Seasons of Faith- Seasons of Grace
I want to speak prophetically in this article. Currently many people in the Body of Christ are going through difficult seasons. It is possible that their faith is being challenged and it seems like you have been in a long cold season with your walk with the Lord. Please consider as you read this prophetic article that perhaps what you are experiencing is coming from the Lord and not the enemy?
Let’s start with the life, ministry, and teachings of the Apostle Paul. Certainly, Paul, was not stranger to operating in the supernatural and dealing with opposition and oppression!
I Corinthians 4:1: “Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God.”
What are the mysteries of the Lord? Here is what the word mysteries is translated in the Greek. In Strong’s Greek Concordance, reference 3466, it tells us the Greek word is musterion, pronounced moos-tay'-ree-on. This word is derived from the root word muo, meaning “to shut the mouth.” It is a secret or "mystery" through the idea of silence imposed by initiation into religious rites.
Along this road that we call Faith, or the Christian walk, I have discovered that we all come to and must walk through differing and sometimes difficult seasons of God. Perhaps you are in such a season now? If not, then praise the Lord! One of the mysteries of God is the Seasons of Silence. In these Seasons of Silence, the Lord seems to be hidden and we may find it hard to connect with the Spirit of God. He is not speaking to us clearly. As the word musterion implies; The Lord shuts His mouth! He does not seem to be leading us as He once did. In fact, it may seem as if the Lord is a million miles away. We have entered into such a season when God may be difficult to discern, and it may be hard for you to have communion with the Lord. If this is the case; don’t worry! We need to remember that there are also seasons of grace as well. We can learn more about this Kingdom principle in Ecclesiastes.
Ecclesiastes 3:1, 7-8: “To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven:…A time to tear, And a time to sew; A time to keep silence, And a time to speak; A time to love, And a time to hate; A time of war, And a time of peace.”
There is a time when the Lord allows us to enter into a time to keep silence. He is silent a times (seasons)—it is scriptural. During these times it seems that the Lord may allow our faith to be tested. In these seasons of hiddenness, our identity is often brought into question. (These questions can be soulish in nature or they can be a device of the enemy). We may be going through or entering into such a season of change. It could be a new job, a geographical move, or it could even be contemplating retirement. The truth is that these seasons of faith can be challenging and difficult in both the natural and in the spirit.
Recently I have been resting in the Lord, and I have come to believe—or one might say, come to the revelation—that there are many people who have entered into these kinds of Seasons of Silence. This started as I waited upon the Lord in prayer whilst in Jerusalem for eight days and nights in November of 2018. Allow me to reassure you in this: the Lord will never forsake you and He will never leave you (Hebrews 13:5). The Lord is faithful, and He is just. However, there are times that He can be silent and it may seem that He is not speaking or revealing Himself to you. Some call these times seasons of hiddenness. Seasons of faith like this have even been called the dark night of the soul by others. Usually when it seems that you are living on the dark side of the moon, in reality, God is actually very near. God may allow us to be tested in seasons like these. And as we see in 1 Corinthians the Lord is seeking faithful friends:
I Corinthians 4:1: “Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful. But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by a human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. For I know nothing against myself, yet I am not justified by this; but He who judges me is the Lord.”
Perhaps these seasons of darkness and seasons when it seems that our faith is being tried and tested are not emanating from the enemy. Perhaps the Lord is being silent and testing our faith to see if we will be faithful.
Testing 1, 2, 3
Yes, I know that there are many who believe and preach that we can be eternally blessed and that we never need to experience pain, sickness, or heartbreak. However, bad things happen to good people. Why? God never promised you and me to have eternally blessings without measure on this side of eternity. There are seasons for these things (Ecclesiastes 3). Sure, some ministers preach that we can live to be one-hundred and twenty or that we can live in perfect health and prosperity. There is a lot of merit in those messages, and I have preached them myself. It has been said that into each life a little rain must fall. We are entering into such a season, and the Spirit of the Living and Loving God is testing His people.
