“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. 7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. 8 By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.”
The pandemic has been God’s pruning shears for all believers and an agent of change for the unbelievers alike. Having to go through various trials, we are brought down to our knees to face the reality of our utter need for Jesus Christ. No one likes to feel pain especially the one associated with being pruned. The abrupt cutting of rotting and dead parts and even transplantation is inevitably shocking to the plant being dealt with.
Earlier this Spring, I had to cut off all the dead parts of the Chrysanthemum plant in the backyard that survived the winter. After all the cutting was done, the plant size was significantly reduced closer to the ground to almost nothing. Just months later, it has grown with many branches and looks as healthy as ever.
As we all go through the storms of this life, we are brought to a realization of where our allegiances lie and where we really stand in our faith walk. The news is abound with nothing but grim reports of the future – unemployment, famine, disease, and all kinds of destruction. The battle happening in the spiritual realm is much fiercer than before which unfortunately leads to the coming “Great Apostasy” where people choose to abandon their faith.
The Great Apostasy
Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, 2 not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. 3 Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.
2 Thessalonians 2:1-4
As we pay close attention to the sequence, with the trying thing that is happening in every single household on this planet, the world is being prepared for the coming of the antichrist. This will be a time that seemingly promises to restore order to the whole world (Revelation 13) but along with it comes unspeakable and unimaginable destruction through the seals (Revelation 6), trumpets (Revelation 8, Revelation 9) and bowls (Revelation 16).
Whatever it is you are going through, know that the Holy Spirit is doing His refining work in you before the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ,
“Many shall be purified, made white, and refined, but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand.”
“Return to the LORD your God, for he is merciful and compassionate, slow to anger and boundless in loyal love–often relenting from calamitous punishment.”