John Piper | – God’s Sovereign Plans Behind Your Most Unproductive Days // Ask Pastor John

How is God at work in our most unproductive days, when it feels as though we’ve accomplished nothing and fallen far short of our own plans and expectations?

Those days are frustrating to us, but they are not outside of God’s sovereign power. It leads to today’s question on what efficiency looks like in the first place, a very good question from a listener named Melinda.

“Hello, Pastor John, thank you for this podcast! Back in episode 1115, about caring for those with dementia, you closed your remarks with this phrase: ‘God’s priorities for efficiency in this life are not ours.’ Can you please elaborate on this? I struggle mightily with time management skills. I’m a homeschooling mom trying to balance kids’ needs and activities, ministry, household duties . . . and sleep. I feel overwhelmed with the need to be efficient every minute even though this does not come naturally to me. What should efficiency look like in the busy Christian life?”

Episode 1170: [support us]

Related Resources:

“The Dignity of Those with Dementia” [support us]

“Ten Principles for Personal Productivity” [support us]

“How to Fight Laziness” [support us]

“Four Key Ways We Enjoy God in Our Work” [support us]

“I Don’t Like My Job — Now What?” [support us]

APJ Playlist: [support us];tzffQ8&list=PLFF7F6AE365DA3564

Find other recent and popular Ask Pastor John episodes, [support us]

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Desiring God God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him. Learn more at Desiring God

Comment (44)

  1. Last nite I was waiting at the bus…..a lady approached and was really impatient for her bus……I asked her why she was so impatient; told her maybe it was God's divine delay. She thought about this and just calmed down…..

  2. That's so American…they may be rich and successful, and the worst insult to an American is to be called "loser". So they take Prozac, enroll in every church activity group, take second jobs. It's all about pride.
    But where is compassion for weak, sick and tired people? There is a lot of "losers" in the worldly sense in heaven!

  3. Thank you. This brought me to tears. I am a chronic procrastinator. I’ve been in university for over a decade trying to finish the same degree. I have no motivation, I keep failing and going around in circles. I make plans and they never come to fruition. I learned from this that it’s not about how much I can check off my list, but how much I trust God in the moment to do whatever He needs me to do in His time and to get me there in His ways…I already know these truths, but this message was so reassuring, and God spoke to me in a new way. Praise God for this youtube channel. It randomly popped up in my feed.

  4. Christ brings freedom from the chains that we bind ourselves in.

    A plan is a good thing, if its goal and means are legitimate, I'd imagine. Beating yourself up from failing to meet it for circumstances beyond your control (how much control do you have over the weather, anyway? Or traffic, or disease?) is a chain.

    Quick tip I've learned recently: remember a hymn you like and just sing it in your head, at least. Clears the thoughts considerably, especially if you feel like your mind is being distracted or attacked.
    Gets you focused back on what – rather, Who – matters, and again sets you free from how the mind tends to orient itself.

  5. I really wish that this platform has an english subtitle it may be hard for someone like me who is not native speaker to comprehend all of these in only listening to it. Especially the peculiar words which are not common. Hopefully this massage can be considered. God bless

  6. The truth is Yahweh is a show off. Instead of freeing the Israelites when Pharaoh said they could go the first time, Yahweh hardened Pharaoh's heart. Each time He hardened Pharaoh's heart He sent a plague targeting a specific Egyptian deity's portfolio.
    Even though He simply could have destroyed Egypt the way He destroyed Sodom & Gamorrah, & spared the Israelites like He spared Lot!

  7. I dare you to explain why so many people are shackled to suffering despite crying out to Yahweh… why innocent children are psychologically, emotionally, spiritually, financially & physically abused despite crying out for the Lord to intervene & SMITE the abuser just as they begin their abuse of the particular individual crying out for help…
    Because as we all know Yahweh looks at the heart & can erase anyone from continued existence on a whim if they are beyond evil. This is because He did so with Sodom, He did so with Gamorrah, He did so with Ananias and Sapphira, and He also did it to everyone who followed Baal Peor.

  8. Its been 1 year and im not being productive or serving & helping the kingdom. Im put in "a corner" with my back on the wall & all doors closed for the mom. I feel unproductive & i am. But still i feel there must be a reson for sure God knows.
    P.s: havent watched the video yet, only the title made me want to immediately writte lol, now jumping into the video