Need a word of encouragement today? You are a child of the King. God will be merciful to you today and bless you, and cause His face to shine upon you (see Psalm 67:1).
Seasons of Hope
I want to encourage you to begin to know that you can step into a season of hope no matter what your circumstances. Even though we know the world system is corrupt, we also know that Christ has given us His all-sufficient grace and mercy. Even when we don't act like His son or daughter, He still loves us.
I'm not speaking of the "greasy grace" that allows a person to do anything the flesh desires and use grace as a license to continue to sin. I am talking about the abundance of grace that we need on a daily basis which empowers us to have hope. Proverbs 13:12 says "...hope deferred makes the heart sick..."Since the heart is the Scriptural brain center that contains and expresses our feelings, when we lose hope we often wind up in a season of hopelessness, feeling sick at heart, so to speak.
Speaking from experience, I do not believe that there is anything that can compare with hopelessness. To me it encompasses losing vision and experiencing gut-wrenching loneliness and despair. Maybe you can relate. Having no hope overshadows us with a foreboding sense of doom and gloom. One might even compare it with having a shadow of impending death following you everywhere you go.
Yes, it is a miserable state of depression. In my book,Regaining Vision (order through The Elijah List), I go into great detail to expose hope deferred and discuss the challenges that we experience when we lose vision.Losing vision comes from losing purpose and hope.Uselessness sets in and, before we realize it, we isolate and exclude ourselves from the very people that we love. It is the lie of the enemy. He knows the power of two (1 + 1 = 10,000).
To step out of this desperate state, we must begin to cast down everything that exalts itself against what God says about us. In 2 Corinthians 10:3-6, Apostle Paul gives us some insight. He tells us even though we walk in the flesh, our warfare is not a carnal fight, but "...mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds..." This passage goes on to inform us that we are to cast down every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity (my paraphrase and emphasis added).
It is the knowledge of God that tells us that we are the head and not the tail. It is the knowledgeof God that devised the plan to redeem the world that allows you and me to overcome by the Blood of the Lamb. It is the knowledge and wisdom of God that established an incredible plan by sacrificing His only begotten Son.
I know that most of us have heard this in Church. But from a hope-deferred viewpoint, the enemy knows that he is a defeated foe when coming against God's knowledge, so he challenges you and I instead. If he can mess with your thinking, he can mess with your life. If he can mess with our thinking, he can mess with our families and our finances, etc. This is why Apostle Paul tells us to give the enemy no place.
Getting The Point
I know that you are getting the point that the enemy has a plan to keep you cycling in hopelessness and despair. You are realizing, as have I, that the enemy attempts to establish a stronghold during times of hopelessness.
It is our responsibility to pull down his lies, bring negative thoughts that oppose God's truths into captivity, so that we can overcome seasons of hope deferred. Think on this a moment and you will realize that seasons of desperation, aloneness, hopelessness, and seclusion will truly steal our joy and rob us of all hope. That is not God's heart. (Photo via SXC by Cheryl Empey)
Saints, let me be direct for a moment. God often uses a season of hopelessness to bring us hope. God doesn't bring hopelessness, but He can use it. There is always a redemptive purpose with the Lord. Your assignment will always have an enemy.
In the Kingdom, the only ones rewarded are the overcomers. So when you begin to feel hopelessness, remember that the Word of God in you already has the ability to perform itself.So when hopelessness begins as a negative thought, cast down that imagination and give it no place. We must always remember that God not only gives us hope for tomorrow but strength for today.
Between Spiritual Seasons
An encouraging word can definitely be used when a person is in an unfamiliar season. These are seasons that usually spin us out of control. The only differences between our seasons are the ones that we are willing to overcome. We don't get to choose our seasons, we get to discover our seasons. It is during these times that we mature at a faster pace.
Just recently I was led by the Lord to write a book called Between Spiritual Seasons (order through The Elijah List). After pastoring and traveling for nearly thirty years now, it seemed that most people were either stuck in a season, coming out of a season, or going into a season. Either way, we are always in a season.
Getting caught "between seasons" can be very depressing and stressful. We all struggle with leaving our comfort zone that gives us peace, but crossing over into a new season can be stressful because we are not accustomed to the uncharted environment around us. It can even cause loss of vision, which the enemy uses to separate you from those you need the most.
New Seasons Can Bring Hopelessness
Shifting into new seasons can be quite challenging. Scripturally, we are told that our victory against the enemy, including hope deferred, was won at the Cross. The challenge is this: knowing, believing, and receiving that we have won (see Jeremiah 29:11). But know this, there is a tremendous pull from the old season that says, "Hey, come on back, you know how to survive in this season."
