The Seasons of a Christian’s Life - 3

The Different Seasons that Every Christian Experiences

Selected Scriptures


November 6th  2011 PM

Pastor Craig Ledbetter

Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland


I.       Introduction (Eccl 3:1)


A.    Seasons and Cycles, and Patterns in life are many times very confusing

B.     Most people ignore the seasons of life, and have no day of rest in a week; have no time just with God; have no regular sleeping patterns; have no job or season of work; have no regular season of eating - always helter-skelter. And so their bodies wear out faster than they should!

C.     God made seasons, and cycles FOR us (Mark 2:27), and expects us to know about them, and understand them, and work with them.

D.    It is how God designed us, and it is how we succeed as Christians – bear fruit!


II.    Background – this makes a great study in itself!


A.    Seasons are normal (Gen 1:14; 2Kgs 4:16,17) - don't be ashamed about changing

B.     Seasons are all about changes - called cycles - they affect us, usually for good

C.     Seasons are NOT forever (Gen 40:4; Josh 24:7)

D.    Some seasons never come (Acts 24:25)

E.     Four things are NOT to be affected by seasons – by changes, by popularity


III. Last Week – Seasons of a Christian’s Life (Acts 20:18)


A.    Begins as a Baby Christian – a New Believer (John 3:3)

B.     The Season of Growing (Psalm 92:12; 1Peter 2:2) preparing for Fruit

C.     A Season of Waiting (Heb 10:36; Ps 27:14)

D.    The Season of Fruitfulness (Ps 1:3) This is a time in your life when everything starts paying off - all your faith, your obedience, all your prayers, and time in the Bible, and soul-winning (Isa 55:11)


IV. Message – Seasons of a Christian’s Life (Acts 20:18)


A.    Then to a Time of Harvesting. (Psalm 126:5,6; Gal 6:9; 1Cor 15:58)


1.      The Season of Reaping - Harvest Time - Time of Joy

2.      The purpose of fruit is to be given away – for others!

3.      This is a time that people TAKE from you as you give and serve.


a.       Don’t despise it – that is why God saved you… to SERVE and GIVE AWAY what God has given you (Mt 10:8)

b.      Re-invest the fruit of your labours - tithe, and planning for the next planting - investing in the future


B.     Then to a Time of Pruning - Chastening (John 15:1,2)


1.      Clearing out dead things in your life

2.      This is a good time, a good season

3.      It’s like Spring Cleaning in your life

4.      Sometimes it happens in a church, where the Lord clears out dead, unfruitful hearts and lives - To make way for fruitful Christians

5.      Be careful to not hold onto what the Lord is trying to take away


a.       Like bad old habits

b.      Like bad friends

c.       Like bad attitudes and memories

C.     Then to a Time of Defeat and Loss – a Quiet Season - the Night Season (Job 7:4; Ps 16:7; John 12:24,25).


1.      You have to learn that your success do not come from yourself

2.      All that is of yourself has to die - All your plans, wishes, dreams

3.      This is a time when God goes quiet until you learn to trust only Him

4.      It is compared to an eagle when he goes through the molting stage of his life


a.       He is so sure and confident in himself and his abilities

b.      But then his feathers start falling off, and he cannot fly again

c.       He jumps into the air and then falls right back down again

d.      Until he gives up, and just sits on a low ledge somewhere, just watching all the other eagles fly, while he can do nothing! He can’t even bring himself to eat!

e.       And for weeks he just sits and loses everything that he was once so proud of


1)      His beautiful feathers; His strength; His keen eye – could see a rat for half a mile away

2)      All gone!


f.       Other eagles come along side and try and shelter him, but to no avail

g.      He sits and mopes, and wishes he would just die…

h.      UNTIL new feathers start to grow

i.        And then, after weeks and weeks of defeat, and with NO desire to even TRY and fly, a breeze gusts under his wings and he feels some lift!

j.        He senses that something has changed – he is not the same bird he was a few months earlier

k.      He has not eaten and has grown weak, but at the same time, become lighter, and more hungry once again

l.        And with no urging by any other eagles, he mounts up and flies like he has never flown before!


