Why God May Be “Closing Doors” In Your Life

Have you ever had a moment when you’re trying to push a door open and then you look up only to realize it says, “pull?” I have done this a time or two – trying to force my way into a department store hoping there are no prying around when I realize my foolishness! Ironically, people use the idea of an ‘open door’ all the time when referring to moments of victory in their life. Statements like, “God opened the door” comes out of Christians often as a way of sharing a great testimony – but I wonder, what is really meant by the expression? Undoubtedly, God can allow circumstances and situations to come together for the good of His plans and purposes; however, what about all the heartbreaks, the shut doors, things that we see as unwanted endings instead of new beginnings? I have come to learn that there is great gratitude owed to God’s power in closing doors.

About a year ago, everything seemed to scream “no” in my life. Jobs, opportunities, and situations that were a ‘shoe in’ fell right through the cracks – my broken hopeful future left me feeling broken and confused. And because I am not a quitter, I tried everything to open the doors that I didn’t realize were shutting for a purpose. In a metaphorical sense, I tried knocking harder, pushing and tugging and even climbing through the windows awaiting the ‘open door.’ But much to my surprise, the doors kept slamming shut. If you have ever experienced a domino effect where one thing leads to another….you can understand the frustration of multiple closed doors. However, I discovered something very intriguing throughout the process that I thought I might pass along.

There is power and purpose in closed doors. While everyone loves to rejoice when God opens doors, we forget that it takes just as much strength to close a door as it does to open one. In fact, the ‘no’s’ are just as valuable to us as the things that God does allow to come to pass. While the closed doors take longer to make sense of, don’t disregard God’s involvement in them! Proverbs 16:9 confirms, “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.” This means that when we walk towards the wrong doors in life, even if they seem ‘right,’ God has the final wisdom on the matter and loves us enough to stop the things that are wrong for us.

There is an old story that I was fascinated with as a child. Here is a short summary. There was a barbaric king who decided a criminal’s fate by allowing them to choose one and only one door-one of the doors promised new life, the other instant death. Here were the rules: The prisoner had a 50/50 shot to live or die because as he entered the arena, two doors awaited him that looked exactly the same. The only catch was, behind one door was a beautiful woman, behind the other a hungry tiger. I believe that this is how we sometimes see our life and God’s involvement in it. We choose the door we want, and if the results are rewarding – God was there. However,t if the results are unexpected, uncomfortable, unwanted….God is…  _____ (fill in the blank).

If you place your life in God’s hands, He is not the old king in the story that allows fate to take over and randomly decide which door opens by mere human chance. He already knows what is on the other side of each opportunity we are faced with. He is not a cruel Father that should allow us to choose the wrong path when we are faithfully pursing Him. So, instead of worrying about the ‘should-of, could-of moments’ that He may be stopping for a reason, trust that God sees things perfectly. He has a clear understanding of each event in our life and He sometimes, closes the doors for our good (because who knows, maybe a tiger is sitting behind it). Keep this one thing in mind – no matter how closed the door is, there is power and purpose in each and every closed door.

  • Jason Ayers

    God closed a door in my life 4 years ago that devastated me in so many ways. It took me a full year to come to terms with it and i realized that God wanted me to desire him as much as i was desiring the job i was pursuing. I licked my wounds and kept moving forward despite being mad at God about it only to experience several more closed doors within a short time. These closed doors were Gods intervention because they were all a guaranteed situation that did not come to fruition which left me totally confused at the time. I am doing my best to seek Gods face in all of this and have experienced a ton of growth personally and professionally as a direct result of these closed doors. The situations that God closed the doors on showed me God is protecting me and the plan he has for me because looking back i am so thankful i did not get into these job situations because they would have been a disaster for me. It has not been easy especially when God seems silent while i am struggling with discouragement and frustration which are the strongest weapons that Satan can use on us. I am trying to keep this short because of all the twists and turns in this journey God has taken me on the past four years. I know some of you will say 4 years!!! but it has flown by. None of this made sense in the beginning but it pushed me to truly search for my purpose and dig deep into myself and what God wants me to do. God provided me with an archive of self discovery filled with information and new relationships that i never could have imagined before. I would say to anyone never give up because i have been so frustrated i have questioned my faith and God as well because of the process becoming unbearable sometimes. I am totally transformed at this point and prepared for something much bigger than before. I look back on the things i wanted and realize that God has much bigger plans for me. Please do not give up no matter how hard it gets GOD WILL TRANSFORM YOU into a completely different person if you allow it.

