Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties. Psalm 139:23 (NKJV)

If we are honest, we must admit that at least subconsciously, if not overtly, we prefer the pleasant over the painful, the comfortable over the distressful. Despite this decidedly normal human disposition, we will stumble badly through the Christian journey if we adopt these longings as our chief aim.

Christ’s goal for your life transcends this limited perspective. He has something far more sublime in mind for you—to make you productive in the work of His kingdom. This involves a process of your character and habits that are unproductive for your personal growth as a believer.

It can be painful at times, even severe, when the pruning lops off sensitive areas. But whatever God sees as detrimental to your fruitfulness and well-being, He will seek to sever. The tools of Providence may be sharp, but loving hands hold them.

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