Hurdles Are Not Stop Signs

Sharon JaynesConfidence in Christ, Listening to God, Take Hold of the Faith You Long For, Trusting God 45 Comments

Have you ever felt rejection? I have. It’s not easy, is it?

I sent my first book proposal off to a publisher several months before that fateful day. It was a step of faith walking to that mailbox and dropping it in the slot. However, I knew this was what God was calling me to do. Then the rejection letter came. “We like your writing, but nobody knows who you are. It will never sell. It does not meet our needs at this time. Thanks, but no thanks.”

I wondered: Did I hear God wrong?

Why is it that most, including me, tend to think we’ve heard God wrong when we come face-to-face with opposition or difficulty? That certainly isn’t what we see in the Bible, is it?

Just think about the Israelites. God had great dreams for the children of Israel. He chose them from all the other nations to be His treasured possession. He freed them from slavery, led them out of Egypt, parted the Red Sea for them to cross on dry land, swallowed up their enemies with the returning tide, fed them with manna from the sky, provided water from a rock, guided them with a fire by night, and sheltered them with a cloud by day.

But when Moses sent in twelve spies to check out the produce of the Promised Land, and they came back with a report of what they considered an obstacle, they wanted to quit (Read Numbers 13:27-33). “Oh no,” they cried! “There are giants in the land! We look like grasshoppers compared to them!”

It was as if they were saying, “Ah, this isn’t what we were expecting. We should have never left Egypt in the first place. We should go back” (Numbers 14:3). A little opposition and they were ready to throw in the towel.

While ten of the twelve spies gave what the Bible calls an “evil report,” two spies, Caleb and Joshua gave a faith-filled report.

“We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it,” they said. “If the Lord is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land…and give it to us. Only do not rebel against the Lord. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will swallow them up. Their protection is gone, but the Lord is with us. Do not be afraid of them.” (Numbers 13:30, 14:8-9).

Guess who the people believed. They believed the ten who didn’t trust God rather than the two who did. The people thought, we heard God wrong. But because the assembly listened to the “evil report” and gave up when they met opposition, they missed receiving what God had already promised to give.

That entire generation spent the rest of their lives wandering in the desert and finally died there. But when the next generation rose up and believed God, Joshua and Caleb led them into the Promised Land their parents were never allowed to see.

Have you ever given up on what you felt God called you to do because you’ve hit a rough spot? Have you ever quit trying because someone whose opinion you valued discouraged you?

Here are some modern-day versions similar to that “evil report” the Israelites listened to.

  • It’s never been done.
  • It’s never been done that way before.
  • You don’t have the talent.
  • You don’t have the money.
  • You aren’t smart enough.
  • That will never work.
  • But we’ve always done it this way.

I kept that rejection letter, but I didn’t stop trying. Twenty-six published books later, I often look at it and smile.

Lord, I’ll admit, I tend to think I heard you wrong when my faith-steps don’t go as smoothly as I imagined they would. Help me to remember that hurdles are not stop signs as I run the race of life. Today, I will keep moving forward to do what You have called me to do. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

What is God calling you to keep pressing forward with today? Click comment and let’s share.

Take Hold of the Faith you Long For


Are you ready to experience the abundant, exuberant life in Christ? Then, Take Hold of the Faith You Long For: Let go, Move forward, Live Bold is just for you!

Join me as I show you how to take hold of all that Jesus has done for you and placed in you. Don’t settle for a mediocre faith that’s less than what God intends. Grab hold of that mountain-moving faith you’ve always long for!

This book also includes a Bible study guide.



© 2023 by Sharon Jaynes. All rights reserved.

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Comments 45

  1. Hi. Sharon Jaynes, I Am So Thankful For Your Messages That You Have Allowed God To Use You To Write. This Message About Hurdles Are Not Stop Signs. This One Really Got My Attention. I Have Faced So Many Hurdles Throughout My Life. But I Know One Thing For Sure That God Is In Control. I Truly Thank You For This Messages. I Can Now Keep Hoping And Praying And Knowing That These Hurdles Will Cause Me To Trust God More, Stay Strong And That With God Help I Will Over Come These Hurdles.

