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Pruning of God - Trials

March 18, 2014 | by: Michael Shafran | 0 comments

Posted in: Christian Living Tags: Paul Tripp, John 15, Vine and Branches, Pruning, Christ-likeness

vineYesterday, we ended our service understanding that our loving heavenly Father desires and promises that His children will become "changed into the image of His Son" (Rom 8:29). Because God is pruning His fruitful branches so they will bear much fruit (John 15:2), it will come in the form many times of His loving discipline (Hebrews 12:5-10) or through trials (James 1:2-4). You can listen to the sermon HERE.

I encouraged our people to look at the next trials they face as the Lord working on them and on me. As if that's an easy task! (Humorous Note: Pastors should be more careful what they preach.... because they will be called upon to practice it too!!!)

Paul Tripp gives an awesome example of this when explaining how he left his flip phonecell phone in a rental car and was unable to retrieve it. He had to catch a flight and the car company claimed they didn't have it. For most of us, losing our cell phone nowadays would be a (right or wrong) major trial... well maybe not the kind pictured to the right but you know what I mean. How did Paul Tripp deal with this trial? He tells us:

On the plane, I immediately bowed my head and thanked the Lord for his sovereignty, this trial, and the sanctification that would result...If you believe that, I have a heavily populated island in New York that I’d like to sell you! Or, if that would be your reaction, you're at a level of spiritual maturity that I will never reach.

I was so frustrated. I wanted to blame someone, anyone. "It was the rental car guy's fault," I reasoned. "If he hadn't told me to disconnect the GPS, I wouldn't have become distracted and I wouldn't have forgotten my phone!" What was I going to do for the next couple days? How would I keep track of my schedule, check my e-mail, and connect with people while I'm on the go all the time?

He writes about what God was truly revealing about his heart HERE, namely that Paul Tripp doesn't want the sovereign Lord to be LORD, but PAUL wants to be the sovereign Lord. 

I'm fairly certain that's a lesson we all need to learn and we could insert any of our names there. But how was this revealed? Through the trial!

I encourage you to read the whole article entitled On the Other Side of the Border, and then let's look at our own lives, and trials, and bow before the Lord, learn, be pruned, bear more fruit, for His Glory Alone!