When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to.
Read the entire passage: Acts 16:6-10
Before journeying to Philippi, Paul and his team were probably headed to Ephesus. It was a major port city in the region and would eventually prove to be an influential city in the spread of the gospel. But for some reason God intervenes and stops them. They regroup and decide to head a different direction. Again God stops them. They keep going and settle into Troas. While in Troas, they have a vision asking them to go to Macedonia. Immediately they head to Philippi, one of the major cities in Macedonia.
Sometimes we skim over things in the Bible. We skim over places and names that are unfamiliar. While Paul and Silas had many open doors, twice they experienced closed doors that changed their direction. This has happened to many of us. Some might be experiencing it right now. Living with uncertainty can be hard as a closed door often leaves us in a frustrating space.
But Paul and his team did not give up when they were frustrated. They didn’t lash out at God. They just kept being obedient. Eventually, God revealed to them his plan. The gospel arrives in Philippi because of closed doors.
While hindsight is 20/20, we often see the value of a closed door when we find an open door. It is hard to see the value of a closed door when that’s all we can see. In difficult times, remember closed doors happen to everyone, even the Apostle Paul. The key to keeping proper perspective in the midst of a challenging situation, such as a closed door, is to trust God. We can trust God to be with us even in the face of the most trying closed doors. If we do trust God, we can find the joy rooted in focusing on the generosity of God that expresses itself through gratitude and praise even in seasons of extreme pain and deep disappointment.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
Today, take a moment to reflect on the joy God offers even in the midst of difficult situations and closed doors. Watch and listen to the song “Joy” by Rend Collective to reflect on the goodness of God as our source of joy.
Download a printable PDF for the week here.