He will be like a tree planted by streams of water, Which yields its fruit in its season,
And its leaf does not wither; And in whatever he does, he prospers.
Psalm 1:3 NASB
Have you spent years sowing seeds that have yet to produce fruit in your life? Perhaps it has been the seed of prayer for a rebellious prodigal. Maybe it has been the seed of love and encouragement to an unresponsive friend or relative. For others it has been the seed of generosity that has not yet produced the harvest of prosperity promised in God’s word. Yet you have not given up hope. I have good news for you - 2024 will be the year that your fruit will come into maturity!
You may have been fighting discouragement over what appears to be lack of fruitfulness in your life even though you have been careful to sow your seed wisely and continue to “water” with faith and prayer. But before you give in to hopelessness over the matter, consider these examples from the field of pomology – the branch of horticulture dealing with fruit and nut tree production.
If you planted a seed from a citrus fruit such as orange or grapefruit – your wait for that tree to grow and produce fruit that you can enjoy for breakfast would be a mere 2 to 4 years. If you wanted to grow an apple tree from a seed, you cannot expect to have fruit from that tree for 4 to 7 years. For sweet cherries, you will plant that seed and wait 6 to 9 years before harvesting a crop of fruit.
But there is a very special fruit – harvested from a unique tree in Africa – that will require much more patience than the fruit tree varieties mentioned above. It is called Baobab. The Baobab tree is a common sight in Tanzania as well as several other African nations. When it loses its leaves, it literally appears to be upside down. African folklore says that God threw the Baobab tree to the earth with such force that it was planted with its root system reaching toward the sky. It grows to enormous proportions and produces a fruit that has many medicinal properties. But here is the most important fact I want to share with you - some species of Baobab take 200 years to produce their first fruit!
None of us have waited 200 years to see the first fruit in our lives. To us, our waiting season may have seemed painfully long, but God’s Word is true and we can count on this promise “…in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” (Galatians 6:9 NKJV)
For those of you who have waited a lifetime to see fruit, do not allow the enemy of your soul to lie to you and tell you it is too late, and you are too old to bear fruit. God’s Word says otherwise: They shall still bear fruit in old age; They shall be fresh and flourishing… (Psalm 92:14 NKJV) Hold on to that promise!
With regard to this New Year of 2024 – the Lord gave me this prophetic word – that this would be the year that fruit (both good and bad) would come to maturity. For those who love and follow God – the fruit they have longed for and prayed for will come to fruition and it will bring great joy. For those who have not followed the Lord, things hidden in their lives will come into the light and their true fruit will be revealed for all to see. Jesus declared this in the Gospel of Matthew:
16 You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes, nor figs from thistles, are they? 17 So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 So then, you will know them by their fruits. (Matthew 7:16-20 NASB)
I believe we will see some shocking things uncovered in the public arena in 2024 – both among political figures and other high-profile individuals often admired by the media. Their “tree” may look good and appealing from the outside – but suddenly their fruit will be exposed, and it will be ugly. Horticulturists say that bad fruit comes forth from a diseased tree. But sometimes the disease is not evident until their shriveled fruit comes forth and a closer examination is made of the tree and its roots. This exposure of “bad fruit” will be important for the nation, so that people do not blindly follow leaders off the proverbial cliff because they look good but have a diseased root system in their life.
In another parable, found in Matthew 13:24-30 Jesus taught that both “wheat and tares” would grow together until the end of the age. This was a reference to people who had good fruit in their lives (the wheat) and others who looked good (the tares) but were deadly in their character. The “tares” referenced in this parable is a type of grain that looks almost identical to wheat while growing, but when it matures, it produces a grain that is actually poisonous. We can’t be shocked when the bad fruit of people’s lives is exposed because Jesus told us in advance this would occur. And He promises to deal with it.
Allow both to grow together until the harvest; and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather up the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them up; but gather the wheat into my barn.” (Matthew 13:30 NASB)
Though we will see some disturbing things during 2024, God’s promise to His people is that in the midst of trouble happening in the world, His faithful servants will see unprecedented fruit in their lives. Though you have “sown in tears” prepare yourself to reap with great joy!
Those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy. They weep as they go to plant their seed, but they sing as they return with the harvest.
Psalm 126:5-6 NLT