Summary: God takes us through seasons as part of our life- journey. This sermon helps us understand why God allows seasons in our lives.
UNDERSTANDING SEASONS IN LIFE
By : Ng Wah Lok
Text : Ecc 3:1-11 Acts 7:55-60, 14:19-20,
Seasons apply to every aspect of life.
3:1 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;
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.
1. SEASONS IN THE CHURCH 2000 YEAR HISTORY
1. Acts 2:1 – Holy Spirit Poured down. Church era begins
2. Acts 2:41 – 3000 souls saved in Jerusalem
3. Acts 4:4 – 5000 souls saved
4. Acts 7:59 – Persecution begins. Stephen becomes the first martyr. Christians leave Jerusalem because of persecution.
5. AD 50-330 – Christianity spreads to Asia Minor because of persecution, reaching even to India.
6. AD 330 – Roman Emperor Constantine institutionalize Christianity. Persecution stops. Christianity fades for the next 1200 years. AD 330 – 1500 are called the dark ages of the church.
7. AD 1500 – Reformation begins. Martin Luther breaks away and formed the Protestant church. He was intensely persecuted.
8. AD 1500 -2000 are called the Restoration years. Church is restored back to become like what it was in the early church. Christianity is now the fastest growing faith.
2. SEASONS IN NATURE
Autumn – Leaves drop . Pruning time
Winter – Tree comes close to dying. There are no more leaves.
Spring – Leaves sprout out again. The plant begins to flower.
Summer – The fruit ripens.
A tree that is never pruned always produces small fruit.
But a tree that is pruned will bleed and look miserable, but when spring comes, it will heal and produce large and sweet fruit.
There are seasons for pruning. You prune a plant just before winter. You cannot prune a plant during summer.
3. SEASONS IN LIFE
Ecc 3:1 – In every things, there is a time.
a) You cannot pray _away a season.
Even Christians go through difficulties. Sometimes, we pray intensely that our difficulties will go away but God does not remove them. Some difficulties cannot be prayed away.
2 Cor 4:7-9 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.8 We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed
When we are in a difficult season in life, we should pray that God will give us the grace to go through the difficulties.
God allows difficult seasons in our life to deal with our pride and reinforce our confidence on Him.
b) You cannot run ahead of God’s Season
Sometimes God give us a promise. Then a long time lapses and the promise is not fulfilled. In our impatience, we rush ahead and try to help God fulfill His promise. When we do this, we produce “Ishmaels”.
Example: Abraham and Sarah – Gen 16:2-5
Gen 16:2-5 Abram agreed to what Sarai said. 3 So after Abram had been living in Canaan ten years, Sarai his wife took her Egyptian maidservant Hagar and gave her to her husband to be his wife. 4 He slept with Hagar, and she conceived. When she knew she was pregnant, she began to despise her mistress. 5 Then Sarai said to Abram, "You are responsible for the wrong I am suffering. I put my servant in your arms, and now that she knows she is pregnant, she despises me. May the LORD judge between you and me."
Abraham and Sarah could not wait for a child to be born. So Sarah gave Abraham her maid servant and Ishmael was born. Finally at Sarah’ old age, the promised son Isaac was born. By then it was too late. Abraham and Sarah ran ahead of God’s timing. The birth of Ishmael brought great difficulty in their family life and also trouble years later.
Example 2 – Metamorphosis of a butterfly
A butterfly cannot be forced out of its cocoon other wise its wings will not be formed properly.
c) Delay does not mean defeat
Story of Joseph - Gen 37:5-7
Gen 37:5-7 Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him all the more. 6 He said to them, "Listen to this dream I had: 7 We were binding sheaves of grain out in the field when suddenly my sheaf rose and stood upright, while your sheaves gathered around mine and bowed down to it."