Seasons of Life
The seasons of life are full of hills, valleys, and mountains. Similar to setting out on an adventurous journey to discover new horizons, we never know when we will encounter a treacherous path or a rocky cliff.
Being at the top of a mountain is breathtaking and surreal. It’s so amazing that often times we minimize the suffering we experienced to reach the peak. But during the exhausting trek up the mountain, before we realized the struggle was worth it all, we lost hope and nearly persuaded ourselves to turn back around.
If you are having a difficult time finding joy along your trek to parts undiscovered, please keep reading as I will give you pointers on how to find joy during difficult times.
Is It Worth Suffering For?
Ask a newbie mother who has carried a child within her womb for 9months if holding that precious child in her arms for the first time was worth suffering for. I’m confident enough to tell you 99% of mothers will say it was worth it without hesitation.
So, what if God told you in order to obtain financial peace, to be healed of a life threatening illness, or to receive that tenure job promotion you had to endure some very troublesome seasons first? Would you accept the challenge knowing exactly what your blessing will be at the end?
Just like the scenario with the newbie mother who just gave birth if we know the end result of our suffering because God revealed it to us it’s a lot easier to endure challenging times–you have something worthwhile to look forward to. Unfortunately, most likely than not, we go through arduous seasons in life not knowing exactly what blessings lie ahead after our trials.
Trust In Him
It’s all too common for us to concentrate on how laborious life has become and how much we can’t wait until we’re done with our faith test or refinement period. Having that mentality is counterproductive and shows cracks in our faith, endurance, and patience foundation.
A huge part of being a Christian is trusting in the Lord when He is quiet and hasn’t revealed what lies ahead. It’s like entering into the unknown with blinders on and allowing God to lead us. It sounds scary and we feel we've lost control of our destiny, but we must trust in Him. It’s great to trust when we know the end result, but it’s even greater when we don’t know the exact outcome and continue on ahead anyway.
Step up the Faith
Did you know that we can’t have a mature relationship with our Heavenly Father if our faith remains weak? Think about it for a second. It takes a whole lot of faith to believe in a God no man has seen or touched.
In the Old Testament often times the Lord’s presence manifested as a light shone brighter than the sun. When Moses descended from Mt Sinai with the two tablets of stone, the skin of his face shone as a result of his having talked with God (Exodus 34:29). Try explaining to an unbeliever that God's glory is so great no man can stare into His face. I'm sure the unbeliever would think you were loony, but yet you believe in Moses' encounter with the Lord.
We are stepping out on faith when we accept that one God created every corner of the universe to include all forms of life. Even the most intelligent scientist cannot fully explain how the world was created and how it works without giving God the credit for making it happen.
If we can believe that God exists, why can’t we believe that our times of hardship are temporary and not in vain? God blesses those who take up their cross daily and who endure long suffering faithfully. Let’s not forget at the end of the day God uses our lives to serve a divine purpose and He ALWAYS gets the glory out of it.
It kind of puts things in perspective about the God we serve. He created the entire universe in only six days, not billions of years therefore; surely He has the ultimate power to bring us through our seasons of trials. Not only that, but He has the resources to bless us when we remain steadfast and hopeful.
We all will encounter hardships in life and I want to share some tips on how you can find joy during your season of troubles.
7 Tips For Finding Joy during difficult times
1. Read the Book of Job. Job was one of the most faithful men ever spoken about in the bible. Despite the heavy burdens God placed on his life, Job remained faithful and God poured out blessings like rain from heaven upon him. When I go through difficult seasons I’m reminded of Job and tell myself if he can get through it so can I.
2. Find a silver lining in your circumstance. For instance, if you’re having financial strain and your cable gets disconnected, it may be a sign that you should be spending more time reading your bible or spending quality time with your loved ones. I mean, people survived thousands of years without cable. You can too! In addition, that’s one less bill coming through your mail when you’re already financially strapped. More money in your pocket!
3. Read uplifting scriptures. The bible is full of scriptures that are encouraging to read. Take it a step further. Write uplifting scriptures on post-it notes and place them throughout your home, i.e., the refrigerator, bathroom mirrors, doors, etc. These scriptures are a constant reminder that God loves you and He is in control.
4. Seek out what happiness truly is. If you equate happiness to all the wrong things you'll never truly experience it. Happiness isn't about having material possessions or wealth since soon after obtaining these things you either get board of them, want to look for an upgrade, or spend the rest of your life living in fear of losing it (this is bondage).
An example of happiness is losing EVERYTHING and finding joy in knowing your Father doesn't love you any less nor equates your lack of possessions, wealth, or health to your worthiness like the world does. Think Job from the bible.
5. Count your blessings. This is a big one, but even when you’re at your lowest you can still find small blessings in your present situation. An example is when I found out my left fallopian tube was possibly blocked by scar tissue from a laparoscopy procedure. Instead of crying about my test results, I thanked God that my right fallopian tube was clear and I had a 50% chance of conceiving naturally.
*Two years later after getting those results I did conceive with my right fallopian tube. Although, it ended in a miscarry I praise God He heard my thanksgiving years prior and rewarded me with my first pregnancy despite the cards stacked against me.
6. Seasons do change. If you live long enough you'll come to understand that seasons in life change. It's the how life goes. Just because you're down and out at this moment doesn't mean your help ceases to come from the Lord (Psalm 121). He will bring you out and into a season of rest if you remain obedient, hopeful, and faithful.
7. Stay prayed up. Out of all things, I believe this is one of the most important. The enemy loves to take minds captive. To combat his strategy you must make prayer a priority in your life. Pray over your mind and thoughts daily because that’s the very first place Satan attacks. When your thoughts are negative it’s almost impossible to feel joyful. So, pray and ask God to give you peace of mind each and everyday.
The Greatest Sacrifice
I love Susan Phillips’ quote. In fact, I think it packs quite a punch in so few words. It reminds me of Jesus Christ’s suffering and what He accomplished at Calvary. He loves us so much that He finished His treacherous journey honorably to cover our sins. He believed that God’s children are worth inheriting the kingdom and worth suffering for, so He humbly completed His mission set before Him.
Isn’t that amazing that a man who died over 2000 years ago sacrificed His life for you before you were conceived? So, when you begin to lose heart over your circumstance and no longer want to continue the journey, remember, anything worth having is worth fighting for, and that includes all the wonderful things God has waiting for you at the end of your trek.
––Call to Action––
Please share in the comments how you handle difficult seasons in life.