Enduring the Seasons of Life

Enduring the Seasons of Life

Enduring the Seasons of Life

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: …I have seen the burden God has laid on men. He has made everything beautiful in its time. 

Ecclesiastes 3:1, 10-11 NIV

Living in Michigan I’ve come to understand that seasons are inevitable. Whether I like it or not, one day the wind will shift and the temperature will drop and a new season will blow in and overtake the old. Knowing these seasonal changes are a fact of life, I’ve learned to prepare—to adjust and adapt with each turning season. I’ve also learned that while season are certain, they are not final.

As it is in nature, so it is in life.

Life is filled with various seasons. More than a stagnant succession of sameness, life is an ever-changing, ever moving journey.

Some of life’s seasons are enjoyable, anticipated, even relished. Others are not. Some seasons are planned for, long awaited and dreamed of. And still, some seasons come abruptly and unexpectedly. They can be painful and difficult, dry and tiresome.

Ecclesiastes 3 reminds us that there are times and seasons of every kind.

Seasons of:

  • life and death
  • work and rest
  • wounding and healing
  • tearing down and building up
  • sorrow and joy
  • hatred and love
  • sickness and health
  • warfare and peace
  • plenty and want
  • frustration and fulfillment

Whatever season of life we are in however, whatever weather we must endure, there’s a promise from God—a promise of beauty. For God’s Word says, He has made everything beautiful in his time.

But what do we do until beauty comes? How do we endure painful and difficult seasons?

By approaching each season with the following attitudes, while trusting in the promise of Romans 8:28, “All things work together for our good,” we can do more than survive in life’s arduous seasons. We can thrive.

What to Do In Life’s Seasons:

1.     Delight in God

Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers. Psalm 1:1-3 NIV

If we want to bear good fruit in our life regardless of what climate we’re in, we must stay faithful to God. In difficult seasons or seasons of waiting, we’re often tempted to take matters into our own hands and stray from the teachings of Jesus. In those trying, and often confusing times, however, if we cling by faith to the Word of God and stand, trusting him in all things, we will see certain victory. The Lord is faithful and he will not fail us.

Instead of wringing our hands and asking, “How long, God,” why not delight ourselves in the Lord? If we meditate on God’s Word, talk to Jesus, and fill our heart with ‘whatsoever things are true, pure, and praiseworthy,’ as Philippians suggest, we’ll find ourselves enveloped in God’s transcending peace.

2.     Learn Contentment’s Secret

What’s your attitude about the season you’re in? Sometimes our seasons of trial don’t change until our attitude does.

Bible teacher and author, Charles Swindoll says, “I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it…. And so it is with you; we are in       charge of our attitudes.”

Our attitude makes all the difference. In fact, we can determine the course of our life based on how we navigate our attitudes. When our focus is positive and God-centered, trusting and praising him, while refusing the spirit of despair, we will overcome.

Instead of discontentment, equip yourself with a mind-set prepared to live each season to the fullest. Extract every lesson, truth, and bit of wisdom possible from the season you are in. God won’t waste anything. He’ll use it in your life to shape and mold you.

3.     Endure with Joy

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily hinders our progress. And let us run with endurance the race that God has set before us. 

Romans 12:1 

In demanding and stressful seasons, don’t give up. We must press on and endure as soldiers of Jesus Christ.

Endurance is the ability to keep pressing on, without growing weary.

It’s stamina, forbearance, courage, fortitude, durability, and ability to stand.

But Biblical endurance is more than just being the last man to stand.  Derived from the Greek word “Hupomone” which means cheerful endurance, or hopeful waiting,Biblical Endurance speaks to our disposition in waiting as much as it does to the ability to wait.  It’s more than just making it across the finish line, it’s the outlook we maintain while we run the race. In other words, we have to endure with joy, to claim victory in tough seasons.

In “The Choice” by Max Lucado, he says,  “I choose joy . . .I will invite my God to be the God of circumstance. I will refuse the temptation to be cynical . . . the tool of the lazy thinker. I will refuse to see people as anything less than human beings, created by God. I will refuse to see any problem as anything less than an opportunity to see God.”

  1. Live in Eager Expectation

I will continue to rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and the help given by the Spirit of Jesus Christ, what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance. I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage… Philippians 1:18b-22 NIV

Paul basically said, “I live in eager expectation and hope.”

Eager expectation is a powerful attitude that believes that God not only can change our circumstances, but he will.  It’s a mind-set filled with compelling confidence, trust, expectation, optimism, and assurance in Christ. Confident expectation won’t allow us to give up our dream, or turn loose of our hope, but instead calls us to a deeper level of faith.

If we endeavor to cultivate these powerful mind-sets in each season of life, I believe we will discover that we’ve not only “somehow” made it through tough times, but we have “victoriously” made it through our season of trial, and we are stronger for it.

Whatever you are facing today, remember your promise of beauty. God is working on your behalf and he will not fail you!

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