5.      Every Christian goes through seasons like this!

6.      Be ready for it – be ready to endure, and get through it – there is no way around it (2Ti 2:3)

7.      It is a Time of Testing - Temptation – like it was with Jesus in the wilderness


a.       This is where most people are - it is where all of the seasons bring you back through to if you are not careful!

b.      It is the time when it gets dark (Ex 5:1-23)

c.       You can’t escape it! It follows great times, like night follows the day!

d.      The Holy Spirit drove Jesus into the wilderness (Luke 4:1)


8.      There are two paths


a.       You can either give in to the testing - results in Sin (Heb 11:25)


1)      Get angry at everyone around you that are NOT going through what you are!

2)      Results in another season - the season of Chastening (Heb 12:6; Acts 13:9-11)

3)      If chastening does not work, then your next stop is Home (Jam 1:14,15; Rom 6:23; 1 Cor 11:28-32)

4)      But, if chastening does its job - or rather you respond to its work on you, then you go to the next season (Heb 12:11)


b.      Or, Endure hardness (Jam 1:12; 1Pet 1:6) until you get into the next season – which is wonderful!


1)      Believe me, this is the hardest time of a Christian’s life.

2)      It is endured best with praying and SONGS (Ps 42:8) and right thoughts (Ps 63:6), especially PRAISING (Job 1:21)


c.       Examples:


1)      David when his son Absalom took over his kingdom – just had to endure (2Sam 16:5-14)

2)      Apostle Paul when he saw everyone abandoning him (2Tim 4:9-11)

3)      Jesus (Mt 26:56)


D.    The Season of Rest (Pr 16:7; Rev 6:11; Jer 6:16; Mt 11:29).


1.      NOW you learn to REST – to trust in the LORD


a.       When things are good…

b.      AND when things are bad!


2.      There is a difference between WAITING and RESTING


a.       Waiting is when you are training and preparing to produce fruit

b.      Resting is when you “do nothing” on purpose


1)      Like sleeping (Psalm 127:2)

2)      Like playing (Eccl 5:18)

3)      Like switching everything off and going for a quiet walk – just resting


3.      This is the time in your life when nothing is happening - this is when you just need to rest, and have patience (Ps 27:14), and trust in the Lord to do things His way, in His time!

4.      Sunday is supposed to be that day for most people – it is a Sabbath

5.      Rest in it – do as little as possible

6.      Two paths again:


a.       Patience (James 5:8; Heb 10:36) - Wait on the Lord, just stay on track. No panicking allowed. You find rest when you trust the Lord, and just stay following Him, and obeying Him, and waiting on HIS timing.

b.      Get impatient, and anxious - You will go be back in the season of temptation, and darkness (James 5:9)


7.      This period of time can be long or short - you just have to sometimes wait it out


a.       i.e., Joseph in prison - didn't complain or get impatient – just waited on God

b.      Pater and the other Christians in the upper room (Acts 1:4,5)


E.     Then to a Time of Growth Again – back where you started!


1.      Rest helps you grow the best – having enough sleep – less stress

2.      This cycles should and will continue throughout your life now


F.      Finally to Perfection (Prov 4:18) – when we arrive home in heaven (Philp 1:6). We will be like Jesus (1John 3:1,2)


V.    Conclusion


A.    All of this works out to be a circle, with two branches – one entering, and one exiting

B.     You enter the circle at the new birth - You stay in the circle until death, or the rapture

C.     And then you are free, and perfect, and with no more night seasons, no more dry seasons, no more tough seasons!

D.    Begins as a Baby Christian


1.      The Season of Growing

2.      A Season of Waiting

3.      The Season of Fruitfulness

4.      Then to a Time of Harvesting

5.      Then to a Time of Pruning - Chastening

6.      Then to a Time of Defeat and Loss – a Quiet Season - the Night Season

7.      The Season of Rest

8.      Then to a Time of Growth Again – back where you started!


E.     Finally to Perfection – when we arrive home in heaven. Until then, we will continue to experience the seasons of the Christian life, for which we were designed!

F.      What season are you in right now? How you allow the effects season will determine your benefit