Sometimes these seasons present themselves as a “crisis of faith.” Someone we love (or ourselves) enters into a season of trial. It may be sickness or infirmity, or it may be setbacks in one way or another. And we do not understand how our loving and gentle friend, Jesus, could allow these things to unfold in our lives. Why do we feel and believe this way? Perhaps we misunderstand the scriptures. Or simply, maybe we are getting a little older. Perhaps we have done all the right things: we have tithed, we have helped the poor, we have read the word, and we have believed the word. We have read the scriptures, and we have worshiped the Lord. Yet, it seems that the Lord is million miles away and it is difficult to hear His voice. It seems to become harder to feel His amazing touch each day. We need a healing, a miracle, or a breakthrough and it does not come. Perhaps we have entered into a season of silence or a season of hiddenness. Though you may think that you are experiencing a crisis of faith, you are not. I want to encourage you that God is just playing hide and seek with you. He is seeing if you will stay true to the faith, (be faithful), as you go through this season.
Opposition or Oppression
Just as paste is squeezed out from the tube when you put pressure on the toothpaste, the Spirit may put gentle pressure on us through a season of silence—then what is really in us will come out! Many people are experiencing this kind of gentle pressure at this hour. The Lord is testing our faith (James 1:3). Just because you can’t seem to connect with the Lord at this season does not mean that you are backslidden or out of communion with God. Just as the sun will arise tomorrow, this season will pass, just purpose in your heart to make a stand. Stand firm in the Lord and stay in the word of God. He has promised you in Psalm 89:28: “My mercy I will keep for him forever, and My covenant shall stand firm with him.” Again, God will never forsake you and He shall never leave you, no matter what you may be feeling (or not feeling) right now. Be encouraged! You are not alone! The Lord never changes. His love for you is eternal, and His yes to you is yes and amen.
Generally, in these seasons of faith you will have opposition. In fact, the opposition or the oppression of the enemy may seem unbearable! If that is the case, the enemy has just shown or tipped his hand (or deceptive plans) to you. Because deceiving you (in your mind) in one way or the other is all that he can do. The accuser will constantly call into question your faith and the goodness and character of God. The enemy will try to get you to agree with him as he questions the Lord goodness and faithfulness. Don’t go there! If you are in such a season, rejoice because the end of the valley of darkness is actually very near, and the sunshine of a new day and new season are just around the corner. God is about to do a new thing in your life and circumstances (Isaiah 43:19).
Stay faithful! If the enemy is seeking to question your identity in the Lord, know that you are more than a conqueror in Christ Jesus. Renew your efforts to discover who you are in Christ through studying the scriptures, and look for His promises to you from the word! Look at this example from 1 Peter:
1 Peter 1:6-9: “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls.”
Trust in the Lord and allow Him to reveal Himself as Faithful and True as the Spirit leads you into a new season of faith and grace (Revelation 21:5; 22:6). Of course, sin can cause us to be separated from the Lord (Hebrews 7:26). Check yourself in that. However, remember that we still we have a strong, unchanging promise of unity with the Lord (no matter how we may feel). In Romans we read that Christ died for us; and furthermore, even if we cannot discern it, know that, He (the Lord Jesus) is interceding for each of right now!
Romans 8:34-39: “Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: ‘For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.’ Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Immune to Trials?
Just think about that! Nothing has the power or authority to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Yet, the enemy seeks to deceive or blind our minds to turn us from this amazing grace and truth of the Gospel. The enemy seeks to rob our faith. Hold on to your heart and keep your faith at all cost. How can we believe that we are immune to trials? Trials and tribulations are just an aspect of, one might say, a season of faith. The Apostle Paul experienced trials and tribulations, yet he was surely victorious! (2 Corinthians 2:4, 14).
In this next section I will uncover some of the enemy’s most effective snares to blind your eyes and his methods to rob your faith. What of Job, or Elijah, Noah, Abram, Paul, and so many others? They were pressed, tried, and at times seemed to be hidden from the Lord, yet they did not lose their faith. They did not lose heart, and neither should we lose heart. God found them faithful, just as God will find you faithful in this season. The following passage in 2 Corinthians is a wonderful picture of keeping the faith in the various seasons of grace and in seasons of faith:
2 Corinthians 4:1-3: “Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we do not lose heart. But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness nor handling the word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God. But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing” (emphasis added).
