Responding to Closed Doors

Dr. Charles Stanley

Read | Philippians 4:6-7

Disappointments can be hard to bear. One minute life seems to be on track for what we hope and dream. The next moment our way is blocked. How do we respond when facing closed doors?

If our hearts are set on a certain course of action, we may convince ourselves it is God’s will and push ahead regardless. We might send up a quick prayer asking for His help or blessing, but mostly we just move forward. By manipulating people or circumstances, we could get what we want but be outside of God’s plan.

Another response to a blocked path is to become emotionally upset. Then we face the danger of operating out of our feelings and replacing a Christ-centered perspective with a self-centered one. Strong emotions can be a temptation to blame others—including the Lord. Anger toward Him can, in turn, lead us to rebel against Him and His ways.

Godly responses, on the other hand, start with waiting and trusting. When the Lord blocks our way, we are to have faith in Him, taking time to assess the situation, and praying for guidance. By asking the Spirit to increase our sensitivity to the events around us, we will be able to notice any open doors. Even if we find none, we are to live with hope, anticipating other doors of opportunity in His perfect time. Thanking God for His work on our behalf is essential, even at times when we lack understanding. Finally, remaining faithful to what the Lord has called us to do is an important part of our wait.

Wait. Trust. Pray. Obey. This is God’s prescription for handling closed doors.