“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.” John 15:1-4
“‘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.” Hebrews 12: 6-11
Spiritual growth isn’t always fun. In fact, sometimes it’s downright painful.
Pruning hurts, but it’s a normal part of being a disciple. It’s good to be pruned; God only prunes branches which are bearing fruit so that they’ll bear more fruit.
Discipline is painful. But it’s a normal part of being a child of God. It’s good to be disciplined; it means we’re legitimate sons and daughters and our Father wants us to behave like he does.
If you’re never pruned, you may not be connected to the Vine. If you’re never disciplined, you may not be a legitimate child of the King.
When God corrects, rebukes, or removes something in your life, don’t lose heart. This is how discipleship works. Don’t fight it. This is how growth happens. Don’t resent it. This is an expression of God’s love and a sign you’re on the right track.
Embrace the painful work of God in your life and you’ll come out on the other side bearing more fruit and being more like him. That is what you want, right?