When the Door Slams Shut

Jan 29, 2016

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“Faith is believing when you don’t see it, but it’s also obeying when you don’t understand it.” Rick Warren

God doesn’t just ask us to believe things we can’t see. He also often requires us to obey when we do not have all the answers or understand everything. “Abraham obeyed without knowing where he was going.”

I was talking to a friend recently who had just experienced this. He and his wife sensed God was leading him to take a job in another country. They sought counsel from their pastors and other close friends. They spent a lot of time praying about it. Everything seemed to be lining up.

They sold their house. They began working through all of the details that are required for a big move. They felt that they were being led by the Holy Spirit.

And then the door slammed shut. There was not much of an explanation given. The company that was hiring him apologized but had to cancel the job offer.

This could be a devastating set-back for some people. My friend, however, understands that God is in control and living by faith means that we do not always get all the answers to life’s questions. He told me, “Now we are asking ourselves what we can learn from this situation.” What a great attitude!

I think there are a few questions that we can ask if we end up in a similar situation.

1. Are we sure we heard from God? In my friend’s situation, he says that he knows they were following God’s leading. In other cases, though, people can get off-track by not praying about it and seeking counsel. Let’s make sure we are going after God’s will.

2. What can I learn from this experience? Often, life’s greatest lessons take place on the journey, not at the final destination. Maybe God is wanting to teach us to trust him more. Maybe he is wanting us to learn how to live a more simple life. Maybe he is using this experience to get us ready for something much bigger.

3. How is my attitude? Our attitude is really such a key to life. When things fell through with my friend’s job he was disappointed and dealt with the emotions that any of us would have felt. Their house had just sold so they also had to find a new place to live.

He quickly put things in perspective, though, and adjusted his attitude. He was not going to let a negative attitude rob him of his joy or of whatever God wanted to teach him. So often, when the bottom falls out of our lives, we forget that that is when we really need cling to our faith.

When everything is going great, when the road is clear before us, when we are not dealing with any real problems, we really do not need faith. It is when the job offer gets cancelled, when we get a bad report from the doctor, when life throws us something we were not expecting that we need to activate our faith.

What is an area in your life that God is asking you to trust him more this year?

Annie and I are serving the Lord in Brazil. We are training leaders and helping plant churches. Would you join our team? Just click here to get involved. Obrigado!

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