UCB Word for Today 11 Dec 2012
PRUNED FOR GREATER FRUITFULNESS ‘…He who abides in Me…bears much fruit…’ JOHN 15:5
Some folk view the Christian life as a bed of roses, others see it as a battlefield. The first group says, ‘If I’ve enough faith I’ll never be sick, broke, or have problems.’ The second group says, ‘I have more troubles than Job.’ The truth is, your faith level is revealed by hard times. When your back is to the wall financially you need faith to believe that God is Jehovah Jireh, the Lord who provides. When you’re battling illness you need faith to believe He’s Jehovah Rapha, the great physician who promises to heal. Jesus said, ‘He who abides in Me…bears much fruit.’ Notice, the blessing comes from ‘abiding’ and staying close to the Lord. Getting excited about fruit before you’ve learned to sow seed means you end up serving God for what He does, instead of who He is to you. And here’s another thought: Don’t use your faith to belittle others. Just because you have graduated, don’t burn down the school! Remember the tests you didn’t do so well in? But God brought you through, didn’t He? And He will bring them through too! Yes, the Christian life is a battlefield. And the level of attack is determined by the size of your God-given assignment and the rewards that await you beyond it. So in that sense, satan’s attack is a compliment. The truth lies in the middle. You will be regularly pruned for greater fruitfulness. But that’s when it’s even more important to abide. So don’t give up, and don’t collapse, for beyond this test you’ll have a testimony to God’s goodness.
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The Word For Today is written by Bob and Debby Gass, with Ruth Gass Halliday.
This is a hard thought, it is true that everything is not always sweet for those of us who believe in Jesus as Saviour. But as Bob says it is having faith in God and all He means to us that is important. Yes we can have bad days weeks months or years, but in all of that God is there with us, walking with us, carrying us and supporting us. God doesn’t inflect these things on us but does use the things that happen to change us for good. Its like here in England our beech trees have picked up an infection from abroad and those who tend the forests are having to prune and cut down trees to avoid it spreading. Now although that hurts the landscape it will also over time change it and improve it as new things grow up to fill the gaps,
Our journey with Christ is like that as well, God prunes us to allow new fruit to grow and He uses the struggles of our life to do that. I thank God that even though I struggle with my health day by day that through that struggle He is making something new out of me.