The Four Seasons of Spiritual Growth


by Jerry Robinson
Originally Posted on 2/24/2005

“While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.” (Gen. 8:22 AMP)

God has enacted certain eternal principles regarding time.

The wise King Solomon observed these precepts in his description of the cycles of life as found in the 3rd chapter of Ecclesiastes.

“There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven—

A time to give birth and a time to die;
A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted.

A time to kill and a time to heal;
A time to tear down and a time to build up.

A time to weep and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn and a time to dance.

A time to throw stones and a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace and a time to shun embracing.

A time to search and a time to give up as lost;
A time to keep and a time to throw away.

A time to tear apart and a time to sew together;
A time to be silent and a time to speak.

A time to love and a time to hate;
A time for war and a time for peace.”

Timing is important

In order to fully experience God’s peace throughout the many storms of life, the man or woman of God must learn to discern, accept, and appreciate the perfect timing of God. God accomplishes his will in each individual’s life in his own perfect time. Learning to adapt to God’s timing is essential to avoid the feelings of despair and outright rebellion. Submitting to God’s perfect timing is also an effective remedy for those who tend to want to “help” God hurry something along as well as those who all too often move ahead of God’s guidance, in their “zeal.”

The Four Seasons

In congruence with nature, every Christian will experience four different seasons in their walk with God. Each season presents its own set of benefits and challenges. Our ability to determine which season we are in at all times will require an acute sharpness of spirit. But rest assured, sharpness of spirit is a worthy goal. As you read the following descriptions of the various seasons of the Christian walk, attempt to identify the season you are currently in.

Winter

Nature: Winter is marked as a long and dreary season. It is a time of heartgrowth (inner growth) in trees and plants.

Spirit: This represents a time of introspection and the examination of our heart and motives. A time of allowing God to make changes in us. A time for strengthening up and maturing.

Spring

Nature: Spring is marked as a time of cleansing and restoration from the difficult days of winter. Soil rotates; Refreshing rains. A time of transition. A time of pruning and re-growth.

Spirit: Represents a time of joy and glory after dormancy and hardships. A time of pruning: This is a time when God shapes and molds his people.

Summer

Nature: Summer is marked as a time of extreme dryness and heat. Marked by a need for more water than usual to sustain strength and life. Top of the ground cracks from heat.

Spirit: Represents a time of spiritual dryness. A time of needing more spiritual food than usual to stay replenished. True Christians come out of this season stronger. Others may stumble, sometimes permanently in this stage.

Fall

Nature: Fall is marked as a time of harvest. A time of pruning in preparation for winter. Leaves fall from trees; a time of transition.

Spirit: Represents a time of harvest when the Christian bears their fruits. More correction and shaping from God is required to prepare the individual for the long winter season.

Conclusion

Allow the season that you are in right now to run its full course. Our God is a good God and it is always His intention to bless you despite the circumstances you may be facing. Hard times will bring forth good character if you allow God to perform His perfect will in your life.

Do not attempt to change the season you are in. Just as the day is balanced out by the night, the seasons that you must walk through are designed by God to keep your life balanced.

Paul’s understanding of these precepts are evident in his letter to the Phillipian church when he declared:

“…I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” – Phil 4:11-13

What is your source of power? If it is not Christ, the seasons of your life can and will become unbearable. Don’t carry your own burdens. They are far too heavy. Hand them over to the Lord. Learn to trust in God’s promises and Christ’s power to give you strength. By submitting yourself to God you can trust Him to bring you through every trial and circumstance and to “exalt you in due time.” (1 Pet. 5:6)

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About

Jerry Robinson has been teaching the Word of God since 2002. His desire through this website is to help others know God's Word and to be sensitive to His voice. He is a grateful husband and proud father. He resides deep within the Boston Mountains in Northwest Arkansas.


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