Seasons of Life
Hope Weekly 11-19-12
Seasons of Life
Did you know that God has a purpose for every season of your life? The lonely seasons, the sad seasons, the seasons of success, the seasons of waiting, the seasons of grief. Every season. Romans 8:28 says “We know that all that happens to us is working for our good if we love God and are fitting into his plans.” This is a promise for those who love God and are fitting into his plans and trusting Him with what they’re doing. 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 freak accidents and occurrences and circumstances that just happen. It is not by accident. God never does anything by accident. He has an appointed time for everything in your life. Even the bad times? Yes.
God does not have to plan all the problems in your life. He doesn’t need to. You come up with them yourself. They happened because of you, bad decisions that you make. And they happen because of bad decisions other people make and you’re an innocent victim. He doesn’t have to plan bad. He is not the author of evil. But because of free will, bad things are all around us. He does have a purpose that He can draw good out of each and every event in your life. That means every single event, no matter how dark, no matter how shameful, no matter how bad, how guilty, how bitter I feel about it, God can bring good out of it. He can work for good in all things.
It doesn’t say all things are good. Not all things are good in the world. There’s a lot of bad. The Bible does not say that all things are good. It says “All things work together for good” for those who give God all the pieces and say, “God, will You work good out of this?” If you don’t do that He’s not going to work good out of it. But if you say, “God work good out of this experience in my life,” he will. He has an appointed time for everything. Life is full of contrasts. We go through mountains and we go through valleys. We go through successes and we do through failures. We have winnings and we have losses in our life.
In Ecclesiastes 3:2-8 there is a list of 28 different life experiences. This is not an exhaustive list. It’s just a representation. In weather there are four seasons (except in Phoenix, there are only two). But in your life there are dozens and dozens of different seasons. Ecclesiastes says there’s a time to be born and a time to die, a time to laugh and a time to cry, a time to find out and a time to lose. That’s one of the most difficult experiences in life. Have you ever had a problem trying to figure out, “Should I hold on or let go?” Do I hold on to this dream that isn’t happening or do I let go because maybe it isn’t what I’m supposed to be doing anyway? Do I hold on to this relationship or do I let go of it? Rescue teams have to face this all the time. Do we keep on searching or do we give up the search? This is a difficult time and the Bible says there’s a time for both of those.
…a time to keep and a time to throw away. This is a good verse for your garage. I’ve discovered there are two kinds of people: hoarders and pitchers. Pitchers always marry hoarders. Always. And it creates enormous sparks of creativity. Some of us are such hoarders, you not only fill your house with it, you have to buy one of those mini storage places to put more stuff. We are a nation of hoarders…a time to hug and a time not to hug. In the Hebrew that means there’s a time to have sex and a time not to have sex…a time to speak up and a time to be quiet. Usually we get those two mixed up. We need the courage to speak up when we should and the love to be silent when we need to be silent.
Life is a combination of contrasting seasons. All sunshine and no rain makes a desert. If you are following God’s will, if you’re really trying to live your life according to the way God wants you live, each of these experiences have meaning and purpose and value in your life. And they’re all God’s will. Some of you think that the only time you’re in God’s will is when you’re at church or having a quiet time. You can be in God’s will cleaning out a closet. You can be in God’s will mowing your lawn. You can be in God’s will moving to a new location or not moving to a new location. There’s a time and season for everything.
Remember the song Ray Stevens used to sing, “Everything is Beautiful in its Own Way.” He lied. It’s not true. Everything is not beautiful. Cancer is not beautiful. Child abuse is not beautiful. War is not beautiful. Everything is not beautiful in its own way. He misquoted Ecclesiastes 3:11 which says, “God makes everything beautiful in its own time.” That’s very different. God can take even the bad things and, in the proper season, turn them around use them for good in the way He intends.
Some of you are going through a season right now that is not beautiful. It’s ugly. Your finances look ugly. Your health looks ugly. Your relationship looks ugly. Your future looks ugly. But God will bring good out of it. Just surrender to Him, give Him the pieces, and He will make “everything beautiful in its own time.”
Enjoy each season of life,