BY PASTOR T. O. BANSO
“And He changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and raises up kings; He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding” (Daniel 2:21 NKJV).
God changes the times and seasons. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 tells us that there are different seasons; and each season has its own peculiarities. You must have heard it over time that nothing is permanent; no condition is permanent; the only thing that is permanent is change.
Life is full of ups and downs. Life is not like a flat land; it is an undulating terrain. Life is not a bed of roses; even roses have thorns. When people are enjoying the sunny side of life, they wish and pray it continues forever. Nevertheless, the reality is that as we travel on the sea of life, the wind sometimes blows contrary. It should not be strange to us. We must believe God for the best, but we should not be devastated, whenever the weather appears unfavourable. However, no matter what, no season lasts forever. One season must end for another season to start. God will always work all things, the pleasant and the unpleasant, together for the good of His children (Romans 8:28).
Those who despair should not, because our God is a God who turns things around. God has come to announce a new season to someone; that may be you. Someone who has seen the dark side of life for so long that it looks as if it will last forever; someone who has been in the wilderness for quite some time but is about to enter into the season of his showing. Someone has been going down repeatedly, but his time of going up has come.
Joseph was like that: from the pit to the slave market, to Potiphar’s house, to the prison, and, from there, to the palace. Talking about him, Psalm 105:19-20 says, “Until the time that his word came to pass, the word of the LORD tested him [Joseph]. The king sent and released him, the ruler of the people let him go free” (NKJV). He entered into a new season. He became a prime minister in a foreign country. This is a new season for someone, and that is you. God’s Word to you shall come to pass. God will give you rain from heaven and fruitful seasons; He will fill your heart with good things and joy (Acts 14:17).
I do not know where you are in life today. I do not know what challenges you are facing in life. But the God who specializes in changing the stories of people overnight says, “I will make a covenant of peace with them, and cause wild beasts to cease from the land; and they will dwell safely in the wilderness and sleep in the woods. I will make them and the places all around My hill a blessing; and I will cause showers to come down in their season; there shall be showers of blessing. Then the trees of the field shall yield their fruit, and the earth shall yield her increase. They shall be safe in their land; and they shall know that I am the LORD, when I have broken the bands of their yoke and delivered them from the hand of those who enslaved them. And they shall no longer be a prey for the nations, nor shall beasts of the land devour them; but they shall dwell safely, and no one shall make them afraid. I will raise up for them a garden of renown, and they shall no longer be consumed with hunger in the land, nor bear the shame of the Gentiles anymore. Thus they shall know that I, the LORD their God, am with them, and they, the house of Israel, are My people” (Ezekiel 34:25-30 NKJV).
These are things that happen when God opens the door of a new season for someone. I pray that this shall be for you a new season of unusual favour, promotion, increase, fruitfulness, peace, healing and good health in Jesus’ name. That negative name that people have been calling you will change.
The angel of the LORD told Mary, “Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren” (Luke 1:36 NKJV). People used to call her barren, but the God of a new season changed that. He put an end to reproach in her life, made her a joyful mother. God changed her name. God will change your name, too.
Isaiah 62:2 says, “The Gentiles shall see your righteousness, and all kings your glory. You shall be called by a new name” (NKJV). This Scripture shall be fulfilled in your life. You will no longer be called barren, a failure, a jobless person, a sick person, a neglected spinster. God will bring you into a new season, and change your story. Those who have seen you down will see you up again, higher than you ever were.
The new season God is bringing you into will change your name because new things, positive things, will begin to happen to you. “Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert” (Isaiah 43:19 NKJV). God is the God of seasons. He will bring an end to the unpleasant season you are and usher you into a new season. Hallelujah!
Joshua’s new season
In Joshua 1:1-9, God announced a new season for Joshua; it was a new season for the Israelites, too. The era of Moses had passed; a new chapter was to begin. Joshua’s mindset must change; his expectation must be different from the past. Joshua must embrace his new season. He must take over as the leader. He must step into the shoes of his master.
Joshua was Moses’ assistant who had been going in and out with him while Moses was alive (Numbers 11:28; Joshua 1:1). He had seen all the challenges Moses faced in leading the children of Israel, and it was not an easy task leading them. He had seen how the Israelites made it impossible for him to make it into the Promised Land.
