King Solomon was a knowledgeable man who thought a lot about the way life goes. He wrote these words in Ecclesiastes 3.
To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven:
2 A time to be born,
And a time to die;
A time to plant,
And a time to pluck what is planted;
3 A time to kill,
And a time to heal;
A time to break down,
And a time to build up;
4 A time to weep,
And a time to laugh;
A time to mourn,
And a time to dance;
5 A time to cast away stones,
And a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace,
And a time to refrain from embracing;
6 A time to gain,
And a time to lose;
A time to keep,
And a time to throw away;
7 A time to tear,
And a time to sew;
A time to keep silence,
And a time to speak;
8 A time to love,
And a time to hate;
A time of war,
And a time of peace.
The God-Given Task
9 What profit has the worker from that in which he labors? 10 I have seen the God-given task with which the sons of men are to be occupied. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.
We all experience change and transition in life. Sometimes life is exciting, dynamic, and we feel on top of the world. At other times we just want to go away and escape the situation – as King David said, “Oh that I could fly away with wings like a dove”.
We must understand the seasons. If we do not understand that there are seasons in life, we may draw the wrong conclusions about what is happening in our lives, or the reasons for it.
God has a plan and a purpose to make your life beautiful. God has us in a process. We can’t see the scope of God’s work from beginning to end. We are short sighted.
In tough times where health, money, friends, marriage is not looking good we may wonder what is going on. But God makes US beautiful through all the trials, circumstances in life. It is during the tough seasons that we often grow the most in our character. It is difficult to form outstanding character in seasons of pure prosperity. This is one reason why God ordains seasons where we have to fight, where things do not come easily.
Here are some examples of seasons
Being single and wanting to be married – for most people its only a season.
There can be seasons of study, unemployment and other seasons of prosperity where work is abundant.
All of these things can be in seasons.
If you try to hang onto something that is in the past, it can turn it sour.
Don’t try to push something in the wrong season. We mustn’t look back all the time wishing for our favourite season of the past to return. Instead we must forget what lies behind and push forward to what lies ahead.
Here are some things that are good to know about seasons.
1. No matter what season you are in, no season lasts forever.
“This too shall pass”. Change is always on its way. Like a coin with two sides, life has a way of changing.
Good seasons come and go, as do bad seasons.
Bad seasons do not last forever.
e.g. if you are heart-broken due to a failed relationship, you may
Good seasons of external blessing do not last forever in this life.
In Ps 30:6, King David said:
“Now in my prosperity I said, “I shall never be moved.”
Good seasons of prosperity do not last forever.The Psalms teach us that good times and bad times go.
2. Change of seasons is not a sign that you are good or bad person
When bad things happen its not a sign that you are a bad person. Its just a sign that bad things are happening.
Bad things do happen to good people. Take Job for example. He had good seasons, but he is remembered for the terrible time of oppression and loss he faced. Yet he was a righteous man. Do not assume that you are worse than others if you suffer loss or go through a trial.
Genesis 8:22 says, “As long as the earth remains, there will be springtime and harvest, winter and summer, day and night.” There are going to be seasons until Jesus returns and maybe beyond.
Don’t read too much into negative things that happen. Stuff happens in life.
3. Never let the season you are in define who you are.
Don’t change what you believe according to what season you are in. People often bad made decisions in tough seasons. When you are in a challenging or difficult season, don’t do too much. Be careful what meaning you give things in the tough seasons of God.
In the life of Joseph in the Book of Genesis, we see that the season of prosperity will always be preceded by pits and prison. Character is developed in the pits and prisons.
God’s plans don’t change just because seasons do.
God’s plan for Joseph to be a great ruler never changed because he was put in the pit or in the prison.
God is still with you whether you are in a pit, prison or a palace.
4. Most seasons are followed by opposite seasons.
We don’t control everything in life. There are a lot of things we can’t control.
Life has a way of popping up with different things.
KEEP THE DREAM IN YOUR HEART AT ALL TIMES. Don’t give up your God-given dreams because your cirumstances have turned sour. You don’t know what God can do.
5. We need to build consistency in every season
Paul told Timothy: “Preach the word of God, be instant in season and out of season.”
Young preachers don’t always understand the seasons. There will be times when things go well in church life and ministry, and other times of incredible hardship and transition.
Wherever there are people there is going to be problems. Just expect it.
Be patient, patiently rebuke, encourage and give good teaching consistently. Give good teaching no matter what the season. It may be a season of harvest, or a season of ploughing and sowing. Doing what is required now will enable you to benefit during the harvest season.
Do the work that the season you are in requires.
Farmers do different work in different seasons.
There are times for planting, resting, watering, harvesting.
There is a lot of preparatory work required in order to reap a harvest.
Marriages also go through seasons.
Work through the season you are in.
Prov 20:4 A sluggard does not plow in season. So when the harvest time comes he looks but finds nothing.
We need to do the work that corresponds to the season.
6. Learn from every season that you are in
Every season has lessons of life for us.
In Joseph’s life, the plan of God was for him to rule, but before he ruled he was ruled over.
What I am learning now will help me be wiser when I next go through this season, or it will be useful when I have a friend that goes through this season. You can learn things in your dark seasons that enable you to minister hope and stability to others who will face these kinds of things in the future. So don’t despair if there are trials. God is with you in it, and will bring you through.
7. Keep the Right Season in your Heart no Matter the Outside Season
Its only the water thats on the inside of the boat that causes danger, not the water outside the boat.
Even if there is conflict, trouble in the exterior, GUARD YOUR HEART. Our heart condition greatly influences the course and situations of our life. I believe this is because God crafts circumstances according to the lessons we need to learn.
We can’t control what happens around us, but we can control what happens inside. You can’t control how people treat you, but you can control how you respond to what they do.
8. Prepare for the Next Season
“Farmers who wait for perfect weather never plant. If they watch every cloud, they never harvest.” Ecc 11:4
When things are tough, do what you know you need to do.
You can have financial loss along the path of doing God’s will, but God can turn it around.
Prepare for the time when the favourable wins will blow again.
Don’t resign yourself to something.
Have a sense of fight. Don’t allow the season to make you resign to whatever is happening.
9. God is at Work in Every Season
The Lord was with Joseph in Potiphar’s house. The Lord blessed him and favored him.
If you are a favored one you are favored no matter where you are.
There are seasons of fruitfulness and there are also seasons of hard hard labor.
Farmers keep planting even if they lose a whole year’s work due to events in nature, like floods or droughts.
We can be confident that God is working things out for our good no matter how things are going in our external world. God’s main purpose is to prepare and form us for eternity, to conform us to the image of Jesus Christ. When we understand that, we can understand that we are not going to have easy seasons all the time. Even the blessed man of Psalm 1 who meditates on the world bears fruit “in its season” (Ps 1:1-3). Whether we see fruit in our current season or not, God is still at work, preparing something good for us.
Praise the Lord!