Summary: Painful. Dry. Taxing. Rewarding. Seasons . . . they are common to all of us. These truths will help us negotiate these phases of our life and journey in Christ.
Tis’ The Season
It is during this time of the year that I often begin to think about seasons. Deer season, turkey season, basketball season, and yes . . . Christmas season. We often talk about seasons even when we don’t realize it. When we talk about the weather we are actually talking about seasons. In fact, I think it is during this time of year that the most thought or attention is given to seasons, particularly the seasons of life. As the year begins to near a close many of you are already beginning to make plans and even resolutions for a new year. You may be filled with anticipation or perhaps dread at the thought of turning the last page of the 2008 calendar. Some of you are longing for a new season. Others wished the season they are in would never end.
The wisest man that ever lived spent some time thinking about seasons. You are no doubt familiar with his writings about the different seasons that we face. I would like to just read his opening remarks about seasons and then how he sums up his examination of seasons.
Ecc. 3:1 & 11
1 To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven:
11 He has made everything beautiful in its time.
I wonder if Solomon ever talked to his dad, David, about seasons? David certainly thought about the topic. It must have been at the fore front of his mind because his very first Psalm deals with the topic.
1Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the wicked,
Nor standeth in the way of sinners,
Nor sitteth in the seat of scoffers:
2But his delight is in the law of Jehovah;
And on his law doth he meditate day and night.
3And he shall be like a tree planted by the streams of water,
That bringeth forth its fruit in its season,
Whose leaf also doth not wither;
And whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
As we close out this year, I want us to talk about seasons for a few moments. Let’s examine what father and son teach us about the phases or seasons of life.
II. Seasonal Truths
a. You cannot pray away a season.
Ecc. 3:1 says that there is that there is a season for everything. It is time given. It is allotted. It is God ordained. We know that great seasons are from God because every good and perfect gift comes from the Father above. What we must also know is that tough seasons if not from God are at least allowed by God.
1 Corinthians 10:13 - 13No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it.
James 1:2-4, 12 - 2Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. 3You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. 4So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way. 12Anyone who meets a testing challenge head-on and manages to stick it out is mighty fortunate. For such persons loyally in love with God, the reward is life and more life.
You can, however, pray for help during a season. In fact, James tells us in verse 5, after telling us that we should let trouble do its work in us, to 5If you don’t know what you’re doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. He will help but seasons are set.
b. You cannot force a season to change.
You can’t make it any warmer outside. Try all you want. Worry all you want. Fast all you want. It is winter and you can’t do one thing about it. You can run from a season and try to avoid it, but you can’t change it. Many people run from winter. They take off to Florida, but the truth is it is still winter. And when we are talking about spiritual seasons all you do when you run is drag the season to your new location. I think a better plan is to embrace the season and learn from it.
You don’t even have to understand a season to learn from it and be changed for the good by it. Do you think Job understood why? In fact we know that he didn’t understand why. He questioned. Why me? What did I do wrong? He didn’t understand, but he did learn. You may not understand why you have to go through what you are going through, but try to learn from it.