A Season of Hope

Proverbs 4:18-19 “But the path of the just is like the shining sun,
That shines ever brighter unto the perfect day.
The way of the wicked is like darkness;
They do not know what makes them stumble.”

Looking out the window, it’s hard not to see the change of season in the Northwest. As I write this short expose’ a bomb-cyclone brews in the Pacific ocean. The whipping winds are tossing the trees with power like a violent protest against the change of time, fighting to hold onto the last remnants of summer. Fir needles canvas the land, leaves blow with each wisp of air, a reminder of a long dry summer that gives notice to an ever changing world.

Seasons are reminders that change is in the air, a transition from one climate to the next. The sun seems to slowly shift its position in the sky, the mornings take longer to rise and the day ends far too quickly. The brisk Autumn air brings with it a winter gale that signals another change, and this change continues on without fail. There are many who don’t experience this seasonal change, the closer you live to the equator, the less change occurs. My friends who live in these regions describe only rainy and dry seasons with not much else in between. It always interests me to to see how different people experience the world.

Seasons

Like the seasons on earth, I’m reminded of a spiritual season that is occurring, a time of a change signaling a coming shift in our perspective. Many people are ignorant of anything spiritual, their refusal to accept anything they can’t sense has driven them to hold onto a world that degrades around them. It’s no wonder there is such a panic when it comes to climate change, ice shelves are breaking up, the ozone is depleting, the oceans and rivers get more polluted, and animal life is threatened—if this world contains all of your hopes and dreams, those hopes are crumbling around you.

To those who are spiritually discerned, an eye must be kept toward the goal.

2 Timothy 4:2 “Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.”

When the summer arrives in the Northwest, it can seem like people begin to emerge from their winter hibernation. Fishermen line the rivers, lawn mowers are buzzing about, people on walks enjoy the sun and warmth, and the joy of being outdoors seems to lift everyone’s spirits. Fall brings with it the changing leaves, the beautiful array of colors become like a painting by God’s very hand. The brisk Autumn air drives the falling leaves in swirls like a dance, hot soups fill the air of homes and the signs of winter follow closely behind the rains. When winter sets in, the icy cold can seem to permeate through any winter coat. The mountains and hills are sprayed with the white of snow and the brief flurries of a storm paint a solemn picture of purity. With the advent of Spring comes new life, buds sprout forth, nests are filled with chirping, and the flowers emerge as if waking from a long slumber. As the petals fall, fruit begins to grow, leaves branch forth and a new season is upon us.

Spiritual Change

Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

As the seasons of this world become predictable in pattern, so we also can expect God to be predictable in how He leads.

No matter what season of life you are in, you can rest assured that God has a plan—and His plan is good.

  • God advocates on your behalf
  • God brings good into your life
  • God has your future in mind and it does not happen randomly
  • God brings hope to the hopeless

All of the good that comes by way of trusting in the Lord is made possible through Christ alone. Apart from Christ our lives are an affront to God’s righteousness. We set ourselves as an enemy to God’s throne when we walk in sin. We practice idolatry when we take our eyes off His purposes and place them on this world or on ourselves.

The attributes of God are predictable because He never changes.

James 1:17 “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.”

The process of the seasons is a time of renewal upon the earth. The cycle of life is cleansing, it brings new life, then rids itself of the old.

The process of God’s renewal allows for our spiritual growth and maturity.

Spiritual Growth

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”

Change can be difficult. It seems once we get established and comfortable, the anxiety of change causes an air of uncertainty moving forward.

When the future isn’t known, our natural inclination is to try to secure a path moving forward and when we can’t cover every risk or control every change, it’s easy to grow angry or regress for fear of failure.

It is during these times of change that we must learn how to Trust.

As we pass from one season onto another we often try to replicate that which we have already had success with before. It is good to look back and see the faithfulness of God, remembering His goodness. It is not good to look back if it inhibits us moving forward.

Isaiah 43:18-19 “Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”

Can you hear the promise?

It is for you…

As the Lord was faithful in times of old, He will be faithful today.

The winds of change may blow, the skies may grow dark and foreboding, the heat of trouble may seem to radiate all around you—but He will not let you go, He will not leave your side, He is always faithful and will lead you on in Hope.

Whatever your going through, remember His promises.

1 John 2:24 “Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you too will abide in the Son and in the Father.”

The way to walk in Peace is to maintain a close walk with Jesus. The close you abide with Him, the more secure your way, the less concern you’ll have for what you cannot see, and you will walk with a confidence that supersedes your understanding.

When your walk is with Jesus—seasons of change become seasons of HOPE, and hope in Christ never disappoints.

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