  2. Thank you, Sharon, for your wise words. I’m praying this one out and keeping it in front of me as I work on my Master’s degree (at the ripe old age of 66). And, I’m sharing it with the gals !

    1. Sharon – first let me thank you for today’s inspiration – Hurdles are not stop signs. As you stated in your message above, it’s our hesitation that sometimes stops us in our tracks, in spite of what God wants us to do. Thank you for that reminder – I needed it today.

      Debbie – good for you for working on your master’s at – as you say – the ripe old age of 66. Be proud of your accomplishments and my guess is, from experience, you will appreciate all the hard work and sacrifices you made to make that dream a success. I got a dual master’s with a 3.97 GPA when I was 63 and working 12-hour night shifts on a medical unit of our local hospital. It was hard, but very rewarding personally and professionally.

      Keep going and learning! Enjoy the journey God has put you on. Take care.

    2. Thank you for sharing this, Debbie! I just turned 60 and God has placed a desire on my heart that also requires further education. I have never been one to place much emphasize on age, but I have really struggled with whether I misunderstood God on this. I am so thankful for Sharon’s account of Gods faithfulness and the encouragement to keep moving forward in His calling.. Thank you both for sharing🩵

    3. I am writing a feedback to my second failed placement on my masters degree. All my colleagues have finished 3 months ago and I am still trying to finish. I was told I showed no autonomy and isn’t ready for practice. As I respond I feel weaker and more despondent. This message is another encouragement from the Lord that I must not listen to the evil report but press on and trust Him. I will and I take strength from His word. Thank you Sharon.

      1. Marie, Keep the faith, sister! You CAN do it through Christ who will give you all the strength you need to accomplish the task. I know it’s hard–I’ve been there, too. Don’t worry about other people’s timing. You just do you! Give thanks, give glory, then give it all you’ve got! You go, girl!

  3. My husband wants another restaurant. He is 68 years old and we don’t have the funds. We have had 3 other restaurants that did well but ended up failing after 5 years
    Need God’s direction and provision and peace

  4. I don’t know why God put me on this earth. Nothing works for me. I don’t know what I am here to do. I got into Real Estate and I cannot move forward. I don’t know if I should keep at it or quit. I’m not making money and it is expensive to renew license and insurance every year. I am struggling financially now and I am caretaker for my dad who has Dementia. I’m exhausted with life!!!!!!!

    1. Teri H,

      I understand the struggles of being the caretaker of a parent who has dementia and trying to work to met your financial needs. My saying was I eat, sleep, work and take care of my dad . The saying then turned into I eat, sleep, take care of my dad and try to get some work done. You are not alone and I will keep you in my prayers.

    2. Saying a prayer of perseverance and breakthrough for you. Our family has also dealt with dementia. IT’s a tough battle.
      Press on toward the goal for which Christ called you.

    3. Hi Teri.
      I am praying for you. I was my mother”s caregiver until recently when GOD opened doors and I was able to place her in assisted living. They (GOD) decreased the cost by $2,000,per month and I found soooo many more assistance options.
      There Also are so many support groups. Stay connected to God and I PROMISE HE WILL TAKE YOU THROUGH IT!🙏🙏

    4. Hi Teri.
      I am praying for you. I was my mother”s caregiver until recently when GOD opened doors and I was able to place her in assisted living. They (GOD) decreased the cost by $2,000,per month and I found soooo many more assistance options.
      There Also are so many support groups. Stay connected to God and I PROMISE HE WILL TAKE YOU THROUGH IT!🙏🙏

    5. Hi Teri, you may not be able to see it now, but God has His wonderful plan for you well designed and is waiting for you to simply trust Him. Take hold of that truth and don’t let go. Believe and trust that our Almighty King is in charge and nothing will vanquish that flame. Just hold on and trust that He will see you through. Perhaps this time is put aside for reflection and peace. Perhaps to be there for your dad at this time. Talk with a pastor or Christian friend or relative, but always go to God in prayer and listen to His still, small voice – He will guide you in the path in which you should go.

      Be blessed and take in His peace.


