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November 8, 1992

Guaranteed Results

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There is something else meaningless that occurs on earth: righteous men who get what the wicked deserve, and wicked men who get what the righteous deserve. ECCLESIASTES 8:14
We need to guard against developing a personal sense of manifest destiny, the assurance that certain outcomes are inevitable. Salvation is not a promissory note for health, wealth, and success. Just ask Job or Joseph or David—or for that matter, any man or woman who has walked with God for any length of time. The life of faith is not walked on an easy road.
We can try all we want, but we cannot manipulate the results of the actions we take. Yes, we can plan in a way that is intended to achieve good results. At times we can manage to get good results from other people. We can even hand out rewards based on results. But ultimately, we are not in control of results. And we were never meant to be.
Results are hidden in the hands of God. We cannot see them in advance. He dispenses them in His timing and according to His will. Understanding this is fundamental not only to our faith, but also to our state of mind. We may fight to impose our will on God, but we will always lose. God wants obedient sons and daughters, not prima donnas who whine because they did not get what they wanted.
Does this mean that we shouldn’t be results-oriented? Of course not. In today’s economy, businesses, organizations, and markets live and die by results. But even they can’t control the results, despite the millions of dollars they spend trying. Focusing on results may improve our odds of success, and we should make every effort to excel in what we do. But favorable results are never guaranteed. The only true guarantee comes from our heavenly Father, the One Who promises that “in all things God works for the good of those who love Him” (Romans 8:28).

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