Good morning, happy Thursday, and blessings.
John 15: 9-11 is a gospel that makes it clear to us that we should and can follow Christ in difficult times. So, what does a genuine follower of Christ do in difficult times? What are the marks of a true disciple of Christ? What identifies the real Christian in times of adversity? In John 15, Jesus describes what His true followers do especially in hard times.
Every Christian has dealt with or is dealing with some type of adversity. It could be persecution, unemployment, family problems, coronavirus, immigration status, racism, domestic violence, heterosexism, prejudices, etc. Whatever the problem know that God is near to comfort you. He is near to encourage you and help you. In all suffering ask yourself what can I learn from this situation?
I am not saying with this that you submit or surrender to the injustices of daily living. Rather, it is fighting to turn situations of oppression into realities of liberation. Nor am I saying that it was God who brought these adversities. These are problems of daily living that we cannot allow to get us away from the love of God. It is that you use this situation to strengthen your relationship with God.
On the other hand, I understand that bearing fruit as a Christian is easy when life is our adversities? How do we effectively walk out our faith during difficult times and what pruning in the Bible shows us about God preparing us to bring forth fruit and serve Him in the middle of adversities? The book of Proverbs 24:10 tell us; If you are weak in the day of trouble, your strength is small!
The gospel that we discussed yesterday, John 15:1-8, Jesus tell us; “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You prove you’re a genuine follower of Christ when you bear fruit, when you’re productive even in times of adversity. But you cannot do that on your own. You can’t manufacture the kind of character which truly benefits people in your own strength, no. In order to bear fruit even in times of adversity, you must abide in Jesus, you must remain in Him, you must stay connected.
In this very moment, you may be going through a sifting season, where adversities are doing all they can to shake you up and separate you from your faith. Stand on the promises of God. Declare that God’s word is true. Let the adversities know they can shake the circumstances around you, but they can never shake the faith that’s within you. Stay rooted and be assured that Jesus is going to bring you out of this situation with a testimony of victory. That’s why He’s sending this cup of inspiration your way: so you won’t quit on the journey to breakthrough. While you’re waiting for deliverance, lean on Him. He is your refuge.
God is using everything for our good and Her glory and therefore David remind us: Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. (Psalm 23:4). Let us remember this during our adversity’s stages.