Hurdles Are Not Your Stop Signs

Sharon JaynesTake Hold of the Faith You Long For 32 Comments

Hurdles are not Stop Signs

Have you ever struggled with rejection? That’s almost a silly question. I think we all have. I remember when I opened the letter and read words of rejection. Thanks, but no thanks.

Several months prior, I had sent my first book proposal off to a publisher. 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.”

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)

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,” the other 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? Girlfriend, you are no grasshopper.

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-five published books later, I often look at it and smile.

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

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 one thing that you did not give up on when you hit a roadblock? What was the outcome?

Paul wrote, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9 NIV). What is your harvest you are tending right now?

Today’s devotion was adapted from my book, Take Hold of the Faith You Long For: Let Go, Move Forward, Live Bold. Join me as I share  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.






© 2022 by Sharon Jaynes. All rights reserved.

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Comments 32

  1. What an encouraging message. We tend to give up so easily and listen to the naysayers so quickly. Lord help us stay focused and confident in the tasks you give us.
    Bless you and your gift of writing Sharon!

  2. I’m sitting here on side of the road with a flat tire commuting from VA to MD early morning awaiting a tow to get a new tire….pondering…& being thankful that I’m not stuck & help is in the way..nothing is a surprise to Our Father.

  3. This is so good! Thank you so much! We have a green light until God gives us a red! I don’t want to be like the children of Israel that missed seeing the Promised Land! If I keep my eyes on Him there is no way I can miss it (Him)!

  4. Standing in faith and trusting the promises the Lord spoke over me for a God fearing husband and equally yoked marriage, that my children will then see what love is truly like and reap the benefits for their blessings to come in their own personal lives as well!!

  5. Awe this was such wonderful timing to also remind us that it is never our will but his as well as our timing!
    I also went through publishing nightmares and even dumped thousands of dollars with a company to pull out last minute as the demand for more money kept coming. I went l on to self publish my own “kindness quest” and have given away close to 1000 copies throughout our community. My husband laughs at my “sales” pitch… ha
    Would love to send y’all a copy!
    I have now been working on a second book and once again torturing myself with publishing. Now i receive so many so called publishers that want my money. Been praying for an answer on this one! Until then, i will keep writing!
    Thanks for the encouragement today

  6. I’m happy you didn’t stop trying! I have read many of your books and love them all. Thank you for this message today. You are awesome!

  7. This, as usual with God, is a timely message for me. I am in the midst of a dark time and I am wondering if I heard God right and if I am truly where He wants me. The hurdles are high and very close together making it hard for me to navigate. I need more space, more steps in between to get to the next one. Work, finances, family and friends rejecting me… I can hardly lift my feet to walk let alone run. But I know what looks impossible for me is possible for God! Please pray for me to remove the “I’m” from the word impossible and trust that God, who makes all things possible has not forgotten me and will show me where to place my feet… in Jesus’s name. Amen

  8. God has called me to come off opioids that I have been in since I was 24, I am about to turn 46.
    This has been a battle like nothing I have ever walked before. The enemy has been coming at me hard! I have wanted to give up so many times, yet the Holy Spirit has been my cheerleader, sending me words of encouragement through my friends and family. It’s like they knew exactly what my heart, soul and mind needed to hear to pull out of the deep pit of despair.
    I am still battling the mental and physical hold the pills had on me but everyday I have seen and felt an improvement. I know God knows what He is doing, for His plans are so much better than anything I could think of for myself. .
    Hang on to Gods promises! You can do anything with God!

  9. I’m struggling with where to go for my career. I have applied for so many jobs and have taken so many certification tests. I have failed or been rejected. I keep thinking about Jeremiah 29:11. I know God has a plan for me. I just need to be patient. Thanks. God bless.

  10. Sharon: I’m a guy, and I know you write and post mainly for gals, but I love the thoughts expressed in your writings. Perhaps it is because I was raised and continually prayed for by a Bible believing, Jesus loving Christian mother and grandmother and aunts. Although our God is scripturally, historically and traditionally referred to as masculine, having experienced the purest love from grandmother, mother, I fully embrace the motherhood of God.

    Enough about me! My sincere thanks to you for your post on hurdles NOT being stop signs. I am sure that it is ministering to many.

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  11. I can identify with this. It is what I am going thru right now. My employer does not want to promote me even though there is no applicant in the company that has my background. I am praying for another job since God seems to be telling me I need to elsewhere and I am fine with this.

  12. God is calling me to keep pressing forward in Arizona and don’t look for the easy way out by going back to Texas.
    I will trust HIM with my finances to provide all that my family needs. I will Trust HIM to keep my granddaughter safe.

  13. We are using this book for our Ladies Bible Study. It is so good, it has touched so many areas that each one of us are dealing with in our lives. A huge Thank You Sharon….and glory to God for the unique gifts He has given to you.!!

