If you examined your life right now, what season would you say you are currently experiencing? Are you in a dry season, waiting-for-something season, grinding season, tests-and-trials-at-nearly-every-turn season, or spiritual warfare season? The list could go on and on. Maybe you’re in a happy season, and all is well. Sometimes it’s difficult to recognizing the season of life we’re in, and it can be even more difficult to know how to live fully in Christ during it.
In a natural sense, we know that seasons change. There’s winter, spring, summer, and fall. Just like the natural seasons change, so do the seasons in our lives.
The Bible tells us in Ecclesiastes 3:1, “For everything there is a season.” It also tells us in Ecclesiastes 3:11, “[God] has made everything beautiful in its time.”
The first step to flourishing in any spiritual season is recognizing which one you’re in. Here are six common seasons of life. Which one describes your life?
1. The Dry Season
This is no doubt a tough season. It’s when God is quiet, and you can’t hear His voice or sense His presence as you once did. In a dry season, God seems very distant. I’ve lived through a dry season various times in my life, and I know how hard this one can be. For Christians, a season of spiritual dryness can seem completely jarring. Suddenly your life experience doesn’t line up with what you know to be true about God. If God guides His children, why can’t I sense it? If He cares, why don’t I feel it?
I believe the keys in getting through this challenging season is: (1) Realize that you are in it, and (2) Press through it – draw close to God despite how far away He feels. Don’t wither up. Continue reading His Word. But also talk to Him, even though He’s quiet. Because He is there. He hasn’t left.
Why am I in a dry season?
Scott Slayton said this about reasons behind the season in his article, “What to Do When You are in a Spiritual Dry Spell.”
“This kind of spiritual dry spell can come after walking through difficulties, spending time in half-heartedness or sin, or simply getting stuck in rut.”
In this season, it’s good to examine your life and check to see if there’s any heart issue or unconfessed sin. If you discover it: confess it to God and repent because, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness,” 1 John 1:9.
And I’ll tell you one more thing about dry seasons: they don’t last forever. This season will change. Just keep the faith, keep trusting Him, keep going to church, keep praising and worshiping God even when it’s hard and confusing. The rain is coming.
2. The Waiting Season
Let me kick this one off by saying, “Waiting is NOT easy!” If you’re there now and it’s hard, take heart.
Psalm 37:7 says, “Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act.”
Whether you’re waiting for a godly husband, for a difficult circumstance to change, or for God to finally fulfill a promise; the waiting season can range from mildly annoying to maddening.
We know from the story of Joseph in Exodus that God leverages waiting seasons for his glory and for our good. And we know from Abraham’s story in Genesis that waiting might last a very long time. But we also know from Hannah’s story that pouring your heart out to God and waiting on Him is totally worth it.
In your season of waiting, trust that God is pruning you. He’s chiseling away what’s not needed for the next season. He’s making you ready, so let Him work however long it takes.
Why does God make me wait?
This season, like the others, will one day be over. But a time of waiting is fairly guaranteed to happen again in life. Betsy Childs Howard said this about waiting well in her article, “When You Just Want to Leave the School of Waiting.”
“You see, for God, the goal of this [season] is not that I should learn my lesson so that I don’t have to wait anymore. God wants me to learn how to wait so that I can wait well, even if my waiting continues for the rest of my life. While my plan is to keep a chipper attitude and show God that I’m a good student, so he will bring my waiting to a close, God wants something even better for me. Rather than end my waiting, he wants to bless my waiting.”
Even while you’re waiting for God’s blessing, He is ready to bless you with the gift of himself.
Keep the faith, don’t doubt God’s plans and goodness, and wait with expectancy. David cried out to God in Psalm 5:3, “Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly.” God is listening and knows exactly where you are. Hang in there. God has not forgotten you.
3. The Grinding Season
This is also known as: The Busy Season. This is the, “I don’t have enough time to get everything done!” time in life. Sometimes we have big projects or little people that need more of our time than in other seasons. I’m in this season right now as I write this article.
Busyness is becoming a value in modern American culture, but it is not something Christians should chase. If you find yourself in a busy season, chase after God. The key to succeeding in this time is seeking God for direction the moment your feet hit the floor in the morning. Recognize and organize what needs to get done, then plow through those priorities. Attacking your priorities first will also help alleviate undue stress.
“In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him,” Psalm 95:4.
The whole world does not rest in your hands – it rests in God’s hands. Pace yourself and your tasks. Breathe. Pray. Take a lunch break. Then carry on in your grind and press through with the strength God gives you. Rely on the Holy Spirit to lead and help you.
4. The Tests & Trials Season
If you’re going through some hard times in this season, know that God is with you in the midst of it all. He’s totally at work. I know it’s hard when you’re in the middle of it, and you might not even understand what you’re going through or why. But I want to encourage you that God knows, and in due time, all will be revealed. In the meantime, don’t give up or get tired of doing good.
“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.
If you need comfort, let God comfort you. If you need strength beyond yourself, let Him strengthen you. If you need wisdom, ask and the Bible promises that it will be given to you (James 1:5). As hard as the tests and trials may be, allow God to be God. Allow Him to do the supernatural work that only He can do. Allow Him to strengthen and increase your faith in this season of hardship or affliction.
Fix your eyes on Jesus, not your trial.
“For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal,” 2 Corinthians 4:17-19.
In this season, it’s essential to fix your thoughts on heavenly things, not on temporary things of this earth. Fix your eyes on Jesus. He is the God who understands every temptation; he understands suffering and pain; and he understands our weaknesses.
5. The Spiritual Warfare Season
If you are in a season of spiritual warfare, gird up! If you are being spiritually attacked, you’re doing something right that Satan doesn’t like. But whether or not you’re currently walking faithfully, the enemy will wage war against you. It comes with being a Christian. But don’t be afraid. Remember the story of Job: God is always in complete control.
This is a wonderful thing about being God’s child – He fights for you. You just lean into Him and rely on Him by praying and reading His Word. He will take care of the rest.
This is not a natural battle against flesh and blood (even though it may appear to be).
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms,” Ephesians 6:12.
With this spiritual battle in mind, we must put on our full spiritual armor.
“Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,” Ephesians 6:13-17.
These are our weapons. Let’s not leave them at home and walk into battle alone.
Live through your season glorifying God.
Once you recognize which season you’re in, you can shift your thoughts to your heavenly Father and live through the season glorifying Him. Ultimately, God is in control of all seasons. Whichever season you’re currently in, remember that God is making everything beautiful in its time.
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