But if after these things you will not obey Me, I will proceed to discipline you seven times for your sins. I will break down your strong pride. I will make your sky like iron and your land like bronze, and your strength will be used up for nothing. Your land will not yield its produce, and the trees of the land will not bear their fruit. – Leviticus 26:20
Jesus once surprised His closest followers when He cursed a fig tree because it bore no fruit. Afterward, He made it clear that He did it to illustrate the fruitlessness and impending punishment of an apostate Israel. The lesson for us being, of course, that God expects His children to “bear fruit” as well.
As a Christ-follower, fruitlessness is miserable. When you are “giving it everything you’ve got” and the result is negligible (or so it seems), the result can often lead to despair. So, what is the answer? First, look for signs of disobedience and repent (if necessary). Sin will certainly make you fruitless. Second, persevere in obedience even when the fruit doesn’t seem to be present. It is possible that circumstances cloud perception and the fruit is just not readily apparent.
One thing is certain. Fruitfulness (not fruitlessness) will always be the ultimate result for the one who remains in Christ.
I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in Me and I in him produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without Me. – Jesus (John 15:5)