Here are 3 signs that often mean God is saying, “I’m closing that chapter in your life because I love you too much to keep it open any longer.”
1. If You Are Clinging to Something Lesser That Is Preventing God From Giving You Something Greater, He Will Often Close That Chapter Out of Love for You
God is always working towards progression in our lives. By default, then, this also means God will always be causing endings in our lives too. Why? Because for one chapter to begin, another must end.
As Jesus said in John 12:24, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” Jesus was referring to his death. God knew that for life to begin for many, his one and only Son needed to die (Romans 5:17-19). But this principle applies to all of life. If you long for something better, God will first need to remove that which is lesser. If our hands are already full, we can’t take hold of the new blessings God desires to give us. So we have to let go of the former before we can take hold of the latter.
This is hard. Even if you know intellectually what needs to be done, it can be emotionally difficult to really let something go. Even when Jesus was telling the disciples that he needed to leave them for their good, this made them sad. Jesus counseled them through this grief and confusion by teaching them to look past the pain towards the prize that is ahead if we obey. As Jesus taught in John 16:6-7, which says:
But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.”
If you are clinging to something lesser that is preventing you from receiving something greater, in love God will often close this chapter so that you can move on into more abundant spaces he has planned for you.
2. If God Is Removing Harmful People, Places, and Things That You Were Not Removing Yourself, This Is a Sign He’s Closing a Chapter Because He Loves You
Anyone who has spent any time in the world of addiction and recovery knows how important it is to monitor the people, places, and things in your life. A “trigger” is a word that means something is being used as a gateway back into a negative, self-destructive pattern.
If someone has struggled with alcoholism, cigarette smoke can actually be a trigger if that person spent a lot of time in smokey bars. If someone has been addicted to porn, video games can be a trigger because it activates the dopamine sensors in one’s brain in a similar way as those digital porn images used to do. If someone struggles with gluttony, having sweets in the house can be a trigger.
In one form or another, almost all triggers are either people, places, or things. God wants us to take ownership of our lives and to scrub our environments clean of all the triggers that we can realistically get rid of. But sometimes in kindness, God will actually remove harmful people, places, and things for us if he knows we won’t do it but we need to in order to move onto better things.
It’s really important, however, that you don’t replace these things God is removing with other equally harmful things. If your bad boyfriend leaves, don’t replace him with someone who is just like him. If your unbelieving girlfriend gets tired of your love for God and breaks up with you, don’t beg her to stay. If God removes you from a work environment that has become toxic for you, don’t become close friends with all your new employees who also love to party.
Let the harmful people, places, and things leave your life so God can replace them with the positive people, places, and things your heart needs and desires. As Isaiah 43:18-19 states, “Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?”
3. If God Is Showing You a Blessing That You Can Only Take Hold of If You Walk Away From a Season of Comfort, This Is Often a Sign God Is Closing a Chapter in Your Life Because he Loves You
Perhaps you needed a season away from dating to reconnect with God. Perhaps you needed that season of unemployment to regain some sanity. Or perhaps you needed to take a break from serving at your church so you could let your energy levels get back to a healthy place.
But if you remain in that season of comfort forever, you will miss out on a lot of good God wants to give you. Rest is only useful when we use it to better our ability to work hard. Rest for rest’s sake turns into laziness. God does not tell us to work hard so we can earn a sabbath day. Rather, God calls us to take a sabbath day so we can then be rested to work hard again for his glory (Mark 2:27).
Likewise, if you see a blessing God wants to give you but it will require you to leave this season of comfort you have been enjoying, oftentimes this is a sign God is ending this season of comfort for you because he loves you too much to leave you in your coffin of safety. Yes, you are safe now, but safety can turn into a pit of death if we choose safety over following God.
God has called you to live an adventurous, meaningful life where you choose to sacrifice yourself for him and others. This is our joy. As Jesus promised, “If you cling to your life, you will lose it, and if you let your life go, you will save it” (Luke 17:33, NLT).
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