The passages from Proverbs, Psalm & Matthew all ring true to the Lord's promises to defend those who suffer in times of trouble. Those who trust Him and lean on Him will be healed. I love it when passages from different times and places meld together to provide a bigger picture of His faithfulness to those who look to Him.
Too often I have seen ministries that are too anxious to fill ministry slots and, as a consequence, these ministries place people into those positions who are not qualified or whose life is not one to emulate. While the measure of readiness to lead is not perfection, one of the measures is fruitfulness. Today in Mt. 7 Jesus said, “You will know them by their fruits.” He said we should be able to see on another’s outside what is true of their inside. But the inspection of fruit in the life of another believer can take some time to observe.
Fruit does not appear overnight. It takes time for an apple to mature. Cherries do not show up over night. And if you transplant that cherry tree, the new environment and trauma of transplanting can disrupt fruit production. One must also ask why it was necessary to transplant that fruit tree in the first place? Just so, as someone is planted in a new ministry with new ministry partners in a new environment, growth dynamics change. And, as a consequence, the bearing of fruit can be altered or disrupted.
Fruitful believers, who have been transplanted into another ministry environment, will be able to endure this time of inspection because their lives are securely founded on the Rock not built on shifting sand (Mt. 7:24-27). They will not campaign for ministry leadership but rather patiently bear fruit in the waiting. In time, their fruit will be evident to all...whether good or bad. And it is at that point that appropriate decisions can be made regarding whether to entrust leadership to them. Jesus initial caution is to be heeded, “Beware!” (Mt. 7:15)