I have several grapevines in my garden, and each year I cut out loads of long, spindly vines. Unless I remove these, they will take all the strength that should go into the fruit. No vine can be fully fruitful without pruning.

Jesus said that His Father prunes His children. The richest, the fullest, the most fruitful lives are those that have been strengthened through the painful process of tribulation. We have no right to believe that God will use us until He has cut away whatever hinders our growth. What we see as tragedies may be only blessings in disguise, and the very opportunities through which God chooses to exhibit His love and grace.

Are you, my friend, being pruned today? Has the dearest in life been torn from you? Have all your dreams faded? Remember that if you could see the purpose of these problems from the standpoint of God’s wisdom and of eternity, if you could interpret these trials in their relationship to life’s blessings, you would be able to dry your tears and praise the Lord for them all.

God will not withhold any good thing “from those who walk uprightly” (Ps. 84:11). Even in your painful situation, you can trust Him to do what is best.