Looking To the Seasons of 2018!
What seasons do you expect to go through in the coming year?
I guess we all have major hopes and dreams concerning 2018, right? Well, after years of making grand plans that do not always work out, I have decided to take a different approach this year. I plan to prepare myself for the seasons that God will send my way. What are these seasons, you may ask, and how do you prepare for them? Let us take a look.
Winter is characterized by cold, coupled with snow, ice and sometimes rain. Sometimes our hearts can feel like they are full of ice-cold feelings when God seems so far away, and it’s as if he doesn’t hear our prayers. David felt the same way, as is indicated in these verses:
Psalm 13:1-2 “O LORD, how long will you forget me? Forever? How long will you look the other way?” (NLT)
For David, known as a man after God’s own heart to write these words, the situation must have been very desperate. I know that there are times I have felt like this, and there may be seasons in 2018 when I will have these thoughts. How will I handle them?
First, I will hope in the Lord
Psalm 71:14 “But I will keep on hoping for your help; I will praise you more and more.” (NLT)
Then, I will be strong in him!
Psalm 31:24 “Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the LORD.” (NIV)
Autumn is a season of transition, where the weather gradually changes from summer to winter. As the leaves slowly dry up and change color to red, yellow or brown, the weather becomes colder.
Transition is an inevitable part of life. As we grow in all areas of life, we change, and the process of change is not immediate. As such, you and I are bound to experience some transitions this year. How do I plan to handle them?
First, I will remember that God’s plans for me are the best.
Jeremiah 29:11 ‘”For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”‘ (NIV)
Second, I will let God take control of what’s happening in my life.
Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.” (NLT)
Lastly, I will remember that the Lord is with me!
Deuteronomy 31:8 “Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.” (NLT)
Summer is the season between spring and autumn, a season with long, hot and bright days. This is the time to relax, and take a holiday!
The summer period of the Christian life is one where you and I are at rest, relaxing in, and rejoicing in God’s goodness. It usually comes after seasons of pain and growth. How, then, should you handle this pleasant period when it comes along?
First, take time to focus on God and build your relationship with him. Store his word in your heart; it will come in handy when the seasons change.
Psalm 119:11 “I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” (NLT)
Psalm 119:143 “As pressure and stress bear down on me, I find joy in your commands.” (NLT)
Second, thank the Lord for all he has done for you!
Psalm 106:1-2 “Praise the LORD! Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever. Who can list the glorious miracles of the LORD! Who can ever praise him enough?” (NLT)
Lastly, relax in his presence and enjoy communion with him.
Psalm 16:11 “You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.” (NLT)
In spring, all the trees and flowers that had ‘died’ during winter begin to reappear. Picture spring as a period just after a dry spell, when rain falls on the ground, and you see little green shoots popping out of the earth.
Spring follows winter, just as a growth period follows a dark season. When God brings you out of a difficult period, he proceeds to work on making you into a better Christian. The growth process may not be enjoyable, as it involves some serious soul-searching, pruning, and realignment, but is very rewarding because God has your attention, and you have his. God runs the show at this point.
Philippians 2:13 “For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.” (NLT)
During spring, God teaches us valuable lessons that will help us be more successful in our Christian walk. His goal is that we echo the words of the Psalmist in Psalm 119, where he says:
Psalm 119:9 -10 “How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word. I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands.” (NIV)
Dear friends, it is my prayer that 2018 will be a remarkable year for you, where you will experience God’s faithfulness, and enjoy a deeper relationship with him. Let me end with one of my favorite verses.
Psalm 33:4 “For the word of the LORD holds true, and we can trust everything he does.” (NLT)