In my recent book, I give examples of different seasons you will encounter. Losing hope can come from the unknown as much as it can come from what is known. Transitioning from one season to the other can be done easily, but it's the attitude that will equal your altitude.
Warring Season Fatigue
When someone is prideful about being in a "warring season," they have been there too long. They're stuck! Believe me, it is not because they have conquered and overcome and have all the answers for others. It is only because of familiarity. It has become a comfort zone. I know what some of you may be thinking. Comfort in a warring season?
When a person is stuck in a season too long, it becomes a stronghold. It can make them feel more "spiritual." The real truth is they don't know how to shift into a new season and move forward. Without their understanding the need to shift, they will then unknowingly move into spiritual performance. Shifting from one season to another is not as easy as it seems. It can be very challenging, stressful, and even frustrating. In my book Between Spiritual Seasons I have provided several solutions on how to shift from one season to another. (Photo via SXC by Renaude Hatsedakis)
Be Encouraged Today!
Saints, please allow me to speak another word of encouragement to you. When you feel trapped, and it seems as if there is no way out, Christ is always there. This is where our faith must abound. Let us not forget that during any spiritual battle faith becomes our most treasured asset. Sometimes it is better to enter into a spiritual rest when warring and allow the Spirit of God to do your battling. I can just hear you now saying "What? Are you saying I should rest during a heated battle?"
Yes, that is exactly what I am suggesting. When we rest in Him, the Word says that our trust and hope is in the Lord and not in what we can do. Having faith in our Lord allows us to remain steady and not fluctuate into high highs and low lows. Remember always that we fight from the victory and not to the victory. Unfortunately, many Believers do not fully understand their authority in Christ and they do battle in the flesh and not in the Spirit.
It is very important to also remember that warring seasons must be monitored by your discernment and others around you. Why so? One of the principle reasons is we must not spend so much time battling that we can't praise God. If we cast our cares over on Him, He will always shift us on through to our next season so that our purpose and destiny in Christ can always advance and not become stagnant.(Photo via SXC by Chris Wittwer)
In closing, I want to leave you with another positive thought, especially if you are in a time of active spiritual warfare. In John 10:10...Jesus tells us that the thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy; He says, "I have come that you may have life and life more abundantly" (my paraphrase). Without Christ, there can be no abundance. So be encouraged, dear ones, and fight the good fight of faith. Greater is HE that is in you than he that is in the world.
Please allow me to pray for you:
Father, I thank You for Your hedge of protection around these precious readers. I ask that you comfort them and make them steadfast through their shifting of seasons. Lord, I thank You that You are always watching over them and guiding them even when they feel weary and exhausted. As they walk through their spiritual seasons of change, I pray that they will always draw closer to You and that they may mature in the things to come. My heart is for them to be closer to You as they are empowered from season to season. Thank You, Jesus. Amen.
Pastor Mickey Freed is ordained with Christian International Ministries under the spiritual headship of Dr. "Bishop" Bill Hamon. Mickey has served on the Board of Governors at Christian International for over ten years, along with his wife, Sandie.
Mickey's passion and purpose is not only to teach and preach the Word, but to also provide stability and oversight to the Church. He has traveled nationally and internationally ministering to churches and ministries, releasing dynamic truths. Ministering strongly in the gift of the word of knowledge, the Lord uses Mickey mightily in healing, restoration, and teaching leadership classes to strengthen the vision of the local Church. Apostolic pastor Mickey is an implementer of present truth and desires to speak the Word of God forth so that every Believer is free from bondages that withhold them from vision and destiny. Mickey is also the author of two books:Regaining Vision and Between Spiritual Seasons. Both books are designed to give the saints vision to continue serving the Lord even though there are seasons of turmoil and distress.
Pastor Mickey has traveled nationally and internationally imparting and releasing vision to thousands. Being a Senior Pastor of a successful church and ministry for over fourteen years, Mickey has walked through the challenging times of pastoring. Therefore, he is a sought after apostle who powerfully ministers to Church leadership as well as to the Church at large.
Mickey is also very active in Marketplace Ministry and believes that every Believer has an anointing for Kingdom wealth. After owning a successful business for thirty years, he has an anointing to impart financial breakthroughs as well as ministering cutting-edge apostolic truths concerning Kingdom Business.
Permission is granted (and you are also encouraged) to reprint these articles in hard copy form, as well as sending them to your own email lists and posting them on your own websites. We ask only that you keep Elijah List website, email contact info, and author contact information intact.
Elijah List Publications
528 Ellsworth St. SW
Albany, OR 97321
Phone 866-354-5245 (Toll-Free USA) or 541-926-3250
To subscribe to The Elijah List go to: