Fresh Hope – 5th April 2017

Ever felt that the life you are trying to build is being taken apart by God?

Ever felt in this current season of your life that you seem to be being stripped of everything you have lived for?

Ever been scared to open the Bible, or pray, for fear that God would once again ask for yet again another part of your life to be surrendered to Him, knowing that there’s hardly anything left as it is?

There have been seasons in my own life when the only way I could describe them was to say that it felt like as if I was walking naked through a crowd, with no ability to cover myself up – nightmare! Embarrassed, confused and stripped of everything that I’d built in and around my life.

A couple of days ago, I visited a friend. He was excited to show me this garden that he’d been working on. As we walked from the front to the back of his house, he began to describe the massive plums that his trees would be bearing this year. You can imagine how surprised I was when we arrived in the back garden to find just four very small trees with just a few short branches on. In my mind, if you were going to produce massive plums, you would need a massive tree – but not so to him. He showed me the shoots that had been growing during the winter and that he had just that day cut right off.

It was the very action of pruning the tree that guaranteed the future success of the fruit. “The more I prune, the greater the size of the fruit later on”, he said.

I’d known this all along, but that day was a very clear reminder as to why God ‘prunes’ our lives.

Pruning is seasonal and is for greater growth.

Pruning seems painful at the time, but is necessary for a future harvest.

Pruning seems wrong when things can give an appearance of getting bigger. Yet, we must not be confused that the size of the fruit equates to the size of the tree. In fact, the opposite is true. Seemingly insignificant ‘small’ humble people can far outweigh those that are mighty in their own eyes.

Feeling cut back today?

Feeling stripped of everything right now?

Don’t dismay…God always prunes those He loves so that you will have a far more effective life.

Hebrews 12:5-11 And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says, ‘My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.’ Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? If you are not disciplined – and everyone undergoes discipline – then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

Pastor Mark

A daily devotion for a better way of living.