Summary: Jesus said that His Father prunes His children. The richest, the fullest, the most fruitful lives are those that have been strengthened through the painful process of tribulation. We have no right to believe that God will use us until He has cut away wha
Eleven Ways God Improves us With Pruning (John 15:2)
Illustration:Every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. --John 15:2
I have several grapevines in my garden, and each year I cut out loads of long, spindly vines. Unless I remove these, they will take all the strength that should go into the fruit. No vine can be fully fruitful without pruning.
Jesus said that His Father prunes His children. The richest, the fullest, the most fruitful lives are those that have been strengthened through the painful process of tribulation. We have no right to believe that God will use us until He has cut away whatever hinders 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 the purpose of these problems from the standpoint of God’s wisdom and of eternity, if you could interpret these trials in their relationship to life’s blessings, you would be able to dry your tears and praise the Lord for them all.
God will not withhold any good thing "from those who walk uprightly" (Ps. 84:11). Even in your painful situation, you can trust Him to do what is best. (Our Daily Bread) MR DeHaan
Because our Father’s heart is grieved
Each time we go astray,
He lifts His chastening hand in love
To guide us in His way.
Christ, the Gardener, cuts away the dead wood to make us fruitful.
1. Jesus knew that God often uses tragedy to cause people to look to heaven for solutions to their problems. The Savior said, "Every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful." (Jn. 15:2) Thank the Lord to for His pruning of certain habits, thoughts and dependencies enabling you to be more fruitful.
2. Jesus knew that people need to die to themselves and their desires before God can properly use them. The Lord Jesus 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." (Jn 12:24) Ask the Lord 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." (Jn. 16:7) Ask the Lord 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. The Lord Jesus said, "Blessed are you when they persecute you and say all kinds of evil against you falsely on account of me." (Matt. 5:13,14) Ask the Lord for 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. The 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 service to God. They will do such things because they have not known the Father or me." (Jn. 16:1-3) Ask the Lord to help you 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." (Jn 16:20) Ask the Lord to give you greater faith enabling you to see how God can turn any grief into greater lasting joy.
7. Jesus knew that things often get worse in minor areas so that we can learn how to assume greater responsibilities.
The Master said, "Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much." (Lk. 16:10) Ask the Lord to help you be faithful and effective with your minor duties so God can promote you to greater responsibilities.
8. Jesus knew that the Lord uses difficulties to weed out those who are not fit for leadership. The Lord Jesus said, "They all alike began to make excuses. Please excuse me "If anyone comes tome and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brother and sisters - even his own life - he cannot be my disciple." (Lk. 14:18,26) Ask the Lord to help you not be disqualified because of unwilling to surrender all for God’s will.