“We are called, as part of the abiding process, to submit to the pruning knife of God in the providences by which He cuts away all disloyalty and sometimes all that is unimportant, in order that we might remain in Christ all the more wholeheartedly. In the horticultural world, pruning generally is done with a view to long-term fruitfulness.
So with believers—the Father prunes the branches of the true vine in order that they may yield more fruit. Of course, there often seems to be an apparent randomness in His cutting, but there is never a wasted stroke—every cut is necessary for us to ‘bear more fruit.’ In Christ, we are safe under the Father’s pruning knife.”
–Sinclair Ferguson, In Christ Alone: Living the Gospel Centered Life (Orlando: Reformation Trust, 2007), 115.