The Christian life has seasons. A hard winter causes trees to become hardy and strong. They also die. So it is with the Christian.
1 Peter 1:6-7 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
Seasons of the Year
Trials in our life come in seasons. The four seasons that we know usually last about 3 months each. Seasons in the Christian life can be much shorter or much longer than a season of the year, depending on what the Lord is trying to accomplish in our lives. The seasons that are the hardest produce the most. When we think of hard seasons we think of a “hard winter”. A hard winter usually involves very cold temperatures and lots of snow and ice. At the same time however, many hard winters will eventually produce stronger trees and hardy plants. It will also kill of some weaker species. Winter is a time of recovery for many plants as they lay dormant. For many plants the sap withdraws from the tree down into the roots during winter where it is stored. There is little apparent growth in the winter.
Seasons of the Christian Life
A hard winter for a Christian can be very cold spiritually. When temptation comes our way, it is not uncommon for the Lord to withdraw himself. Nothing will try your faith like the Lord withdrawing and making you wonder if He is really there. The harder the trial for a Christian, the more hardy the Christian life it produces. A good soldier will endure hardness. He will be ready for the next fight when it comes. Snow and ice produce moisture that fertilizes the soil. The Christian needs moisture, he needs the water of the Word to cleanses his heart and mind. The same Word fertilizes the soul and causes it to grow.
Dying to the Flesh
When flesh freezes in a cold winter, it can die. So it is with the Christian, when we go through a hard trial the flesh freezes and dies. Killing the flesh is good for a Christian. When we go through trials, we suddenly have more time to devote to the Lord during those dreary winter times in our life. The trials force us to spend time with the Lord as our life becomes dormant in this winter. The sap of the Holy Ghost does not always move freely during cold trials. God’s Spirit withdraws himself from the believer often in times of testing. Without the flow of sap, the flesh continues to die. If the warm weather does not come, the tree will die. Just at the point you are about to break, the Holy Ghost provides his life-giving sap.