Four Things to Consider in Difficult Seasons

unfavorable seasonsThe Bible tells us in its first Book that seasons are certain. “As long as the earth remains, there will springtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, day and night” (Genesis 8:22, NLT). I, for one, am thankful. If the Word of God did not promise the change of seasons, I might lose my mind.

A few years ago, the Chicago Tribune ran an article that stated, “Chicago typically does not have a real season of spring, just wind, and rain.” I’ve been saying it for years. Every year, people who have lived here their entire lives are shocked when it’s still cold in March. Some years, it seems like winter may never end!

Seasons do change, though. Growing up in Texas, the long, hot, humid summer days gradually gave way to cooler, shorter days. And for me now, the short, dark, frigid winter days are ever-so-slowly replaced with warmer, longer, and brighter days.

Wouldn’t it be nice if the seasons of life changed as gently? I mean, you can be happily walking along in good health, the kids are getting along, your husband is treating you like a queen, financial ends are meeting nicely, all the stars are perfectly aligned, and out of nowhere—wham!

We must intentionally sow in every season because what we sow in one season, we will reap in another. Click To Tweet

A Time for Everything

You suddenly find yourself struggling, suffering heartache, and broken—sunshine and summer one minute; blizzard-like conditions the next. Just as Chicagoans shouldn’t be shocked when the weather is still cold in March, neither should we be shocked when the seasons of life change. The preacher tells us in Ecclesiastes 3:1, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens” (NIV).

If only he referred to weather, things would be so much easier. But if you read through the chapter, it’s clear he’s talking about life. We can’t stop the seasons of life any more than we can stop the seasonal weather changes. They’re beyond our control. The Book of Daniel tells us that God controls the times and the seasons (Daniel 2:21). Further, the preacher says in Ecclesiastes 3:1–8 that seasons include good times and bad. Oh, for biblical multiple-choice—I’ll take laugh, dance, and peace! Whatever the season, we should always keep in mind that it’s temporary, and beauty is to be found even when it’s not obvious. It’s all about perspective and attitude. Spring may bring flowers and green grass, but a negative perspective only sees the work of mowing the grass and weeding the flower beds.

Four Things to Consider in Difficult Seasons

  1. What can I learn in this season? Rely on God. Paul told the Corinthians, “But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God” (II Corinthians 1:9, NIV).
  2. What can I enjoy in this season? Enjoy each day. Solomon said, “People ought to enjoy every day of their lives” (Ecclesiastes 11:8, NCV). Paul said, “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (I Thessalonians 5:18, KJV).
  3. What is my responsibility in this season? Whether planting, pruning, shoveling snow, or raking, every season has responsibilities. Paul told the Ephesians, “Live life, then, with a due sense of responsibility, not as those who do not know the meaning and purpose of life but as those who do. Make the best use of your time, despite all the difficulties of these days” (Ephesians 5:15, Phillips). We can find beauty and make the most of every season, even if it’s not our favorite.
  4. How can I minister in this season? Practice kindness. Solomon said in Proverbs, “Whenever you are able, do good to people who need help” (Proverbs 3:27, NCV). He later says in Ecclesiastes, “If you wait for perfect conditions, you’ll never get anything done” (Ecclesiastes 11:4, TLB).

We must intentionally sow in every season because what we sow in one season, we will reap in another. “Let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap if we faint not” (Galatians 6:9, KJV). “Due season” will come!

If you’re going through a difficult time in life right now, take comfort in knowing seasons change. They are temporary. We can’t run from them, and we can’t rush them.

He’s working things out in you, He’s making you beautiful in His sight, and He’s using seasons to do it.

Trying to will only frustrate the plan of God for our life. Don’t, for one second, think this season slipped up on God like it has on you. God is never shocked. He never says, “Oh my. Wow. I never saw that coming.”

God has known you, loved you, and had a purpose for your life since you were in the womb. Like Solomon, no matter the season, you can say, “He hath made everything beautiful in His time” (Ecclesiastes 3:11, KJV). He’s working things out in you, He’s making you beautiful in His sight, and He’s using seasons to do it.

(A version of this article was published in Reflections.)

Resources and Links

For seasons of grief, consider A Light in Darkness.


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