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God created us to grow, to change and learn in our seasons of life. As I look around at the beauty of God's handiwork in nature and the different seasons of the growth cycle, I can relate to the seasons we walk through on the journey of life.

As I watched the ugly thorn bush in my garden transform into a beautiful rosebush, I was amazed. Abraham Lincoln said, "We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses."

Looking back on my life, I have experienced many seasons of transformation; it is not just a single event, but a process. In the process you find the promise, in the promise you find the presence, in the presence you find purpose; and when you walk in His purpose for your life, you feel His pleasure. This is the goal in life, to feel His pleasure.

I lived in Scotland for 12 years and enjoyed the beauty of that country. In the movie Chariots of Fire, my favorite line is when Eric Liddell is standing on a beach in St. Andrews and says, "When I run I feel His pleasure."

I have good news for you! When you find yourself in a difficult season, remember: it will not last forever. Ask the Holy Spirit to take away the pain, the hurt and embrace the season. I have learned from every season of my life. I'm a better person for the struggle of each season. As a seed in the ground struggles to find the way out from beneath the dirt, your next season is just around the corner. Isaiah 61:11b (NLT) says "His righteousness will be like a garden in early spring, with plants springing up everywhere." As a child of God, His righteousness will spring forth; and you will bloom in due season.

When we accept Jesus and are born again, we have to learn how to walk in the kingdom of God. Conversion gives you the ability to see. I have been through many seasons in my 35 years of walking with God; I have felt like giving up, undone and hopeless. I have found it is all part of the process of coming alive.

Salvation is about three things: rescue, restore and release. God has rescued us from Satan (1 John 3:8). He has restored to us everything that was stolen in the garden (2 Pet. 1:1-4), and His grace gives us the power to release forgiveness to all who come against us. As Jesus forgave us, we now have to release forgiveness to others. Only by the grace of God can we do this.

Ephesians 4:32 (MEV) tells us, "And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you." Walking in forgiveness releases the pain and hurt that is trying to bury you in the dirt of life.

We are created in God's image and formed into His likeness. As you read and study the men and women in the Bible, you will see that the forming takes place in the struggles of life. Remember, "To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, a da time to uproot what was planted; He has made everything beautiful in its appropriate time" (Eccl. 3:1-2, 11a).

Joyce Tilney is an author and Bible teacher. In her new book, The Real Woman Grows Roses from the Thorns of Life, Joyce shares how the seed of God's Word planted in your heart will transform you into the woman God created you to be. For more information, email: [email protected] and visit her website at wogministries.com. The book is available on Amazon.

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