If I Work This Hard, Shouldn’t I Achieve The Expected Results?

When we work hard, we expect results. But sometimes reality falls short of our expectations. In those times we need to persevere and trust God.

If I Work This Hard, Shouldn’t I Achieve The Expected Results?

September 22, 2022

This morning I woke up with hopeful expectations. But now I feel only acute disappointment. I know the pain of trying my best to do what’s right, but not getting the expected results.

A few days ago, I wrote these words in my journal. But they express a feeling I’ve experienced often in my life. I tend to be a driven person, and I thrive on results. Somewhere along the way, I bought into the belief that if I work hard enough, I will achieve the results I want. But not all endeavors in life work out that way. Sigh.

It can be so frustrating when you work hard toward a goal but don’t get the outcome you expected. I believe the Apostle Paul understood this when he penned these words to the Galatian church:

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. (Galatians 6:9 NIV)

Paul reminds us of these three crucial truths about results: 

Proper Time

Beautiful white oak trees grow all around our house. And as I write these words, I can hear their acorns pinging as they hit our deck. Each time I look at these small acorns, I marvel at how they can one day grow into one of these amazing trees. I’m reminded of the saying: Mighty oaks from little acorns grow. 

But I’ve learned the growing takes many years. Seedlings become saplings after four to five years. It takes another two to three years for the saplings to become self-sustainable. And decades before the oak tree is fully grown and able to produce its own acorns. 

In the same way, so many of the results I long for take time. The process of building relationships, establishing healthy routines, or developing a strong character doesn’t happen overnight. There are no shortcuts or immediate results when we work toward long-term changes. Yet this verse promises us we will yield a harvest, not necessarily when we would like, but at the proper time

Promise 

Paul reminds us we will receive a harvest (results) for our efforts. Earlier in his letter he reminded the Galatians that we reap what we sow (Galatians 6:7). Results will come. 

However, I’ve learned they don’t always look or feel as I imagined or would have liked. Often I pin my hopes on results which depend on the cooperation or contribution of people or circumstances over which I have no control. Since I can’t predict how different scenarios will play out, I need to accept that the results I envision may differ from the ones I actually receive. Other times, the results I want don’t match my needs. In those cases, God always chooses what I need over what I want (Philippians 4:19). 

If I can keep my mind open to the possibilities, and trust God with my efforts, I will experience results. And sometimes they will even be better than what I imagined (Ephesians 3:20).

Perseverance

When we don’t achieve the results we seek, it’s so easy to want to give up. Especially when we can’t even see progress. 

We currently live in a world where instant results have become the norm. With my cell phone in my hand, I can immediately access any information I need. Texting has made it possible for me to contact people at any time, and from anywhere. An app allows me to order my coffee so it’s ready when I arrive at the shop. The ability to wait patiently is becoming a dying art. 

But Paul reminds us the key to the harvest is perseverance. Some things just can’t be hurried or fast tracked. 

When a squirrel grabs an acorn and carries it to a place where it can sprout, we can’t immediately see the result. But little by little, a magnificent oak tree grows from that effort. I see that evidence all around me. And this gives me the courage I need to persevere. So I closed my journal entry with these words:

I’m resolved to keep doing what’s right, and to trust God with the results.  

Wherever our life’s journey takes us, I pray we will persevere in doing good, knowing that the One who leads us will bless us with His results at the proper time

 

If I Work This Hard, Shouldn’t I Achieve The Expected Results?

September 22, 2022

When we work hard, we expect results. But sometimes reality falls short of our expectations. In those times we need to persevere and trust God.

This morning I woke up with hopeful expectations. But now I feel only acute disappointment. I know the pain of trying my best to do what’s right, but not getting the expected results.

A few days ago, I wrote these words in my journal. But they express a feeling I’ve experienced often in my life. I tend to be a driven person, and I thrive on results. Somewhere along the way, I bought into the belief that if I work hard enough, I will achieve the results I want. But not all endeavors in life work out that way. Sigh.

It can be so frustrating when you work hard toward a goal but don’t get the outcome you expected. I believe the Apostle Paul understood this when he penned these words to the Galatian church:

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. (Galatians 6:9 NIV)

Paul reminds us of these three crucial truths about results: 

Proper Time

Beautiful white oak trees grow all around our house. And as I write these words, I can hear their acorns pinging as they hit our deck. Each time I look at these small acorns, I marvel at how they can one day grow into one of these amazing trees. I’m reminded of the saying: Mighty oaks from little acorns grow. 

But I’ve learned the growing takes many years. Seedlings become saplings after four to five years. It takes another two to three years for the saplings to become self-sustainable. And decades before the oak tree is fully grown and able to produce its own acorns. 

In the same way, so many of the results I long for take time. The process of building relationships, establishing healthy routines, or developing a strong character doesn’t happen overnight. There are no shortcuts or immediate results when we work toward long-term changes. Yet this verse promises us we will yield a harvest, not necessarily when we would like, but at the proper time

Promise 

Paul reminds us we will receive a harvest (results) for our efforts. Earlier in his letter he reminded the Galatians that we reap what we sow (Galatians 6:7). Results will come. 

However, I’ve learned they don’t always look or feel as I imagined or would have liked. Often I pin my hopes on results which depend on the cooperation or contribution of people or circumstances over which I have no control. Since I can’t predict how different scenarios will play out, I need to accept that the results I envision may differ from the ones I actually receive. Other times, the results I want don’t match my needs. In those cases, God always chooses what I need over what I want (Philippians 4:19). 

If I can keep my mind open to the possibilities, and trust God with my efforts, I will experience results. And sometimes they will even be better than what I imagined (Ephesians 3:20).

Perseverance

When we don’t achieve the results we seek, it’s so easy to want to give up. Especially when we can’t even see progress. 

We currently live in a world where instant results have become the norm. With my cell phone in my hand, I can immediately access any information I need. Texting has made it possible for me to contact people at any time, and from anywhere. An app allows me to order my coffee so it’s ready when I arrive at the shop. The ability to wait patiently is becoming a dying art. 

But Paul reminds us the key to the harvest is perseverance. Some things just can’t be hurried or fast tracked. 

When a squirrel grabs an acorn and carries it to a place where it can sprout, we can’t immediately see the result. But little by little, a magnificent oak tree grows from that effort. I see that evidence all around me. And this gives me the courage I need to persevere. So I closed my journal entry with these words:

I’m resolved to keep doing what’s right, and to trust God with the results.  

Wherever our life’s journey takes us, I pray we will persevere in doing good, knowing that the One who leads us will bless us with His results at the proper time

 

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2 Comments

  1. Teresa on September 23, 2022 at 8:13 AM

    Shirley, I love what you wrote today it spoke to my heart, with all the stuff that has been going on since my mother passed I have been working on making more time for God. I have delved more into His word to learn more about how to be a better me with God’s help. So your words of encouragement today were just what I needed. I know everything in God’s time.

    • Shirley Desmond Jackson on September 25, 2022 at 4:43 PM

      Teresa, I’m so glad this post encouraged you. I have seen your relationship with God grow over the last year ~ and I’m encouraged by your faith. Keep persevering! 💕

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