Troubles Produce Fruit
Uncle Gene’s grapes wouldn’t grow. He couldn’t figure out why. The soil was good, he used fertilizer and watered them, and they had plenty of sun. The plants were beautiful and had bright green leaves, but no matter what he did, there was no fruit.
Then he learned that grapes actually need only sort-of-good soil. There can be some rocks, some clay, and you only need a moderate amount of nutrients in the soil. It turned out that Uncle Gene’s soil was too good and actually stopped the grapes from producing fruit.
We all want to live like Uncle Gene’s grapes. We want a life with good soil (a comfortable home with no chores), lots of fertilizer (full stomachs), sunshine (happiness), and plenty of water (money).
God knows, however, that sometimes if we have it too good, we get comfortable. Maybe like the grape plants we’d look good and healthy, but wouldn’t actually be doing what we were made to do: to produce fruit.
That’s why the apostle Paul said he actually was proud of having bad times. “We also brag when we are suffering. We know that suffering creates endurance, endurance creates character, and character creates confidence. We’re not ashamed to have this confidence, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us” (Romans 5:3-5).
The next time trouble comes, brag about it. God is using it to help you produce fruit—and not be ashamed.