Everything seems so fruitless! What’s the point?!
These thoughts repeatedly surfaced in my mind a couple months ago. I had been sowing good seeds in numerous areas of life, yet I kept coming up empty. It all seemed like a waste of time.
All my efforts in parenting and homeschooling appeared to be futile. The scales wouldn’t budge despite many positive changes regarding my eating habits. And the breakthrough I was aiming for through diligent mind renewal was elusive.
I felt dry and desolate. Part of me wanted to fold and crumble underneath the weight of life. But by faith I grasped even tighter to the anchor of my soul. As frustrated and perplexed as I was about my fruitless conditions, I knew with Jesus there is always hope.
It was at this point that the Lord reminded me of a specific scripture about barrenness:
“Though the fig tree should not blossom and there be no fruit on the vines, though the yield of the olive should fail and the fields produce no food, though the flock should be cut off from the fold and there be no cattle in the stalls, yet I will exult in the Lord, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.” (Habakkuk 3:17-18)
I realized I had a choice. I could choose to focus on my discouraging circumstances and give way to despair. Or I could choose to focus on my amazing God and take joy in praising Him.
When we fix our eyes on the Lord, we find perspective. Our circumstances may not change, but our outlook does. Seeing the greatness and trustworthiness of God has a way of infusing us with hope and strength.
Our unchanging, amazing God is the only steadfast hope we have. The reality is that we live in a broken, unpredictable world. We labor, but we don’t always see fruit. We sow literally and figuratively, we wait with expectation, and we hope to reap at just the right time. But sometimes we must wait longer than expected. Sometimes the fruit isn’t quite what we were hoping for. Things don’t always go as planned.
Will we keep trusting and sowing, even when it seems practically useless? Will we trust in the goodness of God? Will we trust in His purposes and timing? Will we trust in His promises?
Even when our efforts seem futile, they’re not.
“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 15:58)
We can take heart knowing that whatever we do for Jesus is not in vain.
“Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.” (Galatians 6:9)
We WILL reap in due time. This is sure. Satan will try to whisper into our souls that it’s a waste of time. As our strong opponent, he is persistent in trying to get us to give up. Let’s not play into his schemes. Instead, let’s press on in the name of Jesus, abounding in the work of the Lord. And when we don’t understand God’s timing and our work seems pointless, may our anthem be this:
“But as for me, I will hope continually, and will praise You yet more and more.” (Psalm 71:14)
May we dig our heels in and defiantly refuse to give way to despair and the enemy’s schemes. May we be characterized by stubborn hope and praise on our lips. Our God is worthy. Our God is faithful. We will reap in due time if we don’t give up in our weariness.