Sunday, December 25, 2011



One of the most familiar quotes about results is credited to Albert Einstein. It is "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Results are rarely neutral. Either you have great expectations for certain positive results or you have great dread about the possibility of certain negative results.

Results seem to come in three versions-good, bad or none at all. Sometimes it's the "none at all" that can be most difficult. I really like the t-shirt that says: "For every door that closes there is another one that always opens, but the hallways can be hell."

Results are everywhere. They cannot be avoided. Results are the consequences of life, whether we cause them or they just happen to us. Results do happen!
Not only do we all have life results that we feel we must negotiate, the bible is filled with the good, the bad and the non-results in the lives of the many characters. Ananias and Sapphira had some very good results. They sold a piece of property and made a lot of money. However, these good results were made into bad results when they acted as if they were giving the entire amount they gained into the local treasure, yet were holding out on God. They lied in an attempt to gain some praise and affirmation. Daniel was being faithful to God by praying daily and through the conniving of some jealous men in the kingdom ended up in the lions' den. Bad results for sure, yet God was at work in the midst of these bad results and saved Daniel's life.

Then in Hebrews 11 there is an interesting paragraph regarding a great men of faith who experienced a lifetime of non-results: 13 All these people (Enoch, Noah, Moses, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob) were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. 14 People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. 15 If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 Instead, they were longing for a better country-a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.

There are two basic problems with results. The first problem is that there is a tendency to wallow in the bad results which ends in depression. The second is to rely on the good results, relishing in them as if they were produced by us, resulting in pride. So, we end up trusting and hoping in our results, gambling on them to be the answer to our problems.

If you focus on your results, you will never be free from the stresses of it all. Here are some thoughts on how to handle your results: FIRST-Do the best you can do. This is your primary responsibility and nothing more.

SECOND-Leave the results entirely in the hands of God. You can't control your results anyway. In fact, results are none of your business. I am convinced God is personally at work in the midst of your results.

With Jesus it's always personal. This is why He continually makes it clear to those who are listening who He is. His many I AM statements and claims about Himself place Him into the middle of your life results.

Jesus uses results in your life to do the following: 1. To teach you something through it. 2. To work together with something else for God's glory and your good. 3. To get you through the worst of it all. He delights in getting you through it.

So, there are three cautions: 1. Don't allow yourself to be slammed by the bad results. 2. Don't allow yourself to take credit for the good results. 3. Don't allow yourself to be discouraged by the lack of results.

Jesus is the only result worth your time and energy!