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Graceful Perseverance: The Three Seasons of Life (Part 1 of 3)

Posted March 11th, 2018 @ 11:03am

Have you ever given much thought to the idea that life unfolds through a series of seasons? Does it sometimes feel like a particular season of your life is going wonderfully? You feel like you are on top of the world and you are bursting with emotions that feel like life doesn't get any better?

And yet in other seasons of your life, you feel that you've hit rock bottom, and you have no clue or direction on how to climb out. It is within these troubled times you feel you have no clue or direction on how to climb out. It is within these troubled times you feel you have nowhere to turn. In this time of despair, you feel that your situation couldn't get any worse, and you find yourself overwhelmed by depression, anger, and hostility, all pointed directly at God. I've heard many people, while in troubled times say. "If there was a God, He wouldn't put me through this pain and suffering. Why would He allow this to happen to me if He really loves me?"

But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? "Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, 'Why did you make me like this?'" Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposed and some for common use? - Romans 9:20-21.

I see these three seasons applicable for all of us, we who are really the same lump of clay for the master potter to do with according to His will for our lives. I believe there are three distinct seasons - the teaching season, the testing season and the promoting season. In the next three weeks, I will share my own insights, beliefs and convictions supported by biblical scripture: Jesus' word that without the Lord first in our lives, we have nothing. But with Him we have everything.

In the teaching season of our lives our experiences are unfolding according to the Lord's plan so that He may teach us a life lesson or even show us something new about our true selves that we didn't know before. "The difference between school and life is we are taught a lesson and then given a test. In life, we are given a test that teaches us a lesson." - Tom Bodett. For He is the teacher and we are the students. And teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age. - Matthew 28:20.

Some examples of life lessons may be job loss, drug addictions, obesity, the death of a friend or family member, adultery, broken marriages, abusive spouses, suicide attempts, chronic depression, and other addictions. How do we react to these hardships when we find ourselves in the middle of darkness? Anger is typically the first emotion, followed closely by fear. Fear quickly spirals into negative thoughts and worries, causing us to be angry at the world, God, and those closest to us.

We are quick to anger and slow to peace. All because we've fallen into hardship. Sound familiar? Do you "react" this way? What if we remove the emotions from the equation (the onset of anger, fear and worry)? What if instead we turn our eyes to our Heavenly Father and ask Him for help in the middle of darkness? Or better yet, learn to trust Him in all of our circumstances. "When God pushes us to the edge, trust Him fully, because only two things can happen. Either He will catch us or He will teach us how to fly." - FB Quotes Gate.

I call on the Lord in my distress and He answers me. - Psalm 120:1. Have you ever thought that maybe the Lord is allowing us to go through hardships because He's attempting to teach us something? He is also teaching us that nothing or no one in this fallen world can help us more than He can. He leaves us in this place of despair until we have exhausted our own fight so that we discover we can't do it on our own, and it's time to reach out to Him, for He's the only one left who can help. His word promises to never leave our side. In 7,000 years, He has never abandoned His children. He's not going to start now.

In this season of teaching, He wants more than ever for us to acquire the same wisdom and understanding in our situation, more like He did when He was here in the flesh. When God walked the earth (in the flesh), better known as Jesus of Nazareth, He, too, faced many hardships. Christ Jesus wants more than anything for His children, who He loves beyond our imagination, to turn to Him and cry out to Him for help in our times of need. Non-believers say, "He's an unseen God, what can He do to get me out of my situation?"

He allowed you to experience the situation in the first place, because He knows where He's attempting to lead you. He not only knows your destination, but He also knows every step it takes for you to get there. Of course, He knows the outcome of your situation, even long before you go through it. A common Christian belief is "If He brings you to it, He will bring you through it!"

He knows when things can't get any worse for us, and there's nowhere left to turn when we've hit rock bottom. Eventually we will cry out to Him. At the breaking point, we learn to surrender to Him and call upon His name. Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your path straight. - Proverbs 3:5-6.

I think one of the best testimonies is for those who suffer from alcohol and drug addictions. When an addict hits rock bottom, he or she is sometimes led to the doorstep of Teen Challenge. They learn to cry out to Jesus to renew them and make them whole again. Their pain and suffering, however, can get much worse before they truly surrender to the Lord for help.

Some of us know that the only one who can save us from ourselves and our sinful ways is our Lord and Savior himself. We know we are weak and He is strong. The Lord knows each of us will eventually seek Him at some point in our lifetime. And at some point, in our seasons of desperation, our knees will bow and our tongues will confess. It is them that He will lead us and we will follow our new life of freedom with Christ Jesus as our Savior.

Blessings until next week,

Debra Pauli

Unstoppable Believer

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