  14. I have written a book about my redemption story and feel strongly that God had me pen it. I did self-publishing because I did not want to be rejected. Pray for me that I would find ways to share my story.
    “Can Anybody See Me” by Anne Graves

  15. I never thought of those Biblical examples that way before-thank you! I have felt like I hit road blocks in praying for my daughter, trying to pray ‘the right way’, reading & being told different ways to pray & believe, not to keep praying but just once & then believe it’s done but then reading several of Jesus’ admonishments to “keep on praying”, I started feeling blocked by confusion & wasn’t sure what or how to pray. Finally a friend shared her thoughts that because God wants to have a relationship with us, talking to Him (praying) about my child & my concerns about her isn’t about my faith or belief that He is acting on her behalf, it is about communicating with my Almighty God, Redeemer, Defender, Counselor, Father who loves me & loves my daughter even more than I do. That released my confusion. Yes, I believe He is working in her life and in my life & that it is ok for me to share my thoughts & feelings & concerns with Him – my Almighty, Victorious God, who hears my prayers & is at work in my life & in my daughter’s life!

    On another note, I started helping as a volunteer in a new situation and I was getting very upset because I felt like I was doing a lot of work & it was taking up lots of my time but what I thought should be happening wasn’t, which really felt like a road block & I just wanted to give up. I finally realized that I was taking on God’s responsibility, so when I asked for His guidance & leadership, things started happening on His time table & He filled me with His amazing peace about it all. Praise the Lord for His amazing love and the fact that He is in the details of everything!

  16. I guess I don’t know if I really ever hear from God
    I never feel strongly one way or another when asking for his guidance & path that he has told me to do something
    So I always look for a positive sign that he is there, an open door, a kind gesture
    A hurdle would just send me back to day one & starting over
    I don’t feel him saying let’s do this hurdle together
    I would go
    I have prayed so many times to hear him
    I have morning daily time with him & I throughly enjoy learning from him & the Bible & my God email that I only allow daily devotionals on no other clutter
    So most days I just question myself & I try hard not to talk negatively to myself but I do wonder what is wrong with me?

    1. Chrissy, I highly recommend Brant Hansens book “ Misfits” despite its title it’s a very encouraging book that may help you see that what you are feeling is very common but it doesn’t mean God isn’t right there beside, behind and before you

  17. Sharon,
    Thank you. Once again, your words have provided encouragement and inspired hope! Your writing style feels very much like an older sister or favorite aunt sitting with a cup of coffee and sharing wisdom.
    While I’m writing, I’ll also include a thank you for creating audiobooks for many of your books. This busy momma doesn’t have much time to quietly sit and read (beyond Dr. Seuss 🙂 ), but I enjoy listening as I go about my work, drive in the car, or walk.
    Your blog today really touched me as I have written a book proposal and it has yet to be accepted. In the publishing world, nobody knows who I am, yet God does, so I am going to continue to trust that He will get my book published in His time & for His glory.
    Blessings to you today Sharon, I am so grateful for your ministry & encouragement. Thank you for not allowing hurdles to stop you!

  18. Thanks so much for your devotional. I have been going through cancer treatments and the Lord is healing me day by day. I know now that the illness is not a stop sign but an opportunity for me to share the wonderful, healing graces of God. Bless you.

  19. My husband left me 12 years ago. God has promised to restore our marriage and our family. Many people, including Christians think that I am crazy for believing. God said it, his word says it, and I believe it.

  20. What a beautiful devotion Sharon. I so needed to hear this and I don’t want to be that generation of the Israelites who missed the promised land but I do tend to give up sometimes when I’m feeling weak and not up to what God has planned for me. Thank you for your insight and the Scripture readings. I will post these around my house.

    Blessings to you.

  21. So explain to me why when we do follow what we believe god called us to do (adoption) and everything in life goes to hell after that. Why does god turn his back and abandon me and leave me beaten, defeated, rejected, crushed and destroyed. God bailed on me! So has my husband. I didn’t ask for an easy life, but I also didn’t ask for a soul-crushing one, either. I have nothing left to give god or anyone else anymore.

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      I can promise you, He has not abandoned you. It might feel that way, but He has not. I think that the book, When You Don’t Like Your Story might be a big help.

  22. Been reading article after article and they are definitely God speaking to me so loud so that I don’t miss Him. It feels like my troubles won’t end and my expectations are being cut short. But, what I have read so far on this blog is helping me to remove my focus from the lies and the sad realities in front of me and focus on the Lord and His truth. This question “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?” really hit home. There are so many things I knew God called me to do and paths He has marked out for me, but wow, it has been great oppositions, failures, crazy delays and many unhappy days that I wonder if I am in alignment with my Father’s will, and yes, whether I didn’t hear Him well. I ask myself, “God blesses without adding any sorrow, why does my testimony feel like a nightmare that would never end?” Then these words came to my mind, “Your testimony is not being marred, rather, all these events are there in preparation for the biggest miracle yet to come.” It’s hard to see my promised land, but I will get there in Jesus’ name. God bless you Woman of God. More grace, wisdom, understanding and anointing to you in Jesus’ name.

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