They had been prevented by the Holy Spirit from preaching the message in the province of Asia.


What should we make of something that seems like a good thing to us but doesn’t ultimately work out?   Maybe a job promotion falls through or an illness prevents us from going on a trip.   We could guess at the many reasons why things didn’t happen the way we thought they should, but sometimes we just don’t know why.

Paul and Timothy had nothing but good in mind as they sought to share the gospel in Asia.   Yet for some reason, the Holy Spirit prevented them, and it seems they are not told why.   They may have wondered, but they didn’t let their wondering keep them from moving forward with their bigger vision—to share the good news.   They simply went on to the next place where they thought they should go, the territories of Phrygia and Galatia.

We’ll all experience closed doors from time to time—in our workplaces or churches, in our homes or families.   When you come up against such circumstances, try to follow the example of Paul and Timothy.   Instead of wondering why some opportunity was closed to you, move on and do the next right thing.   If one job prospect doesn’t work out, look for the next one.   If some kind of service in your church is no longer needed, look for other opportunities to reach out.

It’s only human to be disappointed when something doesn’t work out the way we had hoped.   But try not to be discouraged by it.   Rather, try to understand what your next step should be—and take it.   Stay focused on the larger vision that God has for you.   Trust that the Holy Spirit is leading you, guiding you, and protecting you, whether you understand the reasons for the twists and turns in your path or not.

At the end of the day, we can’t always comprehend the bigger picture that God has for us.   But he is a good God, and so we can always trust that his plan for us is better than anything we could ever come up with ourselves!

“Holy Spirit, I will trust in you, even when I don’t understand why a door has closed.”

Psalm 100:1-3, 5
John 15:18-21