I’ve talked with several friends and colleagues recently who are discouraged and weary of waiting on their promises. In each case, a door appeared to be opening and when they attempted to walk through it, it closed in their faces, leaving them discouraged that their promise had been ripped from under them.
While every open door is not from the Lord, the ones that are cannot be closed. In Revelation 3, Jesus says, “I open a door no man can shut and I close doors no man can open.” There are times when God closes a door, knowing that if He does not, we will walk through it to our detriment. As I look back over my life, I have learned to be thankful for closed doors.
In retrospect, many of the doors I was asking God to open for me were not the right doors for me, whether it was a relationship or an opportunity I was pursuing and praying about. I have always made a conscious effort to avoid pushing doors open, knowing that if I do, then I will have to deal with what’s on the other side of that door. If I force my way into places God is not calling me, I will not have His blessing and more often than not, it will not go well. Yes, God can cause all things to work together for good, but if it’s not in His plan and purpose for my life, I don’t want it.
It’s easy to get discouraged over a promise we’ve been waiting for, but the risk with that is we can feel entitled to more than we currently have or deserve. All of God’s promises are yes and amen, but the “when” is up to Him, not us. That’s where most of us get into trouble. We can become bitter and angry that all of our friends are happily married while we’re still waiting for God to bring the right person into our life. Or the ministry, job or business is not going the way God said it would and we can’t see how He’s going to turn things around for us, especially since the midnight hour is long gone and the bills are overdue.
This week, I was dealing with discouragement over some things I’m working on. Suddenly I realized while I was focusing on what I didn’t have, I was unmindful and even ungrateful for what I did have. Things I was taking for granted suddenly became cause for gratitude. As I thought about it, I realized that the things I am waiting for will not be the ultimate answer. No relationship, no job or business opportunity and no amount of money will make you content if you are looking for those things to solve your problems. If you are unhappy with your current life, chances are a job or marriage are not going to change that. A change in your circumstances will not necessarily change you.
We can make idols of the promises we are waiting on, expecting that once they arrive, they will make life wonderful. But there is danger in that. No person or promise can fulfill your deepest needs. Only God can do that. This is a reminder for you and for me to stay on course, keep our perspective and continue to humble ourselves while we wait on God to fulfill His promise. Don’t make the promise bigger than God. His blessing over your life will come in due time, but at best, those things are temporary.
Your relationship with God, which will long surpass any promise you can receive here on earth is more important than anyone or anything. Stay close to Him. Resist the urge to get discouraged or bitter and keep believing that He is preparing you to receive all that He has for you. While you’re waiting, thank Him for what you have right now and know that the greatest promise is already in your possession.