  • Marian

    So how do I proceed after the doors are closed, the doors kept closing on a path that I thought was a career, then too, how do you know when it’s a closed door and not our perception?

  • Mileta Timmons

    Wow, I too have been going through a period for years of failure after failure after failure. I am also jobless. 2 degrees later and still jobless. I often feel like I am being punished for something forever. Yet I can’t trace what I did to be punished. I keep asking God to order my steps but I feel like I keep being ordered to more closed doors. I love the hallway analogy! I have never been a person that gives up but I am really becoming weaker and weaker every time I get back up. Maybe I should just stay down!

    • Tessa Rose

      My exact thoughts after 4 years of closed doors and feels like a tornado went through my life… Husband was a liar, cheater, gambler, friends and family turned their backs on me, lost my home… now barely making ends meet….keep applying and jumping through hoops and keep getting knocked down… i am exhausted and losing hope.

  • Pam Pollard Morrison

    This is just for me – thank you so much. I have been struggling with something that I want to do — but God has not opened the door – I opened it and had to close it – I feel like a failure. Maybe I’m not. I will read this again and again.

  • X

    I currently in the situation where all doors and even windows are closed for me in all aspects of my life. And i kind of frustated now. Dont know what to do
    Its like being left alone in the dessert island with no hope at all :((
    Please help

    • Js

      our hope don’t come from man, it comes from god, who is our help in the time of trouble, even when you can’t even see ahead of you it is called Walking By Faith even if the windows doors are shut but you trust God because God will always make a way where it seems to be no way he is the way maker but you got to trust him, in every situation that you’re in, and that is no matter what it is even when the battles get hard or you don’t understand what’s going on and you’re troubled because there’s doors that are not being open or situations that’s not being open to you at that moment but all things work together for the good to them that are called according to his purpose that means all things even if a door or window is shut and it might be for your purpose but God always opens other doors, on his time, be patient, in Isaiah, 41:18 sayes this: I will make rivers flow on barren heights, and springs within the valleys i will turn the desert into poolsof water, and the parched ground into springs. B in Courage keep your head held high and just keep on trusting the Lord no matter what comes your way be strong in the Lord in the power of His might put on the whole armor of God, endure hardness as a good soldier in Christ Jesus, God bless you, all!

  • Massiel Acosta Marchena

    Well this actually gets me frustrated ….and further from God…Cuz I got really mad and confused not to mention worn out…I am even losing the desire to enjoy my life.

    • James Galloway

      I understand sister. Life for me is frustrating as well but it does draw me closer to God and until today I never thought to thank him for the closed doors which turned out to be broken relationships, jobs that were scams, and tuition I couldn’t pay for even when I got admitted into the school that only ten people get accepted into every year. The hallway showed me how bitter I was towards life and ultimately towards God. The wilderness helps one cleanse themselves of deeper issues and once that takes place the door still maybe closed but the issues are gone to give one more confidence to continue on the journey. Be strong and courageous. You are not alone.

  • RH

    I have been living this, very frustrating, very painful. Ultimately it resulted in the death of my ego and desires for anything in this life. Whether the doors now open or not it makes no sense, I personally find the whole prospect of ambition now to be idolatrous and vain. Though I remain CONVINCED of God’s goodness, though I have wept rivers instead of ponds. I say with Job the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away blessed be the Lord God. Now that I have been given the virtue of detachment God may choose to reclaim everything or restore me two fold , it doesn’t matter. But I also know God is a good and kind father beyond imagination, so I say with David, I have hope I will see the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living. If you are going through a fiery trial rejoice! you are loved beyond belief, and know God can make you pharaoh’s right hand man in 1 day. I pray for any going through pain, He is faithful, he loves you, joy is in the world to come. But God is mighty and loving and closed doors maybe for your good in this earth or not, but often God eventually establishes us out of His never-ending faithfulness after we have suffered and been purified. The Hebrew Chesed explains God’s character, He can’t help it. He is a lover, a faithful father, the source of all goodness. Take heart dear brother and sister, rejoice again I say rejoice, and know ranks of saints and angels in the victorious church are praying for you, as is my humble self. +++

    • Heather Gross

      Ditto…I don’t deserve anything anyway. Why worry if my lot in life is the hallway.

