Navigating the Cycles of Life
Words from Jesus
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“For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest. A time to kill and a time to heal. A time to tear down and a time to build up. A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance. A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones. A time to embrace and a time to turn away. A time to search and a time to quit searching. A time to keep and a time to throw away. A time to tear and a time to mend. A time to be quiet and a time to speak. A time to love and a time to hate. A time for war and a time for peace.”—Ecclesiastes 3:1–81
There are cycles in every person’s earth life—cycles in which things go smoothly, and cycles of struggle and challenge, cycles of growth, cycles of loss, cycles of building, cycles of starting over. The secret to navigating these cycles is to hold on to Me, seek Me, and follow Me through each cycle.
When you’re faced with obstacles, challenges, or trials, don’t let them discourage you. Don’t be downcast about them or worry that they will not be resolved, or that victories will not be won; for I have promised you that they will somehow work for your good. This is part of the cycle of life you are in, and you must go through this portion to come out at the other end.
When problems and difficulties arise, that is the time to rise up to meet them with faith and determination. As you fight and overcome, you will move forward to the next part of the cycle, which will bring progress and forward movement. Eventually you will once again face new challenges, problems, and tests, and again you will take up the challenge, seek Me, and cry out to Me. Then you will overcome and move out of that portion of the cycle and move into another time of progress and growth.
Like a wheel, the top goes down to the bottom and comes up to the top again. That is motion, and that moves the vehicle forward. And that’s what these cycles do—they propel you forward. But when you don’t take up the challenge and seek My guidance for the solutions, then you can stop the cycle, attempting to put the brakes on life. But in so doing, you consign yourself to the lowest point of the cycle and there is little to no forward motion, overcoming, or progress; the vehicle just sits, going nowhere.
Don’t look at the low points of the cycles of life as defeats or weights, but as the challenges of life and a means to create forward motion. I know it’s difficult at times to struggle through the low ends of the cycle. I know it can be overwhelming and discouraging to face times of problems and challenges, and to seek Me for solutions and to implement them and make needed changes. But as you do, it brings you out of the low point of the cycle and propels you upward to the high point of the cycle. And so your life moves round and round as a wheel that turns to create forward motion.
So strive to take up the challenges and struggles of life with courage and faith, trusting that every cycle of life that you commit to Me will bring forward progress or work together for good in some way as you continue to move forward, onward, and upward.
The mountains and the valleys
“Blessed are those whose strength is in you, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage. As they pass through the Valley of Baka, they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools. They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God.”—Psalm 84:5–72
You have encountered both mountains and deep valleys throughout your life of faith. You have at times found yourself in what seems like a deep pit and have had to climb out and start over. At times you have wondered why you have to be faced with the low points and the times when you fail or fall, for the falls can be painful, and it requires effort to crawl out of the low places and to once again continue on your journey.
It is often in the valleys that you learn the most precious lessons of life. When you feel like you are on the mountain peaks of life, it is easy to lean to your own strength, whereas in the valley, you are often reminded that it is not your own wisdom and strength that has brought about the things that you have accomplished, but it has been My power, anointing, and strength working in you.
Remember that there are cycles that you pass through in your life journey. When you are in the lowest part of the cycle, that is when you must cry out to Me and hang on to Me and trust Me the most, because you may feel like you are surrounded by problems and trials or defeat and discouragement. No matter how trying the challenges you face, I will guide you and direct you, and you will move forward from the low point of the cycle to new high points of progress and growth.
When all is dark and you cannot see, when all around you seems to be defeat, or when there are problems that you are facing that you do not see the answers to, seek Me and trust Me for the answers. I promise you this: If you call out to Me, I will answer, and I will never leave nor forsake you. I am with you in the low points and in the high points of your life journey! There is no time or part of your life that I will not be with you.
So do not look at setbacks, tests, or difficulties as defeat; look at them as stepping stones to growth and progress. If you didn’t have some of these challenges and trials, you would be tempted to become complacent, and to not strive to move forward. You would not work so hard to solve the problems and desperately seek Me for the solutions.
Don’t be fearful or worried, but rather be challenged, and know beyond the shadow of a doubt that I am with you, and that as you seek Me, I will help you to move forward from that portion of the cycle and into a cycle of progress and victory.
Originally published in 1997. Adapted and republished November 2018. Read by Jerry Paladino. Music by Michael Dooley.
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