Certainly, one would be apprehensive taking over such a job of trying to succeed where one’s mentor had failed! Though God didn’t allow him to lead the Israelites to the land of Canaan, due to an error on his part, Moses was not a failure. After his death, God still referred to him as His servant (Joshua 1:2). He told Joshua to arise and the lead the Israelites. Moses, prior to his death, had actually presented Joshua to the Israelites as his successor (Numbers 27:18-23).
It was as if after Moses had died, Joshua, overwhelmed by the new season, was still waiting, possibly wondering, where and how to start! Three times in Joshua 1, God told Joshua to be strong and courageous – verses 6, 7 and 9. That tells us that God knew Joshua was lacking this, and you cannot blame Joshua. If Moses, the servant of God, someone who was so close to God that God spoke with him mouth to mouth (Numbers 12:8), could not succeed in taking the Israelites to the Promised Land, he might have thought to himself, “How could I?” God told him that in this new season, he needed to be strong and courageous to face the challenges.
In verse 18, the tribes of Reuben and Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh, also told him a similar thing. “Whoever rebels against your command and does not heed your words, in all that you command him, shall be put to death. Only be strong and of good courage” (Joshua 1:18 NKJV). Joshua took up the challenge, and God fulfilled His promise that He would magnify him in the sight of all Israel, that they might know that, as He was with Moses, so He would be with Him (Joshua 3:7).
It is one thing for God to bring you into a new season, but another thing for you to make the best use of the season. Some people do not maximize their new seasons; they waste them. They immediately forget their painful experiences of the old season, and fail to do the needful. No wonder, God kept on telling the Israelites to remember that they were slaves in Egypt (Deuteronomy 15:15, 16:12, 24:18, 24:22). In addition, in the New Testament, Paul reminded the Roman Christians that they were formerly slaves to sin (Romans 6:17, 20). Moreover, to the Galatians, he wrote, “You were slaves to so-called gods” (Galatians 4:8 NLT). It is so easy to forget some things about one’s past. A sinner saved person could begin to behave to sinners as if he had always being righteous!
In their new season of affluence, many people easily forget the former season when they could not afford a good breakfast! A new season of affluence should not be a season to engage in wasteful expenditures or extravagance living. I pray that you will not waste your new season of abundance in Jesus’ name. Therefore, you need to cultivate the right attitude towards whatever season you find yourself, favourable or unfavourable. Farmers do not waste the dry season. While they are expecting the raining season, they make the most of the dry season; they are not idle. If you have the same mentality, you will not be grumbling or lamenting. You will simply make the most of the season – that phase of life – you are in at any moment.
What You Need To Do
1.Understand that every season is temporary and has a purpose to fulfill. No season is permanent whether favourable or unfavourable. Understanding this will help you to appreciate every season and make the most of it. “Make the best use of your time, despite all the difficulties of these days” (Ephesians 5:16 The New Testament in Modern English)
No season can come in your life except God allows it; though the devil could have planned it. Moreover, every season has a purpose to fulfill in your life, even, if the season obviously appears unfavourable. Do not be bitter. Let God lead you through every season. The psalmist says, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me” (Psalm 23:4 NKJV).
In an unfavourable season, God will never leave you. Jesus was with the disciples in the boat when the storm was blowing contrary, and when He was woken up, He stopped the storm (Mark 4:39). God says, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you” (Isaiah 43:2 NKJV).
2. Cooperate with the change God will bring. Change is something that many people hate. You can cooperate with change, resist it, deny it, or be lackadaisical about it. Every new season brings new changes. Thus, you must cooperate with the changes (come to terms with it) to be able to make the most of it. That you deny change that has come does not change the change! It is still real. Even when it is an unpleasant change, do not deny it. You must welcome it and see how you will weather the storm and turn the situation around with the help of God to favour you.
Samuel told Saul to embrace the new change by God in his life. He would be changed into a new person; he would experience strange things, be offered strange gifts and will do strange things (1Samuel 10:1-7). I like what verse 7 says: “After these signs take place, do whatever you think is best, for God will be with you” (NLT). Did you see that? You, too, must do what is best in any new season you enter into, because God is with you.
3. Face the challenges that come your way. Every season brings new challenges, and God-given opportunities often present themselves as challenges. Do not run away from them.
Goliath was a challenge to David, but Goliath was also God’s opportunity for him to fulfill destiny and rise from obscurity to prominence. When he killed the lion and the bear, nobody celebrated him. However, when he killed Goliath, he became a national figure, and the women produced a music CD for him! (1Samuel 18:7). That particular feat announced him to his world. That shall be your testimony in Jesus’ name. You will not go under! Face the challenges of every season.
