Father, I want to produce good fruit in my life, fruit which pleases you. Help me to cultivate my connection to Jesus every day. Help me to love my fellow believers and all whom I contact according to the standards of the Bible. I understand you have chosen me, and I submit to your pruning. In the Name of Jesus, the True Vine, Amen.
Christ followers experience difficult seasons in life when feelings of isolation and abandonment can loom large. The temptation to doubt or give up comes in the tough times. Knowing Jesus’ sure promise to be with us and keep us on the way to the Father’s house helps his followers navigate the dark seasons. He will never leave us. “I am with you always.” Jesus, Matt. 28:20.
Jesus spent his time on earth revealing the truth of God’s love and grace for us. He didn’t say to stop following the rules. He shined a light on the rules so man could see the heart behind them. He came to show us that God desires obedience in love and relationship. We move from darkness to light when we put our trust in God rather than our ability to follow rules.
It can be so hard to see God’s love for us as we face loss and heartache. We wonder where he is, and we struggle to see how he could be working all things together for our good. It is important to understand the nature of God that is revealed in this passage- he is omniscient and omnibenevolent.
This chapter tells me that when I struggle with doubt, I’m normal. Even Jesus’ brothers didn’t believe. We see the crowds debating and reasoning about whether or not Jesus was who he said he was. I’d say that it makes sense then for people to still struggle with who Jesus is 2,000 years later!
If I fully embrace the truth of who Jesus is and what he wants for each person, I will spend more time loving people than judging their actions. If I stop focusing on how I think God should act, I will be able to recognize more of what he is doing all around me.