March 12, 2023 · Bob Gass
“My suffering was good for me.” Psalm 119:71 NLT
God uses problems, pressures, and people to prune you for greater fruitfulness. Are you aware of Him using any of these three things in your life today? God can use all situations in your life to help you grow if you will just have the right attitude. He will use a major frustration, a financial setback, a sudden sickness, a broken marriage, a rebellious child, or even the death of a loved one to get your attention. You say, “But it hurts so much!” Yes, pruning is painful. Sometimes a gardener will prune a tree until it looks like a totem pole or a giant toothpick. It’s not a pretty sight. But the pruning process is positive. God is not mad at you. “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1 NKJV). God does not punish His genuine children. Jesus took your punishment on the cross. God’s pruning is for your best, for more fruitfulness in your life. Can God’s pruning fail to produce? Sure, if you don’t cooperate. How does God produce “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” in your life? (See Galatians 5:22-23 NLT.) He produces these qualities by allowing you to face situations and people with exactly the opposite qualities. He teaches you to love by putting you around difficult people. He teaches you patience by letting things frustrate you. You say, “How can I cooperate with God?” The Bible tells you, “Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NLT).
Bible in a year: Deuteronomy 3-4