“Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit.” (John 15:2)
Christians who undergo trials or difficulties may be tempted to think that this is a chastisement for some sin in their life. Although that sometimes may be the case, it is not always. And here Jesus gives us an alternative explanation:
“Every branch in Me that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit.” Here Jesus describes God the Father as a Master Vinedresser, who “prunes” the vines. Notice that it is NOT the dead branches which He prunes, but those which bear fruit! And He does it not as a “punishment”, but “so that it may bear more fruit.”
So if a Christian feels like he is being “pruned”, it may not be the “punishment” for a lack of bearing fruit at all. In fact it may be just the opposite: God sees the good fruit in the person’s life, and knows that even MORE can be brought forth if He allows this trial to “prune” them.
This can be difficult for us to understand from our limited human perspective, so it is important that here, as in so many areas of our lives, we trust our Heavenly Father. He is the Master Vinedresser, and He knows what He is doing when He prunes us.