Devotion for January 29, 2024

“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.” (Hebrews 12:11)

Did you know that some master gardeners actually talk to their plants? Why? Because it helps them grow! Imagine yourself saying, “You’re such a good plant. My, you really are looking fine today! I’m so proud of you!” Now, picture yourself talking to a plant you’re pruning and saying, “This pains me more than it pains you.” Whack! “You will thank me for this afterward!” Whack! “It’s for your own good!” Whack! Now picture the plant talking back: “You don’t have a heart. You hate me. I’ve worked long and hard to make those roses you just cut off.”

Isn’t that what we say to God while He prunes us? “Don’t you love me? Don’t you care about me? Don’t you see what’s going on in my life right now?” We think God is mad at us. No, He is not mad. One of the major mistakes we make is confusing pruning with punishment. Don’t equate the two. God sees you as someone who can bear more fruit, someone with potential for greatness, someone He wants to utilize in a significant way. He wants you to be as fruitful as you can conceivably be, so He prunes you, even lopping off some of the things He has been blessing in your life.

Have you lost a job you loved? Or a relationship you loved? God may have something much better in mind. Can you trust Him? Do you believe He is at work in your life? His Word says, “God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished” (Philippians 1:6).

Prayer

Father, when I’m in chaos, I ask that You strengthen my faith in Your promises, knowing that You always love me and care for me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Stay encouraged!

Pastor Mike

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