Recently I have found myself in what I refer to as a death or pruning process. While no pruning seems pleasant at the time, if we patiently endure it, it will give way to new life and much fruit will be produced. James 5: 7-11 says “We must aim high to reach the highest goals. To produce the best fruit requires work, time, patience and perseverance.” Often times God will use the trials and afflictions that we go through to strengthen our faith, and to refine us like the gold. “These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold–though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials,it will bring you much praise, glory, and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world” (1 Peter 1:7).
It is often at our weakest and most lowest point that Christ’s power is the strongest in us. “His strength is made perfect in our weakness” (2 Corinthians 4: 9). I personally, know what it feels like to be weary from the battle and feel like you are truly at the end of yourself. But I sense the Lord saying “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41: 10).
Often during the intense times of trial and in our weariness, the enemy will come and try to get us to doubt the promises of God, and even our calling and destiny. It is during this time that we need to strengthen ourselves in the Lord, His word, and His promises to us. I know that it helps me to go back to my journal and reread what God has spoken to me over the past several months. Sometimes, I will see how many of the prayers I have prayed have been answered. This encourages and build up my faith. My encouragement to you today is – Keep pressing on! Isaiah 40: 31 says “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run, and not be weary: and they shall walk, and not faint.”
Just like the caterpillar experiences the painful, uncomfortable process of being inside of it’s cocoon, new life is actually taking place in what feels like a death process. In reality, part of the caterpillar’s old body actually dies off while it is in the process of being transformed into a beautiful butterfly. So it is with us, that during the pruning process, death actually gives way to new, abundant life. Caterpillars have butterfly DNA in them… So get ready to soar, because your best days are ahead of you! “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29: 11)