Topic: John 15:1-7
Faith matures in hardship. It's during trials that we as believers clearly recognize our dependence on the Lord. When we allow the roots of our trust to sink deeper into God, He enables us to stand firm through anything. Adversity won't intimidate believers who have unshakable faith. These Christians will remain calm through any trying situation because they're holding fast to their confidence in God.
The key to such rock-solid faith is an intimate relationship with God. In John 15:5, Jesus said, "I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing." Once saved, believers have complete access to God. His Spirit lives and works in us and provides a constant connection to Him. All the power of Heaven is available.
But we have a choice whether to tap into that power. If we neglect prayer, avoid reading the Bible, and try to keep certain situations from God's control, then our relationship with Him will be distant. We will limit the Lord's work in our life. But when we commit to know God and obey scriptural principles, His power surges through us. It's like sap flowing through a branch to bring new growth.
Intimately understanding God leads to obedience because the believer knows the power and trustworthiness of the One he serves. Obedience, especially during hard times, develops our faith. As Isaiah 61:3 says, we'll eventually grow into unshakable "oaks of righteousness."