They will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit.
Let's learn from the examples God gives with plants and trees. When a fruit tree is put in the ground it has to face rainstorms, hot sun, and wind. If a young tree could talk, it might say, "Please get me out of here! Put me in a place where there is no sweltering heat or windy storms!"
If the gardener listened to the tree, he would actually harm it. Trees endure the hot sun and rainstorms by sending their roots down deeper. The adversity they face is eventually the source of great stability. The harshness of the elements surrounding them causes them to seek another source of life. They will one day come to the place that even the greatest of windstorms cannot affect their ability to produce fruit.
Those of us who live in Florida know that the colder the winter is for the trees, the sweeter the oranges. If we did not run so fast from spiritual resistance, our root systems would have a chance to become stronger and deeper, and our fruit would be plentiful and sweeter in the eyes of God and more palatable to His people! We would be mature trees that the Lord delights in, rather than ones uprooted for their lack of fruit. We should not resist the very thing God sends to mature us.
The psalmist David, inspired by the Holy Ghost, made a powerful connection between offense, the law of God and our spiritual growth. He wrote in Psalm 1:1-2, Blessed is the man ... [whose] delight is in the law of the Lord; and in His law he meditates day and night.
Then in Psalm 119:165 he gave us more insight into people who love God's laws. Great peace have they which love [or delight in] thy law and nothing shall offend them.
Verse 3 of Psalm 1 finally describes the destiny of such a person. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.
In other words, a believer who chooses to delight in the Word of God in the midst of adversity will avoid being offended. That person will be like a tree whose roots search deep to where the Spirit provides strength and nourishment. He will draw from the well of God deep within his spirit. This will mature him to the point where adversity will now be the catalyst for fruit. Hallelujah!
Once you leave the place God has chosen for you, your root system begins to dwarf. The next time it will be easier for you to flee from adversity because you have been careful not to root yourself deeply. You end up coming to the place where you have little or no strength to endure hardship or persecution.
You then become a spiritual vagabond, wandering from place to place, suspicious and afraid that others will mistreat you. Crippled and hindered in your ability to produce true spiritual fruit, you struggle in a self-centered life, eating the remains of the fruit of others.
Dear Lord, help us grow where You have planted us. Help us stay firmly planted where we are so that we can bear the fruit that would bring others to You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
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