In a fast-paced society where we have been trained to be rewarded for every good effort we produce, the word “no” is offensive, closed doors are life-altering, and patience is a virtue of the past. With an ever-progressing and evolving culture, time seems to be moving quicker by the day, and as a result, man is faced with the pressure to either keep up or find themselves falling far behind. In the mix of trying to stay with the cultural currents, Christians find themselves in a constant state of rushing and relying on their own strength, lacking trust in God’s plan for their future.
I want you to take a moment and think about the current “no” in your life. What door have you been trying to walk through that you constantly feel is being slammed in your face?
If you’re anything like me, when doors are shut, when opportunities are given to other people when dreams fall apart, I go directly to a place of sadness or even anger where I feel like I am a failure and that I’ll never succeed again. Sometimes I even go as far as to attribute my failures to either God not caring enough about my life or that He simply doesn’t want me to have joy!
Taking a look at scripture would work to encourage you, as it has me. We see Moses who wandered in the wilderness for 40 years and never stepped foot in the promised land, David who desired to but never accomplished the building of the temple, and John the Baptist who never made it out of prison to meet Jesus at the end of his life. Among these, the Bible holds countless stories of doors being closed and goals not being met; yet for each of those stories, there is a lesson for all of us.
Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding. But in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your path straight.” You see, it takes something more than belief in God to trust in what He has for you; it takes faith. When the Apostle Paul talks about faith that surpasses understanding, he means that sometimes you will not understand why something is happening, or simply isn’t happening, but in that moment having faith that it is part of God’s plan. It is a hard concept to grasp that God’s ways are higher than our ways and that there are things that we may never understand.
You may have no idea why that guy or girl won’t date you, but God knows that the right person is still waiting for you. You may not understand why you didn’t get the promotion, but God knows that it's going to take too much time away from your family and they are about to need you more than ever. You may not understand why you had to experience the hurt that you did in that friendship, but God knows that the person who comforts you will be the person that He has placed in your life to disciple you for a lifetime. If we have faith, then we are able to persevere through hard times knowing that God is in control.
Paul tells us that “all things work together for the good of those who love God.” And if that is true then that means that the current “no” in your life is God’s way of telling you that he has other things planned. His plan may be to keep you where you are because you aren’t finished yet. His plan may be to teach you in your current state or prepare you for what is next. God knows what the enemy is using to distract us, God knows the traps that are set before us, and He knows which doors need to be opened and which ones need to stay shut. Trust in God today and believe that the current “no” in your life is for a reason beyond your understanding.
Written by Jordan Arce,
Guest Experience and Well Youth Lead at Wellspring Church