God created seasons. He created the natural seasons of spring, summer, fall, and winter, and He also created seasons in our lives. The consistent thing about seasons is, they always change. Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NLT) says, “For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.”
In the natural, everyone has their favorite season. Some people enjoy the long, warm days of summer, while others prefer the cool and colorful days of autumn. At some point in life, most people experience seasons of singleness, marriage, and caring for aging parents. Parents experience seasons of little kids, big kids, teenagers, and empty nesting.
What do we do when we don’t like the season of life we find ourselves in? Some phases of life simply aren’t as enjoyable as others. But when those times come, we can be certain that God has our best interests in mind. He sees the big picture.
The Lord showed me that when it comes to life, people often get hung up on the destination. He once said to me, “It’s not about a destination; I’m interested in the journey.”
Many people are missing what God has called them to do because they’re so concerned about the destination. They want to be wherever “there” is. In the meantime, they miss the journey and everything God wants to teach them along the way.
I’ve been guilty of this. I have a Type A personality; therefore, I am naturally wired to focus on getting to the destination as quickly as possible. One day the Lord began speaking to me about the season I was in and enjoying the journey. He took me to the Book of Ecclesiastes.
When we express gratitude each day, we’ll be filled with the hope and joy we need to walk successfully through each season.
ECCLESIASTES 8:15 (NLT)
15 I recommend having fun, because there is nothing better for people in this world than to eat, drink, and enjoy life.
God showed me I was so concerned about getting to the destination that I wasn’t having fun! He told me to relax and have fun. He said, “Denise, I want you to celebrate your season, whether it’s good, bad, hard, or stressful. Celebrate it.”
I believe celebration is an important but underrated spiritual discipline. It’s a discipline because celebrating during hard times doesn’t come naturally; we must develop it within ourselves.
One definition of celebrate is “to praise someone or something; to say that someone or something is great.” In the midst of hard times, we can choose to celebrate by declaring God’s greatness and focusing on His good plan for our lives.
One of God’s good plans is found in Psalm 23:5 (NLT): “You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies.” It takes spiritual discipline to sit down and have a feast in the middle of difficult circumstances.
I once asked the Lord about this particular verse. Why would we relax and feast while our enemies surround us? Who does that? He said, “In the middle of stressful, dangerous, heart-wrenching, heartbreaking circumstances, I want you to sit down with Me. I want you to relax, and fellowship, and enjoy—because I’ve got you. Even with everything happening around you, you can have fun. We’re going to sit here for a bit, and then I’ll walk you through it.”
Simple Ways to Celebrate Your Season
Are you struggling to enjoy a new phase of life? God knows that moving from one season to the next can be uncomfortable, painful, and frustrating. He showed me four simple ways we can celebrate the seasons of life.
- Focus On Hope
People often have a hard time celebrating their season because they’ve lost their hope. One way to celebrate is to focus on hope. That starts with the mind. We decide what to give our attention to. We can choose to look at the bad, or we can choose to focus on the good. Our lives will move in the direction of our strongest thought.
Hope means “to look forward with desire and reasonable confidence.” That means we can be 100 percent confident that God is good, no matter what happens around us. The Bible says He
causes every detail of our lives to be woven together for good (Rom. 8:28 TPT). God created us and He knows what brings us joy. He will lead us as we fix our eyes on Jesus and listen to His voice.
- Have Confidence in God’s Faithfulness
In both good and difficult seasons, it is important to regularly remember God’s faithfulness. I often talk about anchor moments in our lives. These are times when God so clearly comes through for us that it anchors our soul. Those moments reassure us that God is with us and give us confidence to go on.
A practical way to remind ourselves of God’s faithfulness is to write down our anchor moments. During hard times, reading what the Lord has already done for us will provide comfort and confidence that He’s working on our behalf.
- Keep Your Prayers Grateful
Gratitude not only changes our perspective, it changes our heart. When I began to write down what I was grateful for, I saw my season from a new point of view.
Celebrating our season requires us to stop focusing on what we don’t like and start focusing on what we do. First Thessalonians 5:16–18 (NLT) says, “Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.”
It’s God’s will for us to be thankful. It can be as simple as being grateful for a cup of coffee. No matter how big or small something is, giving thanks for it is a game changer! When we express gratitude each day, we’ll be filled with the hope and joy we need to walk successfully through each season.
- Find Friends Who Are in the Same Season
God didn’t call us to do life alone. We need to find friends going through the same season. We can be open with them and share our joys and struggles. Friends who are a season ahead of us are just as helpful. They can encourage us and let us know everything will be all right.
We are called to help each other. Galatians 6:2 (NLT) tells us, “Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ.” It takes being a little vulnerable and transparent, but it’s worth it!
Whatever your season, learn to celebrate it! This will take discipline and determination, but it’s how God wants us to live our lives.
Denise Hagin Burns
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Thank you Denise, for writing this article. It was so very helpful to me. I have been as you described… so in a hurry to reach the destination I thought I had and not listening to GOD and definitely NOT enjoying the journey. Now I just celebrated my 75th birthday. I had begun to lose my hope. This article is directed to me for sure. I have made a “sign” for myself of Psalm 59:16 to put on my mirror so I remember to sing for JOY each morning and remember HIS faithfulness. Thank you again.
Being vulnerable isn’t easy for me. But you are correct a celebration is needed during those challenging / difficult seasons of life. A change in / of thought life is also required to allow GOD’S STRENGTH and ENCOURAGING WORD TO IGNITE THE PROMISES & GIFTS .
This was an awesome article. Just what I needed. Thank you and may God continue to bless you and your ministry!
You totally nailed it. Hope had slipped through the cracks of life on me. I’ve not been able to see a way forward in ministry. I’d forgotten His faithfulness in this season. It’s been such a long one, full of disappointments and hardships, struggles with the flesh(nice way to say sin) and changes I’m wondering if I’ve brought in myself. Prayers of Gratitude I’ve actually been able to do ok with, but DEFINITELY have room to improve. I have had close friends in a very similar season, but they’re on their way out of it. I’m truly thankful for them, but it increases the sense(which I know is actually nonsense) of being alone. I needed this desperately. Even though I still don’t see the way forward and out of this season, this gave me the tools and I plan to utilize them. I’m called to ministry, nothing else will do. Thank you, so grateful for my Rhema family.
Great article! I especially like the part about connecting with people who share the same hope.