    6. I am lifting you up in prayer. Lord show Teri what direction to go in. Caregiving is a full-time job, unless you have help caring for your dad. Even if you choose to do it full-time, you need someone to give you a break. Dementia is tough and many with it end up needing professional care in a facility. You may want to be looking for a place, because the waiting lists can be long. Both of my parents had dementia near the end and a nursing home was the best place for them. Some people can stay at home, but you also have to consider if you live where home services are available (very little was available where my dad lived). If you are in the US and he has little money of his own, Medicaid will take over much of the payments in a nursing home, but there is paperwork to file in a timely manner.

      You didn’t say how long you have been doing Real Estate sales.

    7. Teri, you’re here because God chose you as His daughter, to bring glory and praise to His name and to one day join Him in glory. He put you here to live among those who are His people and those who are not, to work in a way that shows Him and His values to all around. He also made you someone who cares enough to care for your father. Someone who walks that path, one that is phenomenally difficult sometimes – and in it to hopefully find flashes of Christ as He was it beside you. And to inspire others to pray for you, for those also on the carer path, for those whose jobs aren’t fulfilling- that they may bring glory to Him wherever He leads them next.
      Don’t give up, yes you might need to change things, but don’t give up on you because our Savioyr hasn’t and never will.

    8. I am so sorry to hear about your pain of life and discouragement. God does have a plan for you. God will close many doors and open others if we ask and believe. Speak to God about your pain and discouragement. Pray for wisdom to know what to do next. When you pray do not doubt that he will answer you.
      You are a caretaker for your dad. That is a wonderful service. Possibly do some thing besides real estate at this time. Pray about next steps. Never doubt that you’re here for a reason. God loves you so much. Professional help or a Christian community needed for you right now. Search for that.

    9. Praying for you🙏
      My mother had dementia and it is a hard thing to go through. I don’t know how someone can get through it with God. Keep praying & believing in God.
      God is with you!!

  5. I pray that you will have joy in taking care of your dad, every small victory, feeding, redirecting, the smile and many thank you, he gives,embrace them, may the Lord open financial doors, may his peace be your portion.

  6. Thank you Sharon for this devotion this morning. It was quite timely and I am trusting God and asking Him for His wisdom and direction as I wait regarding a situation in my life. I’m praying that God’s grace and love will prevail as I trust in Him and that He will bring healing in His time.

  7. Thank you Sharon for the encouragement you give! I was reading the parable of the talents yesterday & realized I have been like the servant who hid the talent he had been given rather than investing it & using it for kingdom work. Your message today came at the perfect time! Thank you God, for Sharon’s willingness to be obedient in what she writes & to keep going even when discouragement comes along!

  8. Thank you for this answer to prayers. My son has not communicated with us
    my 1 1/2 years . Up till now I have prayed and prayed for safety and ever time I have prayer “Lord I just need to know he is alive” the Lord has sent a sign. Today I am sending him simple birthday greetings and an I love and miss you note. Not even sure I have the right address.. the letter in my hand ready to send then fear of rejection and doubt stepped in.. then I read your thoughts…. Letter is on its way 🙏🏼, J

  9. Good afternoon,
    I am so thankful for this devotion today. It was definitely what I needed to hear as I am facing some adversity with my employment. I will still trust God and keep moving forward.❤️

  10. Terri H, I so understand your frustration! I’m in a similar situation with my career. At 62, I’m one year into a career change that I know the Lord has been asking of me for years, but I’m so far away from where I need to. E and I’m tired. Wondering if the Lord said to the enemy, “Have you considered my servant Charmaine?” My finances are non-existent, all the bills are due and I have no customers in sight for the near future. Praying for faith to stay the course and for God’s faithful provision.

