Isn’t it encouraging to be reminded that God won’t give up on you? I think every true believer has those moments when they feel like they aren’t progressing as fast as they should. They know that God has a purpose and a plan for them but they just don’t understand it or their place in it yet. They want to, but there are things for the Holy Spirit to teach them first and there is a timing to it all as well. Yet we feel the disappointment of being both slow learners and impatient students so we think that God must feel the same way.
“Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him. For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.” – Psalms 103:13-14
The truth is that God is very long suffering toward all men, and His eager children most of all. He knows our hearts and our frailty, which is why He takes His time with us. He must work the ground of our hearts, He must plant the seeds of righteousness, He must pluck up the weeds planted by the enemy, He must prune, cultivate, and grow us, well before He can bring forth a harvest of good fruit in us. Yet one thing I know, He is a good husbandmen (vineyard keeper). He knows exactly how to get the workmanship of His hands to produce the best and the most abundant fruit possible. We need only to trust Him and patiently allow Him to do is good work in us.
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” – Ephesians 2:10
Even in the painful pruning seasons of our life when things are being cut away and it seems from all outward appearance like we are being viciously attacked, yet it has its purposes in causing us to bring forth more abundant fruit in the fruiting season.
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” – Romans 8:28
We do have a part to play in not allowing the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches (materialism) (Mark 4:19), idols (1 John 5:21), willful sin (which causes you to give lordship of your vineyard over to an other master) (Hebrews 10:26-31, Romans 6:16), or a lack of time spent abiding connected to the root of David (which is prayer, worship, and communion with Jesus) (John 15:6, Romans 11:16-23) will cause you to wither producing either bad fruit or no fruit at all (which is just as bad) that you be cut down and cast into the fire. For who wants a vineyard full of useless trees?
“I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.” – John 15:5-6
Yet as long as we have made Jesus the husbandmen of our vineyard, that is to say, the master of our lives and we keep Him as such, ever pursuing to obey Him, serve Him, love Him, and grow closer to Him, then we will. Even when we don’t feel like we are, we are. For we can rest assured that He who began a good work in us will continue until it be complete if we have but the faith to stand. In the meantime, simply have patience, seek Him, listen to Him, trust Him, abide in Him, and grow. So no matter how slow, frustrated, confused, downtrodden, unworthy, or unable you feel, know that God is still working on you and pursue. Don’t give up on Him and He won’t give up on you. Stay the course.
“Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.” – 2 Peter 3:17-18
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” – Galatians 5:22-25
“Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 3:13-14