Wednesday, January 9, 2013

God's Pruning

    Why do "bad" things happen to "good" people?
     Do I realize that anything that happens to me- good or bad, easy or difficult, must first pass through the hand of God?
     But then there's the question, do trials come from God or is the Devil the one who causes pain? Here is a quote from Becoming God's True Woman*:
     "When God prunes us, the result will be greater growth and sweeter fruit. When the Devil attacks us, his intention is destruction. It is important to know the difference. As believers we must understand that Satan can ask God's permission to prune us in some way, but the Devil only has the power to do so only if God allows it."
      Consider the story of Job for a moment. Those trials came upon Job, only with God's permission, and only because God wanted to accomplish something in Job's life. I don't believe that this means that God reveled in Job's pain, or that He delights in seeing us go through trials, but that He sees a bigger picture. He's pruning us to bear sweeter fruit.
     Satan does want to cause destruction in my spiritual life, and yours too, we know that for a fact. But here is where, with the power of God, we have a say in the matter. By our response to the pruning, we decide whether Satan wins a victory or not.
     If my day hasn't gone as planned, and I respond by lashing out at those I love, or by having a grouchy, self-pitying day; I'm allowing Satan to destroy my day.
     If someone says something unkind about me, and I respond by turning around and saying something unkind about that same person, Satan has won.
    If I am afflicted with some physical pain and I respond with a complaining and ungrateful attitude, then Satan has accomplished what he desired.
      What if instead, we use trials in our life as a reminder to pray, as a prompting to go deeper in our relationship with God? What if we choose cheerfulness, kindness, love, and gratefulness as responses?
     You lose, Satan. God's pruning is going to bring forth sweeter fruit!

    *The book mentioned above got me thinking along these lines, and is filled with many other thought provoking subjects as well. You can find it here.