  11. Thank you, Sharon. This is a timely word for me. We have waited on God for 18 years for a home of our own. We own land and buildings and machinery galore but not a home. We have waited and pressed into God year after year as we eagerly await buying a homestead from a now 90 year old man. It has been hard to wait on Gods timing.
    Yesterday while visiting the farmer we rent from and bringing him supper I became discouraged by his negativity. I came home to a sink full of dishes, kids who need baths & bedtime and an empty bed (my hubby is deep in corn harvest). I said out loud, “I want to give up God on this dream. I want to be delivered. It’s too long a wait, it’s too disappointing, it’s feeling too much.”
    After a night of rest I feel better but this message today is another great encouragement to place my hope in the Lord. He sees. He knows. He hasn’t left and He is working out his plan in his timing. His promises never go unfulfilled.
    “Those who hope in him will not be put to shame.” Psalm 23:5

  12. Hi Sharon,
    Ty for your Devo .today…it encouraged me😊 to not loose hope,
    Quite a long time ago I may have bought an e-book of your book, “Take hold of the Faith you long for”
    If it is possible could you located that proof of purchase and resend that ebook to my email… my email account and information is all different
    Thank you again for your devotional,

  13. This one hit home for me. I have been praying for a few years now about starting or facilitating a Special Needs Parent Support Group in my area. I have hit some hurdles and have felt the Lord telling me to “wait”. It is SO hard to wait, but I am still seeing my dream/vision so I must continue waiting for HIS timing and not mine.

  14. Again your email came at such a timely manner. The hurdle I have is staying in my marriage to my husband who doesn’t believe. I have been praying for what feels like years thru tears and much heartache. I’ve been praying that my son will get more serious in his relationship with the Lord. I’ve been praying that I will hear from Him I know the direction and His will for my life. I continue to read my Bible alone pray alone and attend church alone. These hurdles make it so hard to keep running the race. I could use some prayers of encouragement anybody have a testimony of waiting for God to move in their lives and in their marriage? God Bless your ministry Sharon and everyone here going through the trials and obstacles.🙏✝️

  15. Hi Sharon, thank you so much for this devotional. Your words were an answer to prayer! I just had a conversation with the Lord about this very subject; and you hit every single point. Some trusted friends, whose opinions I value but whose faith often falters, have been doing their best to dissuade me from my calling; and your bullet points matched their comments verbatim! In my quiet time yesterday I even said, “Lord, please tell me if I heard You wrong. Are they right? Am I mistaken? Are these obstacles actually red flags showing me I’m going down the wrong road? Did I somehow veer off the path and out of Your will? I don’t want to sin against You. I want to obey You. Please clarify this for me and tell me if I heard You wrong. Thank You.” And sure enough, He did! Thank you for being so in tune with the Holy Spirit and for allowing Him to speak through you to us. May God continue to bless your ministry; and congratulations on 26 published books!!! You go, Girl! ❤️😇👏🏻

  16. Thank you Sharon! I feel God is punishing me and took me out of a ministry because of some misunderstandings. I still long to do it, but it has been a few years and not sure I can do it anymore but I really miss it. I’m sure those persons forgot about it by now. But I am holding on to it in my heart. I keep praying for God to let me know if I should return to it, or if he is moving me on. How will I know?

  17. First, Sharon. I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting you, personally. But, praise God, you were not discouraged from writing. OH MY GOODNESS! Your book ‘Praying for Your Child from Head to Toe’ is amazing! Thank you for your obedience to the Lord.
    Second, the Lord instructed me to fast and pray weekly in my home. I invited around 20 women. Few have attached, sometimes its only me. But the Lord instructed me, and I will obey regardless if it is only me. (But not really, the Holy Spirit and I are in agreement when I pray, Amen!) Thank you for your emails. Very encouraging.

  18. Thank you so much! I needed to read what you wrote along with all the comments. I’m old, losing my health and strength. I have no one to help. Thank you for reminding me of God’s love and care. You encourage me to keep going and trust him. Thank all of you and Jesus Christ!

  19. Thank you, Sharon,
    for this refresher message,

    I have been pushing and pressing more than ever, through the rejections. I really enjoyed reading this message and it has shifted my attitude. It is only a hurdle, yes! we can overcome. We are so Blessed!! Always stay in faith above all else.

  20. Thanks dear sharon this word has come at the right time, I conceived from home before getting married in church,and yet the families expectation was I must be married in church,many are wishing me bad since I didn’t fulfill their their expectations is like am in hell,amidst all this I believe God still has a plan for me, keep me in your prayers for my marriage,achild is gift and blessing from God,have blessed day.

