2 Samuel 4-6; John 15

John 15:2 He takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit, and everyone that does he prunes so that it bears more fruit.

What is this “pruning” God does?  My boys would come home after basketball practice and occasionally complain about how they got yelled at by the coach, singled out individually for criticism.  I would tell them the time to worry was when the yelling and criticism stopped, because that meant the coach decided they were a lost cause.  The “meanness” was because of the potential he saw in them, and he was pushing them to reach that potential.  When we view suffering as “God’s pruning”, we should rejoice in the His loving attention when we suffer.  Every worldly attachment that is trimmed away brings us closer to being worthy of Heaven.

GOD’S ANSWER: In your suffering be an inspiration to others, in suffering joyfully and well.  They will want a share in what you have.  When you meet My Son he is going to greet you warmly, and then ask you who you brought with you.

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