When we are experiencing difficulty, it may help us to pick up a good apple and do some thinking. Whether the fruit is a Granny Smith, Red Delicious, Gala, Golden Delicious, or Fiji, each apple has an amazing story to tell. While the fruit sits in your hand, think about the rigors it endured to reach its final stage of growth. Though you cannot see it, behind every apple there had to be a pollinated blossom; behind every blossom was a tree; and behind every tree was a seed. Every seedling had to endure years of intense rains, dry spells, fierce storms, and strong gusts before it could mature enough to produce fruit. At any time, the tree could have given up because of the external pressures it was forced to tolerate, but it survived (and thrived) for the end result. Every time we enjoy a slice of apple pie or a delicious apple, we are reaping the benefits of a tree’s perseverance.

Like the apple tree, we should plow through the trials of life for the sake of the end result: spiritual maturity and a life which reflects Jesus Christ. While the road to maturity is paved with hardship, those who stay the course will reap the benefits. Everyone will see and taste the fruit of our perseverance.

Are you experiencing hardship in your life today? Maybe you have been dealing with the fallout of a family member’s poor decisions. Perhaps you have been under great mental duress because of a situation at church or at work. Now is not the time to give up. Now is not the time to succumb to self-pity and blame shifting. Now is the time to make up your mind that you will press on through the difficulties to the very end. The end result will be sweet. Live with this in view today.

Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.