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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How Can I Be A Good Christian? By S. Michael Houdman

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Wouldn’t it be great if the Christian life had a check list? A recipe of sorts to provide instructions that we could follow to ensure we were being “good Christians”? Few things in life really work that way. In fact, even recipes followed exactly don’t always turn out. They fail to account for effects of the weather, slight differences in ingredients, variance in oven temperatures, or a number of other factors. And “good” is in the taste buds of the eater. So what does it take to be a good Christian?

Many will say that it means reading your Bible daily, praying at least twice a day, serving at church, tithing, supporting a missionary, evangelizing, and the like. These are all great activities for Christians, but they are not what the Christian life is all about.

A Christian is someone who has been made new in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17) and restored to relationship with God. The Christian life is about getting to know God, enjoying Him and bringing Him glory (Isaiah 43:7; 2 Corinthians 3:18; John 17:1–5, 22). It is true that when we know God certain actions will naturally result. Jesus said, “You are my friends if you do what I command” (John 15:14). But before that He said, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. . . . Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. . . . This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete” (John 15:1–11). Obedience—living the “good Christian” life—flows from a loving relationship. And obedience helps us remain in God’s love and therefore experience His joy.

Being a “good Christian” is not about performing certain actions. It is about growing in love for Christ and allowing His Holy Spirit to transform our hearts and lives. Jesus is the author and perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:2), the recipe-writer and taste-tester for our lives. As we seek to know God and glorify Him, we also get to enjoy Him (Psalm 73:25—26). The good Christian knows God, enjoys God, and grows in grace.

Image by Eurweb

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Finding Your Joy and Happiness by Abiola A.

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I am not here to give you ways to be happy , to be honest, there is only on true source of Joy and happiness and that’s in JEsus and no one else, not even your parents or significant other. We all make the mistake of thinking that someone or something would bring us joy and make us happy , yes it probably will but not for long i can assure you.

You would never really understand what true happiness is till you experience a relationship with an amazing patient and forgiving Father. I have been thinking about this for a while now and this morning i have come to accept all over again that no one or nothing would ever make me as happy , knowing that there’s a God who shaped the universe and He is in love with you, that right there is an ego booster and all the more reason to be joyful.

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Many, Lord, are asking, “Who will bring us prosperity?” Let the light of your face shine on us. Fill my heart with joy when their grain and new wine abound. In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety. – Psalm 4:6-8
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Truth is , there would always be problems, always, looking for quick fixes to make yourself feel better is not going to do anything but worsen things, so why not just be happy and joyful and tackle that problem with a clear mind.

You are a special child of God and deserve to be just as happy as everyone else, looking for happiness in the wrong places is dangerous and would only bring more pain and hurt, trying to get into a relationship with someone because you are trying to find someone to complete you is just going to end in disaster because you are already complete , stop thinking God made you in half so another half can make you complete , it does not work that way, you are one, and when it is time for you to be with another “one” , you two become “one”, it is not half and half to make one. You are not some incomplete work , you have been made perfect through JEsus

When you are feeling all sad and depressed , just remember God , not a god or some god , Our Lord Jesus Christ died for you, he was beaten for you, he could have escaped all of that but he felt you were worth it and he went through the pain, yes it hurt him, he came in human form so yes, he felt every single pain but he held on just because he knew how important it was to die for you so you can live. Jesus did not die so you can go around looking for joy and fufilment in the wrong places, just think about that for a minute!

In conclusion,just be happy , you would be amazed to see how easy it is to be in even the worst circumstances..making others happy and spreading God’s love and loving others increases that joy and happiness you find in Christ.. God loves you no matter how hard you fall and far you fall away , for some reasons beyond us he loves us so much HE is always waiting for us to come back and repent , he never stops Loving us..God bless you and have a wonderful week!!

Image by Positively Driven

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GOD THE JUST BY JONATHAN FEHR

Background

“Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; He rises to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for Him!” Isaiah 30:18

A good friend of mine — only 24 — was recently diagnosed with an aggressive and rare form of lung cancer. He has never smoked.

