The second son he named Ephraim and said, “It is because God has made me fruitful in the land of my suffering.” —Genesis 41:52

How do we respond when we are going through suffering? God’s capability to bear fruit in our lives can happen at any time, whether in good times or suffering. So many times God works though suffering in our lives for fruitfulness to occur.

Just take a look at the lives of some of the people in God’s Word. Noah— wow… that was a long time on the ark in those conditions! Abraham journeyed and made his home as a stranger in a foreign land and in old age Isaac was born. Jacob had to flee home because of Esau wanting to kill him. Joseph was sold in to slavery. Moses had to flee from Pharaoh’s wrath and lived in the wilderness for 40 years tending sheep. All of these people went through difficulty and God produced much fruit in and through their lives.

Look at the fruit of the Apostles and all of them but John were martyrs. The Apostle Paul suffered greatly during his life. Down through the ages it appears that suffering produced much fruit in a multitude of those who lived faithfully for the Lord Jesus Christ.

May we not be bitter in our suffering, but may we see it as opportunity for God to produce fruit in our lives that will have lasting impact. Let us keep in mind that “our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all” (II Corinthians 4:17). Let us keep what is unseen and eternal in our focus and not allow the seen and temporal to discourage us. The best is yet ahead. Yes, eternity with Jesus and all those who love Him in that perfect place… Let us keep that in focus and be faithful!

Dear Father, please help me to keep focused on those things that are truly important. Thank You that in suffering or non-suffering times You are the One in control and Your plan is going forward. May I line up with what You are doing and may this come out of my relationship with You. May this be so in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus.

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