God is the Author of new seasons. Though His nature and His Word never changes (Matthew 23:35; Malachi 3:6), God brings newness wherever He goes. We find evidence of this in the earth, world history, and even in the Bible. He clearly has no fear of change!
Just as the physical seasons change from summer to winter and spring to fall, the seasons in our personal lives change as well. We go from childhood to adulthood and from single to married. We may spend years at one job yet change to another for the rest of our career. We may have a season of health and later be faced with a season of sickness. Whatever the case, it is a change of seasons, sometimes good and sometimes bad.
Rest assured, however, that God’s plan is for you to always have good seasons.
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11)
Unfortunately, the devil has plans for you as well, and they aren’t filled with a “future and a hope.”
The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. (John 10:10)
The key is to be able to recognize the difference between the seasons and their source. Is it good and full of hope? Then we should embrace it. Does it steal, kill, and destroy? Then we should resist it, using our faith to see the evil turned into good!
There are seasons, however, that don’t hurt us, but they are make us a little uncomfortable. These new seasons could well be from God, because to see His will accomplished in our lives, He must urge us to do something we’ve never done—to change.
Let’s look at one of the strongest expressions of a new season in the Bible:
“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. The wild animals honor me, the jackals and the owls, because I provide water in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland, to give drink to my people, my chosen, the people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise.” (Isaiah 43:18-21, NIV)
When God brings us into a new season (job change, marriage, parenthood, spiritual growth, etc.), He asks us to forget about the things in our past. Why? Because if we’re clinging to our past, our focus is going to be there. And wherever our focus is, that’s where we’re going to stay. We won’t reach the new destination God has for us. We may not even realize what God is doing, much less receive the blessings that comes with it.
Israel learned this the hard way. They were excited about leaving Egypt, but later regretted the change when they were faced with obstacles like the Red Sea and shortage of water and food in the dessert. They despised their new season so much that they wished to go back to the old season—slavery in Egypt. After years of disobedience, griping, and complaining, a whole generation died in the wilderness and did not enter the Promised Land.
My friend Elisabeth described her response to her new season this way: “I am a child sitting on a swing begging to go higher yet dragging my feet along the ground, stopping myself from doing what I really want to do. I’m destroying my shoes and am frustrated with the one pushing me because I’m not getting to where I want to be—yet it’s myself not wanting to change my position that’s stopping my progress.”
When we’re faced with these doubts, it’s important to do what Elisabeth chose to do: adjust our attitude, pick up our feet, and propel ourselves forward! We must drown out our doubts and believe what God says.
- When we’re fearful because we’ve never done it before, we must believe: “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)
- When we’re out of our comfort zone, we must believe: “My grace is sufficient for you.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)
- When it looks too big for us, we must believe: “ ‘[It’s] not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of hosts.” (Zechariah 4:6)
When we finally get bold enough to embrace our new season, we may think we need to see the big picture and know every step before we start. But God’s first instructions are always simple like the one He gave to Abraham: “Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you.” (Genesis 12:1)
God didn’t share all the details; He just told him to go. I’m sure Abraham’s mind held all the questions and felt all the emotions that we do when in a new season. But he went, no questions asked. He had plenty of opposition along the way that caused him to reconsider God’s plan. But he stayed the course because God had promised to bless him and make him into a great nation.
God rarely gives us the big picture when He asks us to step out in faith. He simply requires us to obey His first command. When we finish that task, He gives us another step to complete. The Bible says, “a good man’s steps are ordered by the Lord” (Psalm 37:23) and “we walk by faith and not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7). It’s not a sprint, but a steady following God’s plan until we reach our destination. It’s a destination filled with “water in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland” that bless us and give Him glory!
Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:13-14)
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17)