4. You need strength and courage in life. You need to be strong in the LORD to overcome the challenges of life. As I said earlier, three times, God told Joshua to be strong and courageous. The Israelites also told him a similar thing.
Whether the season is pleasant or not, you have to be strong and courageous. God told Joshua at his inauguration, “Be strong and of good courage; for you shall bring the children of Israel into the land of which I swore to them, and I will be with you” (Deuteronomy 31:23 NKJV). Moses also used the same phrase – “be strong and of good courage”– in verses 6 and 7 when talking to the Israelites and Joshua respectively.
If you are strong and courageous, out of the eater shall come for you something to eat, and out of the strong shall come something sweet (Judges 14:14). God and you are unbeatable! Have faith in God. “So Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Have faith in God’” (Mark 11:22 NKJV).
5. Rejoice in the LORD always. No matter what you experience in any season, do not let the devil steal your joy. This is important because favourable and unfavourable seasons can steal someone’s joy! With regard to an unfavourable season, it is not difficult for people to understand why they can be robbed of their joy. The pain, the hardship, the sorrow, etc. are all there. However, the Bible says, “Dear brothers and sisters, whenever trouble comes your way, let it be an opportunity for joy” (James1:2 NLT). Habakkuk 3:17-18 says, “Though the fig tree may not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines; though the labor of the olive may fail, and the fields yield no food; though the flock may be cut off from the fold, and there be no herd in the stalls — Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation” (NKJV).
Nevertheless, sometimes in a favourable season, too, one can be under intense pressure – pressure of work, responsibilities, deadlines, targets, people’s expectations, etc. that may lead to tension and stress. That is why you must also safeguard your joy in a favourable season, because, in all seasons, the joy of the LORD is your strength (Nehemiah 8:10). Philippians 4:4 says, “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!” (NKJV). My prayer is that God will fill you with joy in all seasons of your life (Romans15:13).You will rejoice always (1Thessalonians 5:16). You will not lose your joy.
6. Give thanks to God for your success in every season. Do not ascribe to yourself your success in any season. Give the credit to God; praise Him. What do you have that you did not receive from God? (1 Corinthians 4:7). No man can receive anything unless it has been given him from heaven (John 3:27). Do not say you achieved anything by your power; rather, acknowledge that it is by the power of God (Deuteronomy 8:17-18). You must lay down your crowns before him, as the twenty-four elders laid their crowns before the LORD God Almighty and worshipped Him! (Revelation 4:10).
Your result or success may be small; nevertheless, thank Him. Do not despise the day of small beginnings (Zechariah 4:10). As you give thanks to God and you make merry, God will multiply you and you will not decrease. “Then out of them shall proceed thanksgiving and the voice of those who make merry; I will multiply them, and they shall not diminish; I will also glorify them, and they shall not be small” (Jeremiah30:19 NKJV). Sing a new song to God. (Psalm 33:3; 96:1; 98:1; 144:9; 149:1; Isaiah 42:10)
If you are in a season when you are in the “waiting room” of God, praying that He will bring you out of an unfavourable, stormy season, do not forget to thank Him. Despite your situation, thank Him. Because you are alive, there is still hope for you. “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18 NKJV). God will change your season in due course. The LORD says, “At the right time, I, the LORD, will make it happen” (Isaiah 60:22b New Living Translation).
7. Maintain constant fellowship with God. Stay connected to God; do not let any season, favourable or unfavourable, disconnect you from God. No success should become an idol; no breakthrough should replace God in your life. No progress must take you farther from God. Do not be as the prodigal son, who collected his own inheritance and disconnected from his father, going to a far country. He suffered the consequences (Luke 15:11-32).
You should serve the LORD in the newness of the Spirit (Romans 7:6). You should walk in newness of life (Romans 6:4). Do not be an old cranky Christian!
Likewise, you should not allow any negative circumstances you are going through now to shipwreck your faith. No challenge of life should be a barrier between you and God. The trials of life should not separate you from God. No season should separate you from the love of God (Romans 8:35-39).
Conclusion: I pray that your season of positive change shall come in Jesus’ name. An end shall come to shame, unfruitfulness, stagnation, unemployment, sickness, lack and want in your life. The LORD God of seasons will bring you into a glorious season in Jesus’ name.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible believing and Bible teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The LORD be with you.
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
WhatsApp No: +2349081295947