Life At Its Best: Succeeding in new seasons
Trying new things isn't easy. I remember when my oldest son wanted a bike.
We decided he was old enough to try one with training wheels, so we bought him one. But the training wheel stage didn't last long.
After seeing the neighbor kids riding with only two wheels, he decided it was time to do it, too. He practiced with our help a few times, but then he wanted to try on his own. So he climbed on his bike, and his little legs started pedaling.
After about 15 yards, he wobbled and crashed right into a pole.
He quickly realized moving into this new stage of riding wasn't going to be easy. He had to persevere and acquire new skills if he was going to learn how to successfully ride a big-boy bike.
That's how life is. There are times when God asks us to pursue new things, and they're not easy. Oftentimes, we start strong, but when trials come, we're tempted to get discouraged. Like my son, we quickly realize that being successful in our new season requires persistence and constant learning.
During those times, we must choose to live with positive faith, continually pursuing what God's calling us to go after. When we do, we can be sure He'll help us succeed.
In God's word, we find two keys to succeeding in every season. First, we must be willing and persistent in gaining new skills. James 1:2-4 says, ". you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."
Learning and acquiring new skills and habits is a process. There'll be times when we're tempted to quit. But instead, we must see those trials as an opportunity for growth and allow them to mature us in the things to which God's calling us.
Then, not only do we have to learn new skills, but we also need to experience God's help in our lives. Joseph shows us a great example of this. Throughout his life he experienced lots of obstacles that could have kept him from moving forward. He was thrown into a pit, sold into slavery and even unjustly imprisoned.
It surely didn't look like he'd ever reach the place God was calling him to, but he continued to persevere and be faithful. The Bible says that throughout every trial Joseph faced, "The Lord was with him."
Those in charge of Joseph noticed God's favor on his life and soon placed him in charge of all of Egypt.
Joseph couldn't reach the places God was calling him to on his own, and neither can we. We must learn to trust God's power and continue to be diligent. When we couple our hard work and faithfulness with God's incredible power, we can be sure we'll reach the places he has for us.
What new things is God asking you to pursue? I encourage you, go after them. Work hard to learn the skills necessary for experiencing success in the position he has for you. Then trust that, as you stay diligent, he'll empower you to reach them. You can start experiencing success in your new season today.
Jim Graff is the senior pastor of Faith Family Church in Victoria. faithfamilyvictoria.com.