On Easter weekend, we did a survey and compiled your most asked questions. Those questions are the roadmap for this series called You Asked For It.
This weekend, we took a look at what the Bible had to say about Navigating the Seasons of Life.
You have to go through various seasons of life in order to grow, mature and bear fruit. God has also established seasons of human activity; relational, physical, spiritual and emotional seasons of life.
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NIV)
“… everything on earth has its special season.” Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NCV)
Although, every person experiences different seasons throughout their life; there are 5 facts about seasons everyone can count on.
5 Facts About the Seasons of Life
- The seasons of life are beyond my control.
You can’t control when a season happens. You can’t control when a season starts or how long it will last. Most seasons begin with an irritation, an interruption or an inconvenience.
Waiting is a season of life. Why do we have to wait so much in life? Because much of life is out of our control. If you could control it, you wouldn’t have to wait.
“God controls the times and the seasons. He makes and unmakes kings.” Daniel 2:21 (GN)
God sets some people up as leaders and He deposes others. God is in control of world events. It may not look like it, but He is. That’s why you shouldn’t worry about what’s going on in the world; because God is in ultimate control.
- The seasons of life are often confusing.
Sometimes you’re in a situation and think, “Why is this happening to me? I don’t understand it.” Understanding usually follows an experience, rather than precedes it. We tend to understand the seasons of life after they’re over.
Often, when you’re in a difficult season, you’re blind to what’s really going on. Some things happen in your life that you’re never going to understand. God does not owe you an explanation. There are some things in your life that you’re not going to get an explanation for until you get to heaven, because God wants to teach you to live by faith not by explanations.
“… God does everything just right and on time, but people can never completely understand what he is doing.” Ecclesiastes 3:11 (NCV)
- God has a purpose for each season.
“We know that all that happens to us is working for our good IF we love God and are fitting into his plans.” Romans 8:28 (LB)
This verse is a promise that is simply not for everybody. All things do not work together for good for everyone in the world. They only work together for good for those who love God and fit into His plans. This is one of the basic truths in the Bible. If you’re a believer, nothing comes into your life that hasn’t been filtered by your heavenly Father. Your life is not a random series of circumstances or an accident. God never does anything by accident. He has an appointed time for everything in your life. Even the bad times.
Don’t misunderstand this. God does not cause all the problems in your life. The bad times happen because you make bad decisions or because other people make bad decisions. But God doesn’t make bad things happen. God is not the author of evil. He has a purpose for each and every event in your life. Every single event, no matter how dark, how shameful, how bad, how guilty; God can bring good out of it. The Bible doesn’t say all things are good. There are a lot of bad and evil things in the world. The Bible does not say that all things are good. It says, “All things work together for good…” for those who love and trust God and say, “God, will You work good out of this?”
- The seasons of life include both good and bad times.
Life is full of contrasts. We go through mountains and we go through valleys. We experience success and we experience failure. We win some and we lose some. In Ecclesiastes 3 it lists 28 different life experiences.
Life is a combination of contrasting seasons. All sunshine and no rain, makes a desert. If you are following God’s will, each of these experiences have meaning, purpose and value. All of these seasons are God’s will. Some of you think that the only time you’re in God’s will is when things are going great. But the Bible tells us there’s a time and season for everything. God can take even the bad things, in the proper season, turn them around to use them for good in the way He intends.
- What I sow in one season, I’ll reap in another.
Every farmer knows that if you plant in the spring you will harvest in the fall. You don’t plant in the spring and get a harvest the next day. We want to do that. We want immediate results. The habits that you develop in one season of life determine the fruit you will reap in another season of life. The way you respond right now is definitely going to affect your future. If you respond correctly in one season of life or if you do the right thing even when you don’t feel like it, you will reap the dividends in the future.
“Let us not be weary in well doing; for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” Galatians 6:9 (KJV)
These are five facts about the seasons of life. So how can you make the most of each season in your life? How can you grow from it, develop in it and become all God wants you to be? Regardless of which season you’re in, there are four questions to ask yourself.
4 Questions to Ask in Each Season
First ask yourself, “What can I learn in this season?”
Always be looking for something you can learn in each season of life. There are some things we only learn through experience. You only learn them in the school of hard knocks.
“Remember what you have learned about the Lord through your experiences with Him.” Deuteronomy 11:2 (GN)
Life is a test. Life is preparation for eternity. This life is not the big show. You’re in the warm-up act of your life right now. You’re going to live on earth 60, 70, 80 years, and then you’re going to spend the rest of your life in eternity.
God wants you to learn multiple things here before you get there. One of the things that God wants you to learn is that Christ died for you, rose for you and wants a relationship with you. After you have that relationship with Christ, God wants you to learn certain character qualities which you will take with you into eternity. That’s all you’re going to take into heaven. In all of these seasons, there is an important lesson to learn. To make the most of the seasons in life, you’ve got to extract those lessons.
When you’re going through a difficult season, don’t ask, “Why is this happening?” Instead ask, “Lord, what do You want me to learn?” God never wastes a hurt and He never wastes a season. He wants you to learn something out of everything that happens in your life.
Two facts about the school of life experience:
1. If you flunk a test in the school of life experience, you get to take it over.
God will keep giving you the test until you learn it. Have you learned to be patient? No. Then God will put you in irritating circumstances until you learn patience.
2. Just about the time you think you’ve graduated, you learn there are more classes to take.
There will always be more lessons to learn about God, about yourself, about other people, and about the world.
“(This happened) … so we might learn to trust, not in ourselves, but God…” 2 Corinthians 1:9 (Ph)
The next 2 questions go together. Ask yourself, “What can I enjoy in this season?” and “What is most important in this season?”
Some people are always getting ready to be happy. When work picks up or the business slows down or you finish this report or when you’re feeling better; that’s when you’ll be happy. But the Bible says not to wait to enjoy life, enjoy it right now.
“People ought to enjoy every day of their lives.” Ecclesiastes 11:8 (NCV)
“Give thanks in all circumstances; this is God’s will for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NIV)
The good days, the bad days, the hard days, the easy days are all to be lived with a sense of gratitude because each day has been given to us by God.
There are two fallacies that we hold on to in life. One of them is “I’ve got lots of time.” There’s plenty of time to spend with my kids, lots of time to build my marriage, lots of time to serve God, I’ve got years to make my life count. The Bible says that rather than having lots of time, our life is like a puff of smoke, a vapor, a mist… and then it’s gone. That means the sooner we learn what really counts in life, the sooner we’ll get on with what’s really important to enjoy making the most out of that particular season.
Another fallacy we operate under is “I can have it all. Right now.” I can have it all, be it all, do it all – right now. I can have a great family, a great job, lots of money, good health, good looks. I can do it all. Right now.” The truth is, you can’t. You have to make choices.
“I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.” Philippians 4:11 (NIV)
I’ve got to make some choices. Maybe this season I can have this and that season I can have that, but for each season I need to know what’s important. I want to talk for a moment about how this relates to parenting. Most of us are not very good at enjoying the moment.
“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 these days.” Ephesians 5:15-16 (Ph)
The Bible says that we are to enjoy each season of our life because each season is unique. What we tend to do is look back at the past and we either think “It was so great back then. I wish that were still going on in my life.” Or we have regrets about our mistakes and we spend too much time worrying about the past. We find ourselves looking at the future wondering, “What will happen to my children? What happens when I retire? What happens when my kids leave and I’m alone?” We worry about the future. We ignore the fact that it’s this moment that I am living in; not what was or what might be, but what is right now. The Bible says to enjoy every season of your life.
The fourth question to ask yourself is, “How can I help others in this season?”
What good can I do during this season? The Bible says very clearly that you weren’t put on this earth just to live for yourself. It’s not about you.
“You were created for a life of good works.” Ephesians 2:10
God gave you abilities, talents and energy to help other people. A lot of us plan on doing that “when things settle down”. You plan on getting into a ministry or get involved in church when things settle down. Things are not going to settle down!
So are you doing the good works that God created you to do or are you spending all your time, energy, and effort on yourself? In every season of life, you have unique opportunities to help other people that you will never have again. If you miss it, when the season’s over, you will never again be able to help people in that way, because you’re not in that season anymore.
“Whenever you are able, do good to people who need help.” Proverbs 3:27 (NCV)
There’s no better time than now to serve God and help other people. Most people are miserable in life because they spend all their time regretting the past or future, so they miss the present. The secret of happiness in every season is in serving God and serving others because you were wired, by God, to do that.
“If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done.” Ecclesiastes 11:4 (LB)
God wants to use the season you’re in right now to help other people. Do something good this week. If you’ve never joined the church, take that step of spiritual growth. Get involved, grow in your faith, discover your ministry. Do those things and watch what God does in your life. Start taking advantage of the season you’re in right now. Look for lessons to learn, experiences to enjoy, things to be grateful for, priorities that need to be set and people you can help.
Make this season count!
Review what you talked about last week.
How would you describe your success or struggles in avoiding people pleasing?
To hear the sermon online, go to rockbrook.org/sermons or listen to our podcast on iTunes or Google Play Music.
Read Ecclesiastes 3:2-8
Which season from Ecclesiastes 3 are you currently in?
What have you learned in this season?
What do you enjoy the most about this season?
What priorities have you had to adjust in this season?
How have you been able to help others in this season?
Tell Someone Else
Who do you need to share this message with this week?
Is there anyone in your life who is going through a difficult season?
How could you encourage them and show them how much you love them? How could you point them to Christ?
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