  • Brian Lee

    Hi just wanted to correct your grammar. It’s “should HAVE/should’ve” and “could HAVE/could’ve” and NOT “should of” or “could of”. PLEASE don’t allow this error to become mainstream!

    • Marian


    • Tessa Rose

      oh my… tis this really important in the grand scheme of things here???? seriously?

  • SH

    Almost 4 years now since I have been trying to hit my target. Every time I try, I try with sincerity and dedication. Every now and then I come across failure in such a way that it gets me thinking that “maybe it is not meant for me”. I move on! The next morning there is news that I am a better candidate than others and I have fair chances of succeeding. Thus, this ray of hope falls on my face and I look up to never look back again and start my efforts in the same direction that I left last night. God might be testing me to see how much I can take and if I give up, what if the door was about to open?
    I am not able to figure out what to do! Keep trying or give it up?!
    Its not once or twice that door has closed on me. Now a year has passed. I am jobless. In this one year I have got many offers and many rejections. Events somehow take turns such a way that I wonder why did it happen. I was happy after making up my mind and then why I was provoked again to never give up!
    The dilemma continues…..

    • Massiel Acosta Marchena

      I am dealing with the exact dilemma it is driving me nuts it actually makes you really sad at some points I do not even want to hear any testimonies cuz I have none….it hurts.

      • Regina

        Someone recently told me that how you can know what you want is right for you, is if you feel like what you want is a “struggle”. Meaning that everything you try and do, straight out DOES NOT work. I trust that if you believe in God, our Father and Provider, you would know if what you believe is right for you turns out not to be the right thing for you. The doors that closed every single time would give you a feeling deep within your soul (past your ego) that it’s time to move in a different direction. You would feel some internal pull to move in another direction.

        The road to what we strive for is challenging. There are many frustrations and it may feel like a struggle, but it’s actually challenge and frustration. If you still have the energy to achieve your goal, if you still have passion for what you are trying to achieve, that makes you feel good. If it makes you feel good, you will keep going on until God opens doors. Keep going.

        If it’s too hard and you don’t have the passion anymore for it, maybe it’s time to look in a different direction. The Lord will show you the way.

        • elizajose

          Regina I second this. well put. Am going thru something like this right now. Since Feb this year I had this tremendous inward pull to consider an option to emigrate to Canada from India. Imagine at my late age of 54 yrs old where no immigrant friendly nation would consider one eligible to apply. I have not met with any success so far…….Before I went forward at least 2 anointed women of God had advised me that it was not Gods will for me to pursue this Canada thing.But I stubbornly went ahead anyway, paid an upfront amount to a visa consultant, ….with no results. I have now prayerfully accepted that it was a door that was not right for me and that God Himself was holding it shut. I have starting praying to the Lord to lead me in a different direction…I firmly believe He still has other great plans for me.

        • elizajose

          Yes Regina, in continuation of my earlier post…I also experienced right from the start that it was a real struggle. even the first phase where I had to get transcripts from my old University was a real hurdle. thats when an anointed woman of God told me that if it were really Gods Will for me to move to Canada at my age, then the whole process from day one would move ahead like a ‘cakewalk’. And if it wasn’t God’s Will for me, then even if I did get past the first hurdle of getting my University transcripts, I would find myself getting stuck over and over again at every stage of the process..That would be the sign that God Himself was blocking the way.

  • Fred Holt

    Waiting is often the correct response to the closed doors and the long hallway. It is so disconcerting to be withoit a vision to go whan it is impossi le to bloom where planted. Faith and trust.

  • Cparrish

    I like the hallway analogy.. Very profound

    • Monica Ruiz

      So true…thx for sharing