A couple weeks ago I shared my excitement over seeing new growth on the grape vines in my backyard. After that, a friend came over and told me that I must prune the vines, otherwise all I will get is very small, inedible grapes. So I took my shears, clenched my teeth, and started cutting away many little clusters. It was painful, but I knew I had to do it to receive a fruitful harvest.
In John 15, Jesus says,
I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit.”
This is important to understand. The Lord will prune your life, and it is understandable when He cuts away what is bad and harmful. But at times He will also cut away what is good. This can be painful and confusing. Why would the Lord do that? This is when you and I need to trust the wisdom of the Father—that He cutting away whatever saps our spiritual energy and hinders fruitful results. This perspective should bring an end all to fear, complaining, and self-pity we might have. The Lord’s purpose is that you might “bear much fruit” (v. 8).
So when you go through a difficulty or suffering—and maybe that’s right now—trust the Father’s wisdom and abide in Christ’s love (v. 9) by keeping His commands (v. 10). And look forward to that harvest of fruitfulness that the Lord will bring in your life.