Weekly Devotionals – 29 April 2024

To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven: (Ecclesiastes 3:1)

I grew up in a region of the United States where we experienced each of the four seasons (Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter). The transition from Winter to Spring was my favourite time of year. The punishing cold and snow of winter would give way to warming temperatures, characterised by blooming flowers and a fresh smell of change in the air.
The year 1977 stands out among all others where this transition of seasons took on real meaning. My hometown of Buffalo, New York, was besieged by an unexpected blizzard. Anyone who lived through an experience like that has a story to share. In my case, I was stranded away from home for four days. The season of Spring could not come fast enough. Here’s a summary of this brutal storm: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m-gRb_MuUgg
Solomon illustrates the contrast of seasons in his message to a gathered assembly (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8). There are those moments when we experience the valleys and times of difficulty. A sense of hopelessness can prevail if we are not able to see light or relief at the end of the tunnel. In such times, we must remember that God is always there, walking alongside us to see us through.
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)

The Apostle Paul was acquainted with differing seasons in his life and ministry. He could flow and adapt to any situation due to his ability to see God at work. In fact, Paul was able to see value in those seasons of adversity. This truth is reflected in his comments to the Philippian Church.
That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death. (Philippians 3:10)
A Change of Season
Thoughts and memories of transitions from Winter to Spring are the primary inspiration behind this devotional. Perhaps you have been going through times of difficulty and challenges. It is natural to be discouraged and filled with a sense of all hope being lost. It’s at times like this when we must look to God and trust that He will bring forth the long-awaited breakthroughs. A brief reflection of some Biblical characters who experienced similar transitions of seasons should prove helpful.:
Joseph was abandoned by his brothers, falsely accused while in Potiphar’s house, placed in prison, and seemingly forgotten. After 13 years of his season in prison, he came to the throne in a day (Genesis 41:41). A New Season had arrived.
David was anointed to be king and yet had a season of fleeing for his life from Saul for many years. At an appointed time and season, he came to the throne over all of Israel (2 Samuel 5:1-5). A New Season had begun for David.
Onesimus is a featured character in Paul’s letter to Philemon. This man was known to be a thief and runaway slave of Philemon, who is now in prison alongside the Apostle Paul. Could there be any hope for someone like Onesimus in this dark season of his life? Yes, we find that through Paul’s encouragement, Onesimus becomes a restored companion of Philemon, no longer a slave. In fact, many speculate that Onesimus became a future bishop. His New Season has arrived.
Spring is in the air!
No matter what situation you may find yourself in at this time, God is in control. He was in control of Joseph’s life through every moment of his ordeal. His season of difficulty prepared him for his ministry as he became Prince of Egypt. What has God been cultivating through your season of challenges? Can you believe for the Lord to bring forth those seasons of refreshing change in your life, your home, your church and your nation? Don’t give up! Press into all that God has for you and believe in Him for your Season of Change.
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. (Song of Solomon 2:11-12)

Monday: Psalm 30:5
For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning.
Tuesday: Galatians 6:9
And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.
Wednesday: Nehemiah 8:10
Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”
Thursday: 1 Peter 1:6-7
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 be tested by fire, might be found to praise and honor and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,
Friday: Isaiah 43:19
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.
Saturday: 2 Corinthians 4:17
For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory,
Sunday: Ecclesiastes 3:11
He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.

All scriptures are quoted from the New King James Version (NKJV).
By Pastor Timothy O’Connell