Life is full of seasons.
Seasons of health.
Seasons of sickness.
Seasons of pressure.
Seasons of ease.
Seasons of excitement.
Seasons of disappointment.
Seasons of joy.
Seasons of despair.
Seasons of contentment.
Seasons of frustration.
These seasons, or cycles, of good and bad perpetuate in my life. And I’m starting to see that it’s the case for others as well.
Seasons that cultivate happiness and joy are a wonderful part of life.
I’ve experienced seasons where I felt content in the Lord, not needing anything but Him. Feeling full of peace and free from anxiety…
But as soon as I start to experience the consistency of a season of contentment, God allows difficulties into my life.
Why would God do that?
Why would God allow me to be jolted out of a season of contentment?
Wouldn’t He want me to remain content in Him?
It’s got me thinking…
There must be something in my season of contentment that is not pleasing to God.
There must be something in me that God needs to change.
And that can only be done through allowing difficulties into my life.
Thus, God ushers me into a more challenging season.
Philippians 1:6 says this:
“I am sure of this, that He who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
God is doing a work in you and I.
And that involves work in our hearts, souls, and minds because those are the parts of us that controls us.
So maybe difficult seasons are necessary to overall contentment, because God is maturing my heart, soul and mind.
Because I discover significantly more about God, about myself, about others, and about the world when I’m in a season of difficulty than I do in a season of temporal contentment.
God wants me to reach eternal contentment…in Him. And that is not possible now. But one day it will be. When we see Christ, we will have eternal, permanent contentment in the Lord and His work in us will be complete (Revelation 21-22).
So seasons are necessary.
But it’s hard to transition out of one season to the next.
Whether it’s transitioning to a season that’s comforting or transitioning to a season that’s challenging, the change in itself can frighten me.
*If I’ve been experiencing a season of happiness and contentment… and then I enter into a season of trials… I can get really overwhelmed and discouraged in that transition…
It takes me a while to receive what God is wanting to teach me and be happy about it, because of my own fleshly disappointment about what’s not going my way.
*If I’ve been experiencing a season of difficulty and depression… then I enter into a season of relief and comfort from the Lord… I can feel very skeptical and cynical at first…
It takes me a while to receive God’s invitation to find rest in Him, because of my own fleshly disbelief that anything good could happen now.
So the transition between seasons of life can almost be the hardest part in our growth with the Lord.
Because our flesh comes out in that moment of uncertainty and confusion.
And our trust in God is tested.
And we really have to depend on Him by the Spirit of God.
Romans 8:6 is one of my favorite verses. It says this,
“For the mind-set of the flesh is death, but the mind-set of the Spirit is life and peace.”
And as we transition into a new season, we are forced to cling to the Holy Spirit for comfort and guidance because we have no way of knowing where God is taking us.
So it’s in the transition that we go to a deeper level with God.
Doesn’t matter if it’s a good season/bad season transition, or a bad season/good season transition…
Both seasonal transitions test our faith in God.
Both test our allegiance to Him.
And in the transition God teaches us something new and remarkable that we never would have been able to learn had we not been in that initial season to begin with.
Because as we look back, we gain something like 20/20 vision and our former season of life all the sudden makes sense and becomes meaningful.
It becomes necessary.
So seasons of life are necessary.
Seasons of life are unavoidable.
We cannot remain in one season of life forever.
It’s inevitable that things will change.
So how do we deal, though, in the middle of a less than favorable season?
Sure, everyone loves the season of peace and blessings…
But how do we cope in a season of difficulty?
How do we make it until we get out?
Maybe it’s not about “making it until we get out.”
Maybe it’s about letting that season run its course.
And letting God be in control of it.
As long as He wants it to last.
I’m trying to ask the Lord from now on to reveal beauty to me within a season of difficulty.
For me I’ve been experiencing a very low season of life, which has got me thinking a lot about the ups and downs we face.
It’s been a season of discouragement, crisis of purpose, and questions of why am I here. Confusion about what God is doing plagues me almost every day. And I’ve never been more restless in my relationship with the Lord as I have in the past few months. Anxiety and pressure of everything in my life made me feel so overwhelmed that I started skipping classes. I didn’t know how to handle the way I was feeling. And I don’t like feeling that way. I don’t like feeling out of control of myself and my emotions. It got so bad that by October I stopped going to all my classes but 1. I stopped turning in my assignments. I wanted to drop out. I didn’t want to be in seminary anymore. And I will have to face the consequences of that. So I decided to change my program but I still feel discouraged about it. I just don’t know what God wants from me.
But God has used this time to really grow my dependency on Him in a way that I’ve never experienced before.
God needed to work on my soul in a lot of areas.
God needed to rip a lot of things out of me and make me deal with issues.
God needed to humble me.
God needed to remind me who He is to me.
God needed to show me how futile my life is in light of His holiness.
God needed to teach me a lot.
And I’m very thankful for His grace on me in that. But it’s hard experiencing a low season.
I feel like a complete failure.
And I have no idea what I’m supposed to do with my life. Now I fear that this season will never end yet I’m scared about what the next season may bring. I don’t really know how to feel. I have no idea what God is doing.
Yet I believe God allowed this season in my life for a purpose.
I’m very thankful for what He’s taught me.
So I’m not going to keep exhausting myself trying to escape this season anymore. I need to let God leave me in the place He wants me for however long He wants. For I know that He is changing my heart for the better. And I pray He will strengthen me in the moments I’m weak.
I’m seeing now how God weaves together all the seasons of life we experience to grow us, humble us, prepare us, and pour out wisdom into our lives.
And through that, we will start to appreciate the difficult seasons.
For we learn so much more in the difficult season than we do in the easy season.
God is so smart to paint seasons here in this world.
It’s beautiful in nature.
But it’s more beautiful reflected in our lives.
Things grow in season…
die in season…
regenerate in season…
bloom in season…
…So it is with the way God cultivates the hearts of His people.
John chapter 15 says if we remain in Christ, we will bear fruit in season.
In SEASON. Not before season. Not after season. But IN season.
And each season has certain fruit God wants to produce in you.
Whether it’s humility, openness, confidence, trust, faith, generosity, discipline, surrender, etc…
…different seasons bring along unique experiences, lessons and challenges that God uses to produce fruit in us.
Despite your season of life, you will be GLAD once you see how God has changed you for the better!
So if you are discouraged right now in a difficult season, know that it won’t last forever.
Something is dying, yes, but He will regenerate the seed He planted.
God is good at growing things.
For He is the One in charge of seasons. He is in charge of everything. And His desire is to grow you and make you into His image.
I pray for you that God would remind you how actively involved He is in your life and how intentional He is about growing you into His beautiful son or daughter. I pray that you would find meaning in whatever season you are in. I pray we would all ask God to reveal to us boldly by His Spirit all that He is doing in our lives to implant wisdom and prepare us for what’s next. May we find joy in all the various seasons of life. For our God is at work. And He is good at what He does. Thank You, God, for Your kindness to move in our lives.
“We all, with unveiled faces, are looking as in a mirror at the glory of the Lord and are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory; this is from the Lord who is the Spirit.”
-2 Corinthians 3:18-
Questions for Today:
- What does God want to teach me in this season of life I’m in right now?
- How does God use seasons in our lives to grow us in maturity? to prepare us?
- As I look back on my life, how do I see God’s hand at work through various seasons of my past?
- Why is it difficult to transition between one season to the next?
- How can I appreciate the seasons of life that God allows into my life?
“Shine A Light” by Elevation Worship