three short days later! We all go through times in our lives where we think God hates us, or at the very least, must have had enough of us. But I’m here to tell you that what you’re feeling, it’s just that: a feeling! It will go away, like a stomach ache or the flu. God made a promise to us thousands of years ago, and to solidify it, He wrote it in a book that hasn’t changed since day one.

The promise He made is simple: “Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture. None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing — nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable — absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us” (Romans 8:35, 37-39MSG). There’s no way that God hates you, because He told everyone on earth then and everyone who would ever be born that nothing. . .absolutely NOTHING could take God’s love away, not even the worst thing imaginable!

So you ask “why does God hate me?” And I have an answer for you: He doesn’t. If you want to really know what it means to be loved by God, and I mean really know it, it couldn’t be easier. No friend, boyfriend, wife, or mother will ever make you feel the way God can with just His love for you. And the way to obtain His Love is simple! All you have to do is ask!

Article by All About
Image by Mirror UK

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The Crockpot of Faith | Sharon Finck

46248.R86

46248.R86

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:19–21 (NIV)

I love my crockpot. In the morning, I throw ingredients into it and go about my day.

By suppertime when I’m too tired to think about preparing a meal, the food is ready. Even lesser quality meats turn tender after simmering all day.

Yesterday I tossed in some stew meat and herbs, chopped carrots, onions, potato, and celery, and covered everything with beef broth. Humble ingredients, but they combined to create a satisfying stew for a cold winter evening.

When Jesus talks about storing up treasures in heaven, I think of my crockpot. The preparation comes long before the enjoyment. We are serving Him today, looking forward to the eventual feast. What are the ingredients we’re adding to the pot?

Perhaps the quiet words of understanding and encouragement that we offered a friend yesterday. Or the financial gift we made to another’s ministry. Maybe the song of praise we lifted to Jesus alone in the car as we drove across town. Or the effort it took to hold back an unkind word. A patient correction given to a child. A gentle hug. All the demonstrations of love to Jesus and others become part of the treasures stored up in heaven.

As the ingredients blend and simmer, Jesus stirs, adjusts, and adds His own components. I’m so excited for that time at the final banquet, where we’ll discover what treasure was created from the humble bits and pieces of our lives.

Faith Step: Cook something today, and as you add in each ingredient, ask Jesus to show you various ways to add treasure to your heavenly storehouse.

Photo Credit: Crockpot

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