Here are four seasons of life every believer will go through…
1. Seasons of Mourning (Loss)
We all go through seasons of mourning. Out of all of the seasons of life, this is the most painful.
When we hear about mourning we usually correlate that with mourning over the loss of a loved one, but more often we will mourn over the disappointments of life and how things haven’t turned out how we would have liked them to. I have gone through several of those seasons throughout my life.
My first real experience with mourning was when my grandmother passed away. With my parents being in the ministry I was used to going to funerals and seeing others experience the loss of a loved one, but losing someone that I loved was a whole new experience.
After that I’ve gone back into seasons of mourning due to loss of friendships and relationships, when significant life plans have fallen through, when people I love walk away from their relationship with Christ, and when life just hasn’t gone the way that I thought it should. Sometimes I’ve mourned over things that didn’t even deserve to be mourned over.
It’s natural to go through seasons of mourning but that is not where God wants us to stay. When we mourn a heaviness comes over us and it can feel like what we are going through will never pass.
The enemy would like to get us during those times to turn our focus away from God and unto our problem.
You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy. (Psalm 30:11)
The beautiful thing is when we keep our focus on God He helps us to be able to keep everything in perspective—we may be facing a big problem but our God is bigger!
If you are in one of those seasons of mourning now take comfort in knowing that with God’s help it will only be a season and that He will bring you through to a place of joy and peace once again.
Revelation 21:4 promises us that there is a day coming that “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
2. Seasons of Joy (Cloud Nine)
Have you ever been in a season in your life where everything was falling into place? It seemed like as soon as you prayed for it, God gave it to you… and some things you didn’t even pray for, but He gave you those things too.
This is what I call “God showing out!”
This is one of the seasons of life that we just can’t get enough of.
But sometimes things are going so well that it’s a little scary. It feels too good to be true.
Sometimes, when we have experienced pain and hardship, it can be difficult to believe that everything we’ve prayed for is finally happening… And when they happen, we convince ourselves that they won’t last long. Because you’ve been in a dark place for so long, you feel like the light might go out at any time.
I’ve learned that you do yourself no good today by worrying about what could go wrong tomorrow.
The important thing to remember is that you made it through the storm before and you can make it through again. Each time you go through the storm, make it your goal to come out stronger than when you went in.
3. Seasons of Darkness (Storms)
Darkness is a period of time where God specifically strengthens our faith and teaches us to walk only by His Spirit, not by our flesh. It’s a time where God lovingly removes all our comfortable “support systems” in order to replace them with total and unshakable faith in Him.
A time where He leads us away from depending upon “self,” to depending totally upon Him.
It’s a time where He allows circumstances into our lives that darken our understanding, that negate our feelings and that put to confusion all our own plans and purposes.
Remember Isaiah 50:10, “Who among you fears the Lord and obeys the voice of his servant? Let him who walks in darkness and has no light trust in the name of the Lord and rely on his God.“
Notice something important here: this person not only fears the Lord, but he also obeys His voice. In other words, there is no disobedience or sin involved, and yet, this person still walks in darkness.
Although it’s hard for us to imagine that God, who is light, could ever dwell in darkness, the Bible tells us that at times God does dwell in the dark. This is His “secret place.” (Psalm 18:11) In 1 Kings 8:12, it says, “The Lord said that He would dwell in the thick darkness.” And in Exodus 20:21, Moses approached “the thick darkness where God was.” The Bible tells us that God not only “forms the light,” but He also “creates the darkness.” (Isaiah 45:7)
This is simply saying that the “things of God” are far beyond the human eye and the human ear. They are “dark” to us, because they are beyond our human understanding.
4. Seasons of Waiting (Transition)
We all experience seasons of waiting. During those periods, we have a choice: we can feel sorry for ourselves and allow fear and frustration to control us, or we can trust God and look for what he is doing in our lives while we wait.
Although none of us would choose seasons of waiting, God can use them to help us learn and grow, if we are perceptive and receptive.
I’ve found that in seasons of waiting and uncertainty it’s easy to form our own theology about what God will or won’t do. We tend to look at our current experience and form our own beliefs rather than looking to God and His Word, which never changes.
Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord! (Psalm 27:14)
Seasons of waiting reveal who or what we trust. Do we lean on our own understanding or do we fully trust in The Lord? (Proverbs 3:5-6)
It’s one thing to say you trust God and something else to actually do it. Some days the only way I could trust was to repeat, “Lord, I trust you.”
Probably the best way I strengthened my trust muscles was to immerse myself in the Word.
We all have expectations about how we think our lives will go, but we have no guarantee things will happen according to our plans or expectations.
Rarely, if ever, is our timing God’s timing. Life crises never come at a convenient time and rarely resolve in a timeframe of our choosing. God’s ways, and his timing, are far different from our own. This is important to remember when going through the seasons of life.