How to deal with closed doors – failures, setbacks and disappointments

What should you do when you face a challenge, when you experience a failure or setback, when a door slams shut in your face?

I was inspired to write this post after I experienced a setback in my career. A web writing project that I was looking forward to working on fell through because the client decided not to hire me as they felt they didn’t have enough material for me to work on yet. This led me to reflect on how to process failure and setbacks. I’ve experienced many challenges in my career, and the failure of the project to get the green light led me to ask God what he wanted to teach me through this.

One thing I asked God is that if God’s favour is with me, shouldn’t my life be filled with open doors? Surely if God is for me, I should be able to experience eternal success, running through one open door after another, prospering in everything I do? God told me that that wasn’t how the Christian life is like, for even when you have God’s favour, you will experience closed doors.

What Christ promises though, is that even when we face many failures, in the end a door will open and it will be better than all the other closed doors. This fact should bring us peace and joy, and give us hope amidst the failures that God will give us the victory in the long run.

Christ spoke to me and He told me that the setbacks are a test. Will you react in the flesh or will you react in the Spirit when you experience a challenge? When you react in the flesh – which is the natural and automatic first reaction – you feel fear, disappointment, self-pity, depression – you feel like giving up. But when you process your setback positively, activating your faith to believe that Christ will open a better door for you, when you react in the Spirt, you will feel joy and peace. The setback won’t bother you or get you down. Instead, you give Christ praise in advance for the final victory and the fact that He will open a better door for you.

God allows challenges in our lives because they have many benefits. Challenges increase and grow your faith. You develop patience and endurance while waiting for God to open a new door for you. This forces you to be persistent, as you go knocking on multiple door after door, having the faith that God will eventually open a better door for you at the end. This persistence strengthens your character.

When we experience a failure or setback, our first reaction usually is to worry that it will harm us. But Christ will use what Satan meant to hurt you to promote you as disappointments can transform your character and provide you with many spiritual benefits.

So don’t worry when God closes a door. If you stay in faith and patiently, persistently go knocking on other doors until one opens, God will swing open wide a new door that will be far better than the one that was closed. Then you will give praise to God for His deliverance, overjoyed that He has turned your test into a testimony.  So stir up your faith and don’t be discouraged by the closed door. God will surely open a better door for you if you wait faithfully with patient expectation!


If you enjoyed reading this blog post, you might consider buying my e-book, “Overcoming problems”  (Overcome problems. – The book gives inspiring Christian advice on how to overcome every problem.

I also provide freelance writing and editing services based in Singapore. You can find out more about my general wriiting work at my website