Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.
— 1 Peter 4:12,13, NKJV
It is by close, testing trials that God brings his people near to himself; for in trial and temptation he discovers to them their weakness, and teaches them to lean upon him as their only help and safeguard. When this result is attained, his object is accomplished, and his tried servants are prepared to be used in every emergency, to fill important positions of trust, and to accomplish the grand purposes for which their powers were given them.
Jesus says: “I am the true vine, and my father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.” There is a constant tendency among the trees of the Lord to be more profuse in foliage than in fruit...and the fruit is not brought to perfection unless the vine is pruned.
In prosperity the followers of Jesus often turn their thoughts and energies toward gratifying themselves, to securing worldly treasure, to the enjoyment of ease and pleasure and luxury, and they bring forth little fruit to the glory of God; then the heavenly husbandman, in order to promote the fruitfulness of the branches, comes with the pruning-knife of disappointment, loss, or bereavement, and cuts away the hindering growth.
The pruning may be painful for a time, but afterward it “yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness.” We should receive with gratitude whatever will quicken the conscience, elevate the thoughts, and ennoble the life.
The fruitless branches are cut off and cast into the fire. Let us be thankful that through painful pruning, we may retain a connection with the living Vine; for if we suffer with Christ, we shall also reign with him. The very trial that taxes our faith the most severely and makes it seem as though God had forsaken us, is to lead us more clearly to him, that we may lay all our burdens at the feet of Christ, and experience the peace which he will give us in exchange.
O let us cultivate that living faith that will trust him in the hour of darkness and trial!
— The Review and Herald, April 10, 1894
Lean on God as your only help and safeguard during trials and temptations.
Receive with gratitude whatever arouses the conscience, elevates the thoughts and ennobles the life through the painful pruning process.
Be thankful that you may maintain a connection with the living Vine and be lead more clearly to Him. Lay all your burdens at the feet of Christ.
Cultivate a living faith that will trust Him in the hour of darkness and trial!