At different points in my life, I’ve had experiences where I started questioning what God was doing (or not doing for that matter). Honestly, I didn’t know if He was closing the door or if He was waiting to see if I would push through and persevere.
As I walked through these different experiences, I couldn’t help but to always think about the movie, “Joy.” Joy is a movie about a very patient and dedicated, divorced mother who is not only struggling to provide for her family, but is living amongst a very dysfunctional family. The movie takes you on a journey as she invents a new kind of mop and the MANY obstacles she faces as she markets it to American moms.
One of the many obstacles she faced was that of rejection. After pitching her mop to the head of QVC, he turns her down. But here’s what I love, she didn’t let that stop her. She goes back to QVC and convinces one of the founders to showcase her product on the show. And even though he agrees, he gives the job of selling the mop to one of his top salesman, not Joy. And as you can imagine, it ended up flopping.
But once again, we see Joy come through. Instead of believing that this was it, she once again convinces QVC to sell her mop, but this time, she wanted to sell it herself on live TV; even with NO personal selling experience. She refused to let that door close.
To make a long story short, because of her perseverance, determination and steadfast belief in her product, talent and calling, her mop ends up selling very well.
As I thought about this movie, I couldn’t help but to think, “what if she had given up? What if she decided that the founder at QVC was right, no American woman would want this product? What if she just decided to move onto something else? What would her life have looked like?”
And as I pondered these questions, I started thinking about my own life and past experiences. I started thinking about God and what He would say. Was God closing a door in my life or did He want me to persevere? Honestly, I just wasn’t sure many times.
And I’m pretty confident that I’m not alone in this. I imagine that many of you are asking questions like:
- Did God really call me to this business, this career, this ministry? If God called me, then why do the doors keep closing? Why am I not making any kind of progress?
- Did God call me to write? If He did, then why do I keep getting rejected?
- Did God really tell me that I would be a mother one day? If He did, then why isn’t it happening?
- Did God really want me to marry this man? If He did, then why is it so hard? Why do we keep arguing and why are we so distant?
- Did God really call me to move to this new city? If He did, then why am I so lonely?
As I’ve thought through these questions, I’m reminded of a story of perseverance in the Bible:
Jesus told them a story showing that it was necessary for them to pray consistently and never quit. He said, “There was once a judge in some city who never gave God a thought and cared nothing for people. A widow in that city kept after him: ‘My rights are being violated. Protect me!’
“He never gave her the time of day. But after this went on and on he said to himself, ‘I care nothing what God thinks, even less what people think. But because this widow won’t quit badgering me, I’d better do something and see that she gets justice—otherwise I’m going to end up beaten black-and-blue by her pounding.’”
Then the Master said, “Do you hear what that judge, corrupt as he is, is saying? So what makes you think God won’t step in and work justice for his chosen people, who continue to cry out for help? Won’t he stick up for them? I assure you, he will. He will not drag his feet. But how much of that kind of persistent faith will the Son of Man find on the earth when he returns?” ~Luke 18:1-8
And then, I remember these two Scriptures:
So do not throw away your confidence; it holds a great reward. You need to persevere, so that after you have done God’s will, you will receive what He has promised. Hebrews 10:35-36
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9
Maybe today, you find yourself wondering if God is closing a door or if He’s waiting for you to persevere. Based on the Scriptures above, here are some things to consider:
- Do not throw away your confidence: Do you remember when God first called you? Do you remember the peace, joy and excitement you felt? Do you remember how confident you felt that God was calling you? If so, think back on that time. Think back to what God showed you and shared with you. During the hard times, during the obstacles, we need not throw our confidence out the door. If you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God has called you, don’t lose site of the confidence that you once had because it’s that confidence that will help you persevere and if you will persevere during these hard times, you will receive what He has promised.
- Don’t become weary: I know how hard it can be to keep doing the right thing and yet, never see any kind of return. But if God has called you, then you must keep moving forward. Just because God hasn’t answered you like you thought He would, in your timing, doesn’t mean that He’s not working. The calling of God doesn’t just magically happen overnight. Honestly, it takes time. Think about it:
Moses: Was in the desert for 40-years! But yet, he kept moving forward, even when the Israelites were giving up. He persevered even when everyone around him was ready to give up. He refused to become weary in doing good.
Noah: Some say it took 55 years to build the ark. Can you imagine the perseverance it took to keep moving forward in building that HUGE boat when there was no rain in site? Can you imagine the people that were probably mocking him and thinking that he was nothing but a crazy old man? He refused to become weary in doing good.
Joseph: How can we forget Joseph, the teenage boy who had a big dream and then all of sudden, it was turned upside down. Life did not turn out how he thought it would. But yet, he refused to become weary in doing good.
Friend, don’t become weary in doing good.
- Pray consistently and never quit: Much like the story of the widow, we must pray consistently and never quit. You may be in a spot right now where you are wondering whether or not God is closing a door or if He just wants you to persevere. The best way to know the answer to this is to pray consistently and to never quit praying. I can promise you, the more you pray and the more you get quiet before God, the more He will show you what He’s doing; you’ll experience clarity. That clarity will override the questions, worry and confusion that you once felt.
I know how hard it can be to discern God’s leading at times. But what I also know is that God is faithful; He will not drag His feet as you continue being persistent in prayer, He will step in and answer you. And most importantly, He will give you a peace; a peace that passes all understanding. A peace that will clearly let you know if He is closing a door or wanting you to push through and persevere.
Friend, keep praying and don’t quit. God will clearly show you what to do, where to go, and what to stay focused on. And when you do, you will receive what He has promised.
Are you in a place right now where you’re wondering if God is closing a door or asking you to persevere? If so, hang in there. God is not done with you!