Pruning Through Trouble
“He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you.”
John 15:2-3 NLT
We started yesterday discussing the pruning process. A process that happens primarily through exposure to the Word of God. But for many folks—me included—we get busy with life and only take a casual look at the Word. So, what does God use to get our attention? TROUBLE!
That is right—God allows things to come into our lives to get our attention. Sometimes, it is a sickness, loss of job, loss of a relationship, car wreck, natural disaster, or some other painful experience that focuses us to reach out for help. In times of trouble, we suddenly are confronted with our own humanity and inability to control all of life by ourselves.
Therefore, God allows the difficulty to come into our lives. He is never interested in seeing us suffer for the sake of suffering. Nor does God cause the suffering—He allows it to come by removing His protection from our lives.
God worked in the Old Testament trying to get Israel to fulfill her God-given responsibility. Israel would get lazy, selfish, and rebellious against God’s plan. So, God allowed foreign nations to attack Israel to wake them up to their sin and rebellion. The problem was that their repentance was short-lived and did not result in true transformation. They wanted to escape the pain but not necessarily correct the behavioral problem that caused the pain.
We are much like Israel. God wants to see His character developed in our lives as fruit that others can see and be blessed with because of His love, joy, peace, and patience flowing through us. God’s kindness and goodness being produced in us will bless a lot of people.
To grow this fruit in our lives, God will allow trouble to come that will reveal the things in our lives that are blocking His character. Character is always developed in difficulty, not in times of ease.
If you are going through a difficult time, perhaps, you should ask what fruit God is wanting to develop in your life. What can you be developing that will be fruit for others to be enriched and bring glory to God?
Holy Spirit, please help me to see what You are doing in my life. Help me to daily be developing God’s character in my life. Help my life to demonstrate You.
Scroll down to share what you feel God is saying to you based on today’s reading.