  21. Thank you Sharon, I really needed to read this today. I am a grandmother who watches her grandchildren and I have been taking them to Bible Study Fellowship with me for years because they can attend a class and be learning what I am in my own class. This year has not started at all like my other years, we are in desperate need for children leaders and group leaders that being said I have had to bring my 8 month old grandson to class with me because they do not have enough children leaders. I have felt God pursuing me to step up and volunteer to be a group leader for sometime and finally applied and was accepted but I cannot start until my grandson can get into a room.
    I have questioned a lot did I hear God right? I know He has a plan for this obstacle and I need to wait patiently and continue praying and not give up.

  22. First Teri, God Bless and strengthen you. He put you here for such a time as this. God has a purpose and plan for your life. Nothing you’re going through is a surprise to Him nor can it alter His plan. He created you to Love you and as hard as it might be to understand that right now, just believe. Keep crying out to Him. He hears the faintest cry of His children. I will keep you lifted in prayer. I was caregiver to my mother and 2 years after God called her home, my father. At one point I didn’t think I could go on. As I look back, I can see God’s Hand over the entire situation. There was never any point when He wasn’t in complete control. Of course I couldn’t see that then. He sent help and gave me strength from places I least expected. I truly believe going through that opened my heart to encourage and minister to those who need compassion and encouragement as Caregivers. Today that person is you. Caregivers need care too! God is working. ALWAYS!!

  23. Sharon, Thank you for this timely and encouraging message. Praying Father God will uplift each one who has mentioned they need for His answer and touch. May He also fulfill and provide my special request for dental procedures that seem beyond my reach. God bless each one who has shared their heart’s greatest need.

  24. Hi Sharon Jaynes just wanted to thank you for all your incouragment and good advice.
    Sharon can I please ask for Prayer for my husband who is not a believer, I have been praying for him for the pasted years but he will not hear anything about my God. Now his having bad nightmares where he sometime acattack me and when I call out to him he knows nothing about what happens. Please help.

  25. I’ve been working on setting boundaries at the school where I teach. One of my classroom teachers keeps complaining to me about one of my 7th grade boys who just sits there doing nothing. I think God is nudging me to have another conversation with him and possibly his mom. I keep deflecting the parent call to the teacher, who tells me she’ll call, and set up a meeting if the parent even answers. I think it’s time for me to take the leap and reach out.

  26. I am in financial negotiations with a potential employer/startup; the sticking point is their tying my compensation to a partner’s commitment for funding, as a result having my paydays at least 30-45 days apart. This position would provide the opportunity for me to build a team within an organization – something I’ve done before and enjoy doing. I cannot afford to wait 45 days for a paycheck. When this opportunity came to me, I saw it as a way to build, to give back from my knowledge/experience, a way to truly glorify God in my day to day…by using gifts from God that I take for granted – my mind and my heart for growing/developing people. I’ve been frustrated with this process and have begun leaning on God for the other opportunity I have which would have me as a contractor in an opportunity that would be a starting point for my own consulting business in technology/business development. I believe either allows me to get to my endgame of glorifying God through service to others. I’m anxious mostly, worrying, etc. since I’ve been out of the job market for 9 months and want back in…

  27. Thank you for this encouragement. I am in the middle of a very tumultuous divorce from an abusive man, trying to fight for custody of our two children. I hear that a lot… “it’s never been done before”. “that’s impossible”, “most people have to settle for 50/50 time”. Early on, my kids came to me, and said, “mom, we need you to fight for us”. That was on the day I was ready to give up and settle for what everyone was telling me I would have to take anyway. But hearing them say that was an answer to prayer – like God was telling me, nope, don’t give up, I have a plan for you. Ten months later, I’m still here, fighting and seemingly getting nowhere. Still being forced to live in the same house with our abuser because I have no family or money. But I got this devotional in my inbox, just when I was praying and asking God what He was doing, where do I go from here, please make a way for us out of this situation. So thank you. I believe God speaks to us in subtle ways, and this was definitely an answer to prayer today. We just have to be open to be still and listen for His voice.

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