In my backyard are several fruit trees. Each one is shielded to some degree from the traversing sun by fir, cedar and maple that are older and tower above them. What is fascinating is how the apple, cherry, plum and apricot contort their branches in the best direction possible to capture maximum sunlight.
Romans 5:3-5--And not only that, but we also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope. This hope will not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
Without the sun no fruit will come. To survive and be strong, tree limbs stretch in whatever direction that yields maximum exposure to sunlight. Suffering, (being shaded from the sun), causes perseverance. Spring and summer each tree races to be the best ray catcher. Any trunk that gives up growing soon will have no fruit for showing. Perseverance produces character. Each woody plant is unique in configuration as she strains towards the light. Her shape, health and the quality of her fruit identify her character. Character produces hope. Each woody plant is rewarded for her uncompromising quest for light by receiving the energy she needs to remain healthy.
Without the Son no fruit will come. To survive and be strong, we must stretch our hearts in whatever direction that yields maximum obedience to His will. Suffering, (whatever opposes His will), causes perseverance. Daily we must die to fleshly cravings, lustful eyes and worldly pride (1 John 2:16), so as to become like Him. If we quit trying to follow Jesus we will cease to bear fruit—“for the fruit of the light results in all goodness, righteousness, and truth” (Ephesians 5:9). Perseverance produces character. We are unique as we strain to become like Christ. Our character is measured by our attitude, behavior and the way God is able to work through us. Character produces hope. As we seek to live as children of light, our Father, who pours out His immeasurable love into our hearts through His Holy Spirit, rewards us. No one who faithfully reaches for the Son will come away disappointed!
Other men see only a hopeless end, but the Christian rejoices in an endless hope.—Gilbert Beenken
©2001 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)