When God closes a door, He opens a window. I think I’ve heard this quote a million times. Well… maybe not a million, but it certainly feels that way sometimes. We’ve all been there. We are moving along, everything seems fine and then it happens. Bamm! Door shut. Sometimes we see it closing. We know it’s coming. But more often than not, closed doors take us by surprise. We think, “How did I get here?” Our hope is gone and we have no idea what to do or how to move forward.

 

When God Closes a Door and You've Lost Your Hope | alyssajhoward.com

 

He opens a window… If I’m being honest, I’m not sure how much truth there is to this statement. Sometimes when God closes a door, he doesn’t open a window… At least not right away. God will often use closed doors in our lives to teach us how to trust Him. There’s not much trust involved when we immediately look up to find another opportunity. It’s when we have no idea where to go or what to do that we learn to trust Him fully.

More growth occurs in times of uncertainty than at any other time of our lives.

 

When every window and every door is shut, God is able to teach us what trusting Him is all about.

 

One of my favorite stories in the Bible is that of Joseph. At a young age, God gave him dreams and visions of his future; but all of that was cut short when his jealous brothers sold him into slavery in Egypt. Then he was falsely accused of a crime and thrown into prison. Throughout all of this, God’s favor was on him. People seemed to know he was special. But regardless of this favor, he must have a felt a bit hopeless. He spent over a decade waiting for a door to open. Pharaoh had a dream. Joseph interpreted it, and thus his open door finally came.

Another man who waited for an open opportunity is Abraham. God had promised Him a nation of descendants, but he and Sarah could not have children. Closed door. They tried to open another door themselves by having him sleep with Hagar (Sarah’s maid), but the result of that sin is still bearing consequences to this day. Finally (after 25 years of waiting), Isaac was born.

The time these men spent in waiting ended up being the most crucial part of their stories. They learned to trust God when they had no idea if and when their open door would come. And God used this time to prepare them for what they would encounter on the other side of the doorway.

 

For us, closed doors don’t usually come in the form of slavery, prison, or waiting until you’re one hundred years old to become a father. We lose a job, miss an opportunity, experience a difficult financial situation, suffer a miscarriage, or discover an illness in either ourselves or a loved one. And in each of these situations we feel hopeless… closed in… no open windows… no open doors. We feel stuck. We feel hopeless.

 

The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps. – Proverbs 16:9 (ESV)

 

We make a lot of plans in this life. We plan our education, our careers, our family… but only one thing is certain. Our plans don’t always go “as planned.” And honestly, I’m glad they don’t.

You see, God knows so much more about this life and my purpose than I ever could. I want him to adjust my plans as He sees fit.

What often looks like a closed door is simply God’s way of getting us where we need to be to accomplish all He has for our lives. This may be difficult to hear when a closed door comes as a shock or is painful in some way, but trust me when I say that God is always working things together for our good.

And just to be clear, not every closed door is closed by God. We still live in a fallen world with a very real enemy who likes to slam doors in our faces hoping that we will blame the closed door on God and lose faith. But never lose faith. We serve a good God!

He can and will use the set backs of this life and our fallen world to weave together a life story we could have never imagined for ourselves.

 

There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off. – Proverbs 28:13 (NIV)

 

When God Closes a Door and You've Lost Your Hope | alyssajhoward.com

 

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14 thoughts on “When God Closes a Door and You’ve Lost Your Hope…”

  1. Yes, I just heard that quoted by Maria in the movie Sound of Music that I watched just this past week, Alyssa. It does seem like a wrong way to look at it–in the sense that everything will work out the way we want or better. But sometimes, like you’ve said, God leaves us in a place that feels very much like a closed door. But I always feel like the “open window” is God’s grace in those closed off moments. There truly is a way of escape, though it may not seem like the path we would’ve chosen. Very thought provoking post, my friend! Nice to meet you too!

  2. Thank you for sharing this potent and much needed message to me! We are neighbors at a couple of linkups today. God knew I needed to remember that He is in control and has just the right door waiting for us. Hope is my strength as I stand near the Lord with patience and love.

  3. I’m so grateful we serve a faithful God! This is so true, albeit painful at times: “When every window and every door is shut, God is able to teach us what trusting Him is all about.” So many lessons to grow through.
    Merry Christmas!

  4. “More growth occurs in times of uncertainty than at any other time of our lives.” Ayssa, I think you’re right. It is during those uncertain times that we have to trust God if we don’t want to fall into despair. But when we trust Him he gives a peace and we know He is with us through the uncertainty. Thanks for this reminder today. I’m a near neighbor at #FreshMarketFriday today! Blessings to you!

  5. It’s so hard when we have to wait for God’s plans for us to come to fruition. Yet, like Joseph and Abraham and so many other examples of godly people in the Bible, we have to keep trusting. Thanks Alyssa.

  6. Such truth here! Looking back, I can honestly see how some of the closed doors I thought were terrible set backs, were actually exactly what was necessary for where God needed to lead me. Wise words here Alyssa!

  7. As I look back over the years, I see many doors that God closed on me. I also see the wonderful blessings He had waiting for me instead of those things I wanted in most of those cases. Yes, many of those blessings took years to come, but they did and I am so thankful for them!
    I also wonder – the Bible stories you mentioned – when we read them, we see right away how God worked everything out. We tend to forget the time span in between – the length of time they had to wait to see God moving.
    Thanks for sharing on Grace and Truth!

  8. Wonderful post, Alyssa! Yes, the open window is not always there. And like one other commenter mentioned, it was a philosophy that was borrowed from Mother Superior in the Sound of Music. Funny when that happens! For us Christians (thank the Lord!) we can say with confidence that we always have hope to look forward to in the new heaven and new earth. All the wrongs will be made right; we’ll even have a new name and our loved ones in Christ will be with us. We may not always know why God allows a door to close, and you are definitely right on with saying that ..”And just to be clear, not every closed door is closed by God. We still live in a fallen world with a very real enemy who likes to slam doors in our faces hoping that we will blame the closed door on God and lose faith. ” So very true! Again, good words, on a very relevant topic to many.

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