Where is the justice in this?

Sometimes, bad things just happen; I’m sure many of us have experienced situations we’ve deemed to be unfair. Yet the Bible tells us — promises us — that God is still just.

So how do we reconcile the words of the Bible with situations we deem to be unjust, like the situation with my friend? One thing that stands out to me in the verse above is the word “wait.” Note that the verse says “The Lord longs to be gracious to you…” It is clearly His desire to bring justice and to bring it quickly. Yet He’s waiting, and He has told us to wait, too.

All through Scripture, we get a sense of waiting: the earth cries out for restoration; the martyred saints cry for justice; the psalmist asks how long, oh Lord. God is not only just, but He is also good. And in His goodness, we must trust that His timing is better than ours. Even though our situations may be unbearably hard, God has called us to be patient and to wait on Him to bring justice in its proper time.

Although it is not easy, we can trust that no matter how hard our situation, our waiting will not be in vain; “God is a God of justice. Blessed are those who wait for Him!”

Dear Jesus, help me to remember Your goodness, even when times get hard. Please bring about justice in Your timing, and help me to be patient and to endure in a way that honors You. Amen.

TAKE ACTION

Search Scripture for examples of others who had to wait for God to bring about justice. Do you think it was better that they needed to wait? Reflect on how you would have felt in those situations, and ask God to give you patience while you wait for justice.

Image by Cornerstone

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A Devotion to Refresh Your Spirit | Marion Bond West

ShamanicCeremonialist

Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin. Matthew 6:28

I hadn’t had a very good workout at the YMCA that morning.  Everyone looked younger than I am–and more athletic. I dreaded going home. I’d just drop into a chair, exhausted.

My body was weary, but so was my soul. God seemed so far away. The sun was Georgia hot, even at eleven in the morning, as I exited the building. Discouragement tagged along with me.

A woman passed me, walking briskly to the parking area. She stopped a few steps in front of me and took out a bottle of water. I slowed down. It didn’t appear she was going to drink it.

I pretended to rummage through my gym bag in order to observe her. She leaned way over, after removing the cap to the water bottle, and singled out one red zinnia in the garden that grew beside the iron fence.  Carefully, even lovingly, she allowed the flower to drink.

An amazing thing happened. It felt as though someone had poured joy directly into my soul. One flower in all the hundreds had been tended to with such deliberate care. The woman straightened up and walked to her car.

I lingered by the red zinnia. Somehow, I felt refreshed, as though God had reached down to Earth and touched me. “I see you, Marion. I love you.”

Father, You find such tender ways to show me Yourself when I need You most.

Photo Credit: Boston

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You’ve Got Mail…from Jesus! | Sharon Hinck

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But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 2 Timothy 3:14-15

My mom’s birthday was approaching and I wanted to do something special for her. Mom insisted she didn’t want a party and didn’t want any fuss at all. I reminded her that we all wanted to celebrate her, and asked again if there was anything she would enjoy.

She admitted she loved getting cards in the mail, and had heard of a friend who had a “card shower.” My husband, daughter, and I dove in to the project with gusto. My husband put up a notice at work. My daughter posted online to her friends. We passed out slips of paper at church with her address, and I sent info to an e-mail loop of writers.

A few days before her birthday, cards, postcards, and even gifts of books from people she’d never met began to arrive. She was thrilled. Each day was an adventure when she’d bring in the large stack of mail, and pour through return addresses from all over the country.

Her joy at receiving, opening, reading, and savoring her mail made me think of the full mailbox that Jesus has provided for us through His Word. Every day, I can open the pages of my Bible and find His greeting of love expressed in various ways: letters, songs, poetry, historical accounts, parables, and more.

Had Mom let all those colorful cards and well wishes sit unopened, she would have missed out on a fun blessing. Yet some days, I ignore the wealth of encouragement and love that Jesus has sent to me.

Faith step: Open your mail from Jesus–your Bible–and rejoice at His personal greeting to you today. Then mail a card to a friend to lift their spirits.

Photo Credit: Liberty Friends

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