Devotional service to the Lord never goes in vain. Just at the right moment, the result of one's particular devotional service will come, even if one has no desire for it. The pure devotees do not wish any return from the Lord in exchange for their service; they do not make business exchanges with the Lord. But the Lord, out of His own accord, fulfills all the desires of the devotees.
It may appear that a devotee of the Lord is becoming poorer and poorer in terms of material prosperity, but factually he is not. The typical example is the Pāṇḍavas. The five brothers, headed by King Yudhiṣṭhira, underwent all sorts of difficulties because of the conspiracy of their cousins, headed by Duryodhana. But in the long run King Yudhiṣṭhira was enthroned by Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, and his enemies were vanquished. King Yudhiṣṭhira was never disturbed by all the calamities that overcame them even though Lord Kṛṣṇa was ever their companion. The Pāṇḍavas never prayed to the Lord for anything but His devotional service, and in due time everything came out in favor of the devotees.
A devotee, therefore, should execute his devotional services with full energy, endurance, and confidence. He should perform his scheduled duties, he should be pure in heart, and he should serve in association with devotees. All six of these items will lead the devotee to the path of success. One should not be discouraged in the discharge of devotional service. Failures may not be detrimental; they may be the pillars of success. One must have good faith in the regulative principles followed by the self-realized souls, and one should not be doubtful about the ultimate result of such devotional service. Rather, one must go on executing his prescribed duties without hesitation, and one should never be influenced by unwanted association.
We should not consider going back to Godhead a plaything. We must take it seriously, as enjoined in the scriptures. For a strict follower, the result is sure and certain, and when the time is right the result will come of its own force. Dhruva Mahārāja went to worship God to gain something, but when he actually came in contact with God he did not want anything from the Lord. The Lord, however, awarded Dhruva Mahārāja both benefits—that is, the Lord fulfilled his desires and also gave him eternal salvation. Such are the lessons we learn from all the revealed scriptures. The almighty God awards the results we desire, and therefore we should desire that which is eternal, blissful, and full of knowledge. In devotional service we should not endeavor for that which is temporary and useless.