Prostrated by the summer’s heat, we cannot always see the fruit that is being produced on a vine. Just so, cast down by our sufferings, it’s hard to see the fruit God is producing in us.
Even so, Lord God, we pray, let it all be to your glory! Amen.
[Christ Jesus said:] “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. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.”
John 15: 1-6
Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance,
and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,
and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.
For one will scarcely die for a righteous person–though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die–
but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 5: 3-8
The Living Stones Quartet