Luke 13: 7"And he said to the vineyard-keeper, 'Behold, for three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree without finding any. Cut it down! Why does it even use up the ground?' 8"And he answered and said to him, 'Let it alone, sir, for this year too, until I dig around it and put in fertilizer; 9and if it bears fruit next year, fine; but if not, cut it down.'"
That was with real fertilizer. Manure. Donkey and camel poop. It would have been smelly, not something we eat. But we eat the fruit it enables. The fruit is the goal, not the manure. Feeding is critical..
This is how the Lord feeds us. He does it thru his word. The word is described as both sweet and bitter. Sometimes it reveals things to us we didn't want to see.
There is another way, thru correction from others. God will use another person to speak into our lives and give us instruction we need to hear. That is how He does it many times. Certainly His word would have the same effect, but we may not be eating it or may not be getting the right portion or mixture. We might even resent it at the time.. It's just fertilizer.
The other way is thru circumstance. I know it's popular to say, God doesn't send difficulty or sickness to teach us things. That is true. He is the giver of every good and perfect gift. Disease isn't perfect or good.
Yet when we are required by life to go thru hard things, sometimes very hard things, we come out more fruit ready than going in. It is why an older man or woman with gray hair and wrinkles sometimes will have a sweet spirit and bear much fruit by it. They have endured the smelly and dirty of life's fertilizer.
So when hard things come, and they will, count it all joy, for in due season if you faint not, you will harvest a wonderful crop, a tremendous fruitful product. In the season of difficulty it won't seem pleasant, but the result will be.
Embrace the reality of Hebrews 12:11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
When life stinks, it's just the smell of you being fed for fruitfulness.