"...Every branch that does bear fruit he [trims clean] so that it will be even more fruitful" (John 15:2b).
It seems unfair that those who are already bearing fruit will be pruned but only God knows what needs to be removed at what season of our lives so we may bear more fruit for Him. Even the most saintly have sinned and come short of God's glory. He can see the beautiful and yet unnecessary blossoms developing that will hinder the growth of the fruit of the Spirit. The Vinedresser uses the pruning-knife of trial and affliction that the branch may bear even more excellent fruit.
“Why should I start at the plough of my Lord, that maketh deep furrows on my soul? I know He is no idle husbandman, He purposeth a crop" (S. Rutherford, Daily Strength for Daily Needs). God desires a yield from each of us or He would not have created us.
Job's friends were positive that his afflictions came from unconfessed sins, but here in John 15:2 we have the suggestion that it is the very branch that is bearing already that feels the knife. Lest we become disheartened to the point of wanting to give up, it is because God sees something in us worth pruning. It is the unfruitful branch that is cut off. Good people are sometimes confused at the reasons and the means by which God cultivates His vineyard, His people.
Jesus was a tender shoot who was cut off at the prime of life. Many times it is the sensitive and the gentle who bear the brunt of the moral and emotional shocks of unexpected situations that seem to bear down on those who least deserve it. Yet the beauty lies in turning these experiences into God's glory and a beneficial use for others. God prunes us to get rid of our unproductive and ornate growth so that our dormant worth may flourish for His glory. If we remember this, we can accept the pruning more serenely and confidently.