It was a sweet season.
I learned a ton about myself and people, marveled at God’s creation in every new landscape and culture, and felt God working in ways I hadn’t before. I’m sure fellow travelers have felt the same, whether for just a trip, studying abroad like I did, or a longer time in a new location.
Where we live often defines a season in our life. It can also feel like it defines who we were in that location as well. We take in bits and pieces of what we surround ourselves with, good and bad. We may find that our habits, preferences, and even personalities change. Hopefully we change for the better.
But life's seasons, like nature's, come to an end. Then we must determine our next step and who we are going to be as we transition to a new home, job, or relationship.
Change can be scary. Messy. Confusing. Unsettling.
We look for a guarantee that things will be OK, and God will bring us to an equally sweet new season.
We look for ways to remain whole as our worlds are rocked.
But we must look in the right places, with the right the heart.
In transitions, we need to remember God’s character: “the God of peace,” “faithful”
Look back on your many seasons and see the pattern of God’s blessing on your life. It’s not perfect, but note how and when God has carried you through.
Look at old pictures or journals, and find the string that connects your story to your Father’s family tree. Your good Father left a legacy for his children that allows them to live in freedom, unconditional love, safety, and peace.
A wonderful habit to help see God’s character is to mark his descriptors in the Bible. As you read, highlight or underline every word or phrase that proclaims who he is. The Psalms are a beautiful place to start. It can be an encouraging tool as you go through times of doubting God, where you need to be told over and over WHO HE IS, and not just who you feel he is to you in your present situation.
Feelings are valid, but can’t always be trusted to be the truth. Sin infiltrates our minds and we forget. Tell God how you feel or what you think about him (this can be hard to directly admit to God, but it’s so good to acknowledge and confess), and then read in his Word the truth of his unchanging character. Move forward forgiven, with a fresh perspective. He is so, so good to us.
We remember his promises: “He will do it.”
What is the “it” here?
In verse 24, the writer, Paul, is referring to God’s promise to see believers as blameless on the day the Lord returns. This thought is repeated throughout 1 Thessalonians as an encouragement to the people in Thessalonica that their perseverance in the faith, even under difficult persecution, was still worth it because God promised eternity to those who believed.
Salvation is the ultimate “it,” but what else will God do? What else has he promised to us?
He will fight for us. (Exodus 14:14)
He is with us and will help and strengthen us. (Isaiah 31:10)
He forgives us. (1 John 1:9)
He will meet all our needs. (Philippians 4:19)
And SO MANY MORE.
The Bible is one long story of redemption. It is a record of his promises of love and grace-fueled provision until his ultimate gift of bringing us to live with him forever.
What has he promised you specifically? Where have you felt his guidance or voice?
God may not have spoken direct promises to you like he did to Moses or Abraham, but we pray for God to speak into our lives in the way he sees fit.
Without a direct voice from heaven or through a vessel, we should test what we feel is God’s prompting.
Is it from God, or could it be something we simply want and are convincing our brains to believe is God-ordained?
“Do not quench the Spirit.” 1 Thessalonians 5:19
Be open to what God has to say, even if it might not be what you want to hear.
“Do not treat prophecies with contempt but test them all; hold on to what is good, reject every kind of evil.” 1 Thessalonians 5:20-22
If I’m feeling led in a certain direction, is this calling in line with God’s word and his plan for the redemption of his creation, or could it be a sneaky distraction?
Not every seemingly Christian act or dream is honestly for the glory of God and to serve his people. Even church-y volunteering can be done with wrong motives or be led more from a place of guilt than of thanksgiving.
Could this plan be something I want for myself and am just hoping God’s cool with it? Am I being obedient to God in this? Am I fully trusting God to carry it through?
We evaluate, study, pray, decide, and step boldly into a new season.
We hope it’s a sweet one, but no matter what route we choose, God is still faithful in our good and bad decisions. He never leaves.
What is your “it” that you are praying to see God in? What do you believe God will do simply because of who he is?