The Fruit of Your Pain

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9780971820609: The Fruit of Your Pain
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"The Fruit of Your Pain" challenges and encourages you to experience your most difficult times of heartache, struggle, and tragedy as opportunities for a deeper relationship with God.

In this book, LaVerne Hanes-Stevens lets us know that life's trials are tools in the hand of God for cultivating the soil of our hearts. With those tools, God desires to grow virtuous spiritual fruit in each of us. At times, however, we neglect the arduous task of weeding out discouragement. Our lifelines are choked out by the root of bitterness growing wildly in the soil of our hearts. Or, with faulty expectations for our harvest, we miss opportunities to reap an abundant spiritual yield. With the right perspective, however, we gain strength through struggle. Compassion overtakes resentment. Peace overshadows pain. Kingdom fruitfulness replaces bitterness.

The Fruit of Your Pain is the perfect book for those who want to be truly victorious over adversity. The book will give you a new understanding of how your seasons of struggle can provide opportunities for character growth, more intimate knowledge of God, and effective service to others. Clergy and laypersons alike will find "The Fruit of Your Pain" to be a source of encouragement and inspiration in response to life's trials.

This book offers a Biblical foundation, Dr. Hanes-Stevens' insight as a Christian counselor, personal testimonies, practical considerations, and daily meditations for bringing fruitfulness out of barrenness in your life.

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About the Author:

Rev. Dr. LaVerne Hanes-Stevens, author of "The Fruit of Your Pain: Experiencing Spiritual Renewal Through Seasons of Struggle," has been ministering to diverse audiences for nearly 20 years. She holds a Master’s Degree in Community Counseling and her Ph.D. in Christian Counseling. She holds certifications from the National Board for Certified Counselors as a National Certified Counselor (NCC) and as a Master Addictions Counselor (MAC).

Although not written as an autobiography, "The Fruit of Your Pain" was inspired in part, by LaVerne Hanes-Stevens’ personal experiences with life-threatening illness and with the complicated grief of multiple losses. Now, she has written "The Fruit of Your Pain" to help others find the strength to use their "seasons of struggle" for the fulfillment of a higher purpose. A frequently sought-after speaker for Christian conferences and churches, Dr. Hanes-Stevens has ministered on three continents and her biography has been featured in "Outstanding Young Women of America." She is the founder and director of Renewal Ministries in Richmond, Virginia.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Our hearts are God's gardens. He desires that the fruit of His Spirit will grow plentifully in our lives. Fruit, however, does not just appear. It grows!

God, the Gardener, must therefore tend the delicate gardens of our hearts daily. Unwanted weeds must be uprooted. The gardens must be properly seeded and watered with His Word. The soil of our hearts must be fertilized in order for that which grows in us to be healthy.

Our hearts would rather avoid some of the Gardener's methods. Periodically, our branches must be pruned, so God does some cutting back for us. It is a lessening of ourselves, as lifeless and unproductive areas of our character are removed. In those seasons, we often find ourselves in pain. Of course, it must also rain in order for our gardens to flourish. On occasion, the rain becomes a storm and we long for the reappearance of the sun.

The Gardener sees the process differently. He doesn't mind the pruning or the hard rains. In fact, every trial we encounter is a tool in the hand of God for cultivating the soil of our hearts, so that the Holy Spirit can bring forth fruit.

Understandably, pain is the one instrument that we wish God would NOT use in our lives. Yet, no amount of wishing or praying will change the reality that, at times, God must use painful experiences in our lives to accomplish His purposes...

How do you learn to love? By committing to love the unlovely.

What produces joy? Trusting God even when your heart has been broken.

What is the best way to practice peace? Find yourself in a war!

How do you learn patience? Practice waiting.

How do you grow to be kind? Be available to meet the needs of others, even if they have previously been inconsiderate of you.

What does it take to make goodness (benevolence) a life-style? Consistently blessing those who curse you.

How do you grow in faithfulness? By persisting in something you would rather NOT do, even when there is no reward.

How do you grow in meekness? By becoming free enough from your own ego to show undeserved favor to others.

What is the best way to develop self control? By practicing self-discipline when you'd really like to strike back!

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