Summary: Jesus said that His Father prunes His children. The richest, fullest, most fruitful lives are those that have been strengthened through the painful process of tribulation.
Do Not Be Afraid of God’s Pruning in Your Life: John 15:2
Introduction: Every branch that bears fruit must be pruned to bear much more fruit. I have a tomato plant that has been living for over two years now. Every winter the cold weather and heavy breeze kill more than half of the vines and leafs. If I don’t prune the dead, it will spread and kill the whole plant. Therefore, I must prune what is wilted to save the rest of the plant. In turn, the plant grows bigger, stronger, and bears more tomatoes than before. The tomatoes don’t only multiply, but they are much more pleasing in their flavor.
We must allow God to prune the wilted friends, habits, thoughts, and possessions out of our lives. By allowing this to happen, we will grow stronger and bear more fruit for the Kingdom of God. We will not only add to the Kingdom in quantity, but also in quality. The fruit we bear will be much more pleasing to God. Like David did, ask God to search your heart of any offense. David wrote, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; And see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23-24).
Jesus said that His Father prunes His children. The richest, fullest, most fruitful lives are those that have been strengthened through the painful process of tribulation. We have no right to think God will use us until He cuts away whatever may hinder our growth. What we see as tragedies may be only blessings in disguise, and the very opportunities through which God chooses to exhibit His love and grace.
Has the dearest in life been torn from you? Have all your dreams faded?
Remember that if you could see these problems from the standpoint of God’s wisdom and of eternity, you would be able to dry your eyes and praise the Lord for all of these. God will not withhold any good thing “from those who walk uprightly” (Psalm 84:11). Even in your painful situation, you can trust Him to so what is best.
Christ cuts away the unusable only to make us more usable.
1. Jesus knew that God often uses tragedy to cause people to look to heaven for solutions to their problems. Jesus said, “Every branch that does not bear fruit He prunes so that it will be even more fruitful” (John 15:2). We need to thank the Lord for His pruning of our certain habits, thoughts, and dependencies.
2. Jesus knows that people need to die to themselves and their desires before god can properly use them. The Lord said, “Unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds” (John 12:24). Ask God for a greater yielding attitude, so you can enjoy greater spiritual success.
3. Jesus knew that sometimes we must step aside in order for God’s greater work to be done. The Lord Jesus said, “It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you” (John 16:7). Ask God for the wisdom to know when to step aside to allow God to use whomever He wants to get His will accomplished.
4. Jesus knew that persecution is a part of god’s plan to help us mature in all aspects of life. Jesus said, “Blessed are you when they persecute you and say all kinds of evil against you falsely on account of me” (Matthew 5:13-14). Ask the Lord to give you greater endurance to withstand the tests, trials and hardships that are a part of God’s plans.
5. Jesus knew that adversity often happens to the godly as a means of greater visibility for God’s Kingdom and righteousness. Our Lord Jesus said, “All this I have told you so that you will not go astray. They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, a time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is offering a sacrifice to God. They will do such things because they have not known the Father or Me” (John 16:1-3). Ask God to see the silver lining behind every dark cloud of adversity.
6. Jesus knew that hardship often happens so that we can see how the Lord turns our grief to joy. The Great Shepherd said, “I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy” (John 16:20). Ask the Lord to give you greater faith enabling you to see how God can turn any grief into greater lasting joy.