When An Open Door Leads To Trouble and Another Closed Door (Lessons From Closed Doors)

Paul, Silas and Timothy had walked through the open door that God had placed before them.  This open door brought them to the city of Philippi, a Roman colony.  After staying in town for a few days, they ventured to the riverside, which – according to Acts 16:13 – was the place where people went to pray.  Here they found a group of women, one of whom was named Lydia.  God opened her heart to understand the truths that Paul was teaching.  She along with her whole household were baptized, and then she convinced Paul and those with him to stay with her while they were in Philippi.

And so they did.

But shortly after this decision, the peaceful conditions which they were experiencing took a sinister turn.

Through a series of events, Paul and Silas found themselves beaten and thrown into prison, with their feet fastened in stocks.

The open door that God had led them through…

Brought them to the closed doors of a prison cell.

Yet, rather than crying out their innocence…rather than struggling to find a way out…rather than giving into despair and discouragement…rather than getting angry with the people who had put them into this situation…rather than second guessing if they had misread the direction that God had been guiding them to take…

They were praying…

Behind closed doors…

They were singing hymns to God…

Behind closed doors.

They were celebrating God…

Behind closed doors.

They were thankful…

Behind closed doors.

I still remember the day when I was out on a walk that I had an “Ah-ha” moment as God taught me a very important truth.

I had been praying about a door that was possibly opening before us, and as I prayed, I said, “God, if this is the door that we are to walk through…if this is route that we are to take, You will have to work it out.”

God’s gentle finger tapped me on the shoulder that day as He reminded me that He would indeed work all things together for my good and His glory.

But the route to accomplishing those two purposes might be actually be painful for me to go through, look like a complete failure to people around me, and take me to places that I never before would have gone…nor would I have chosen to go there if I had a choice.

In fact, His very intentions in opening a door before me to go through might be to bring me to another closed door that I have no hope of opening…

Just like He did for Paul and Silas.

He opened the door for them to go to Philippi, but very soon after walking through that open door they found themselves in prison…

Behind another closed door.

As God unfolded this truth in my mind and heart, I realized that I had a preconceived idea in my mind that if I walked through an open door, then God should work all things out…

In a “nice” way.  In a “peaceful” way.  In a “trouble-free” way.

And while this is the way that He may choose to work, it is not always how He fulfills His purposes in my life.  There are times when His purposes for me are best accomplished…

By placing me behind closed doors.

So when I find myself behind these closed doors which God has placed before me, I have a choice in how I am going to respond.  I can give into despair, discouragement, anger, frustration, second guessing the direction God has led me to…

Or…

When I remember that He is sovereign and in control…that His plans for me are of good and not evil…that He will work all things out in conformity to the purpose of His will…that He will work all things together for my good and His glory…that He will never leave me nor forsake me…that He will provide for every need…that He will never bring me to place that, in Him and with Him, will be more than I can handle…that His faithful love never ends and His lovingkindness never ceases…that His faithfulness is great and His mercies are new every morning…

I can choose to hope and to trust in Him – the director of my steps through open doors and behind closed doors –

And because of Him, I can lift my prayers upwards and choose to praise Him with a thankful heart…

Even behind closed doors:D

 

 

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