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God’s Pruning is Difficult to Go Through but Profitable

Spring officially started yesterday!  Woo hoo! It means warmer temperatures, beautiful flowers and new growth appearing on plants, shrubs and trees. It’s also the time for pruning many plants. Pruning is done to remove the parts of a plant that are no longer useful to improve a plant’s overall health. For fruit trees pruning is important to increase the quantity and improve the quality of the fruit.

grape vines - pruning

In John 15:1-5 Jesus teaches that the Father prunes His children for the same reason as a gardener does fruit trees. To produce more fruit. It may be that you are in a pruning season of life. Let’s see what this is all about. First, Jesus says there are four types of fruit-producing Christians.

  1. Those who produce no fruit.
  2. Those who produce fruit.
  3. Those who produce more fruit.
  4. Those who produce much fruit.

The Father’s expectation is that all Christians produce fruit Ephesians 2:10. If you’re not producing fruit, something’s wrong. In John 15:2 Jesus says the Father “takes away” those who don’t produce fruit. Since Jesus says “every branch in me” He isn’t talking about a Christian losing his or her salvation. It’s likely that God’s discipline is in view here. Bottom line, you don’t want to be this kind of person.

Then Jesus addresses Christians who are producing fruit. They’re doing good things with eternal consequences for God. If you’re producing fruit, God wants you to produce more fruit.  Makes sense.  This is where pruning comes in.

and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.

Pruning people is compared with pruning grape vines. There are parts of every vine that don’t produce fruit and take energy away from the fruit producing part of the vine. Some things we do produce fruit for God.  There are also things we do that keep us busy but don’t contribute to our spiritual fruitfulness.

[Tweet “God prunes us so that we make His priorities our priorities”]

When God prunes us, He takes things out of our lives to focus on fruit-producing tasks. This can be things like a job, where we live or even people in our lives. The reason God prunes us is to stimulate us to be more productive for Him.   When this happens we’re free to focus on three things.

  1. Why God made us as He did. It helps us rediscover our passion.
  2. What our future potential is. We will develop fully as God intended us to do.
  3. What our legacy is. We have an opportunity to leave a lasting legacy of fruit for the Lord.

[Tweet “God’s pruning is often painful and misunderstood but results in fruitfulness”]

Pruning only happens when you are producing fruit. If you are walking with God and going through a difficult time such as a loss of job, friends or some other loss, don’t take it as God’s discipline. Ask God to help you through and make you more fruitful. The goal of more fruit then much fruit is worth it!

In my next post I’m going to share a personal example of when I went through a time of pruning.

Have you experienced pruning from God? Please leave a comment or question.


  • I feel that I am being pruned right this minute. My life is really out of order or disorganized, I can’t seem to stick to my schedule with my 2 & half month old. I’m working on trying to help my husband understand salvation through Jesus Christ, but my daily walk and example is not the best. I’m easily frustrated because we are living at my mother’s while do some roofing an remodeling work on our home. It is taking longer than we thought and I want to go home. I must have quiet and sometimes there are days when I don’t speak more than ten words. Those words are usually when my husband comes home and I ask him how his day was.
    At my mother’s, there is always noise and constant chatter. My panic attacks are beginning to come back. I think God is trying to prune my gift of…patience, I guess, by keeping us here. I don’t really know.

  • Dear Sister, I am so sorry to hear what you are going through. It isn’t fair for me to try to give you a definitive opinion from just your comments. Having said that what you describe doesn’t sound like pruning. It sounds like you are running on empty spiritually. Pruning is taking away things to help us focus. It sounds more like you are under a spiritual attack which is causing you to loose focus. If you want to email me we can talk more. If not that’s okay. Email me wcushman [at] outlook [dot] com. I write my email address this way so spammers can’t pick it up. No matter what I am praying for you. Thanks for reaching out.

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    Ward Cushman

    My journey of faith started when I was nine years old when I realized that Jesus died and rose again to pay for my sins. At the age of thirteen I felt the call of God on my life for ministry.

    I have been fortunate to work in the marketplace for over ten years and in full-time Christian ministry for over thirty years.

    My passion is to teach God's Word in such a way that it is easy to understand and so that God uses it to bring about life change in those who hear it.

    It is my greatest joy to see God work through me to produce fruit for His glory!