Why are these people perishing? We see in the next scripture, verse 4: “whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.”
Now continuing with verses 5 and 6: “For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus' sake. For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”
Verses 7-11: “But we have this treasure [deposited gift, wealth—given of or by God] in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power [dunamis—miracle working power] may be of God and not of us. We are hard pressed [crowded or afflicted to suffer tribulation] on every side, yet not crushed [hemmed in or pressed by an enemy; we are perplexed-mentally trapped or ambushed]; we are perplexed, but not in despair [utterly lost or despondent]; persecuted [pursued, followed, or hunted], but not forsaken [left behind, deserted, or left to die]; struck down [cast down or disregarded; it is interesting to note that the enemy will often seek to cast certain dispersions upon you as an individual] but not destroyed [fully destroyed, as in perishing. This could also be referring to the loss of your faith and your soul] always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus' sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So then death is working in us, but life in you.”
A New Day – A New Season
We need to understand that even in these seasons when we are seemingly hidden and dwelling on the dark side of the moon or walking through the valley of the shadow of death, God is with us. God is with you no matter what it may look like or feel like. The Lord is there (Ezekiel 48:35). We must walk by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7).
Allow me to assure you that these seasons of faith are passing us by one by one. A new day is about to dawn for you in the same imperceptible way as the spring is about to emerge in the natural. Song of Solomon 2:10-13 says it this way: “My beloved spoke, and said to me: ‘Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away. For lo, the winter is past, The rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth; The time of singing has come, And the voice of the turtledove Is heard in our land. The fig tree puts forth her green figs, And the vines with the tender grapes Give a good smell. Rise up, my love, my fair one, And come away!’”
Persecuted for Righteousness' Sake
The darkness of the night and the trials of your season of faith will come to an end readily. The season of the testing and of the trying of your faith shall surely pass and all things will become new! If the Lord walked through these times, then we can also expect to have our faith tried. Jesus said in Matthew 5:10-12: “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
Jesus also mentioned this in John 15:20: "Remember the word that I said to you, 'A servant is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also.”
In fact, the Lord Jesus described His ministry as trials! Imagine that! Here it is in Luke 22:28: “But you are those who have continued with Me in My trials.”Jesus also mentions that there are great rewards for those who persevere through the trials and through the various Seasons of Faith. Here is that promise in Luke 22:29-30: "And I bestow upon you a kingdom, just as My Father bestowed one upon Me, that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom.”
In the end, God’s grace is sufficient for you (2 Corinthians 12:9)!
Prayer for the Overcomer
Dear Father, Thank You for seasons of faith. Today, Lord, I purpose in my heart to persevere and to overcome the seasons of hiddenness and the times that You seem to be a million miles away from me. Lord, no matter what I see or what I feel, I make a conscious decision to trust You and to believe You! I thank You, Lord, that the seasons of faith are shifting and that I am entering to a time of sunshine and communion with You and the precious Holy Spirit. Though I may be pressed, I will not lose heart; I will not lose my faith in You, Lord. I know that You are for me and that even now You are praying and interceding for me to break through into a new season. Lord, I may be pressed and afflicted everywhere I turn, but I am not defeated, I am not crushed. Lord, I may not understand what You are doing in my life in this season, but I purpose in my heart to trust You and keep my faith in You, Lord Jesus. Though I may be perplexed, I will not worry and I will not fear because I choose to trust You, Lord. I will not despair, I will rejoice in You, Lord. And I thank You that You have a future and a hope for me and my life right now! Thank you, Lord, that You will never forsake me or leave behind. No matter what it looks like, I will not be struck down and I will not be destroyed for You are with me now! In the name of Jesus, I pray. Amen!
This article was written by Kevin Basconi, for
King of Glory Ministries International,
PO Box 903, Moravian Falls, NC 28654.
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