Hardships, afflictions, and troubles will come. They can flood us out like the torrential rains of a hurricane. Many people are overwhelmed with troubles and they don’t know what to do. They don’t have peace because their troubles are extremely frustrating. Frustration is a normal activity of the flesh, but for the child of God, it is an enemy. Frustration brings despair, anxiety, and anger; it steals joy and derails the calling of God in our lives. Many are held captive in the land of their own frustration. They become physically sick, hate their lives and live far from the peace and joy that the Bible promises. Some saints, however, find a powerboat and ride above the storm.
People, who are frustrated because of their many troubles, are often shocked when they see other saints enjoying the ride, despite their troubles.
The troubles that we experience lead to moments of destiny. It is not the troubles themselves that make us or break us but whether or not they cause us to become frustrated. That is what will make or break us.
Jesus said, “My peace I give unto you.” Jn. 14: 27
Jesus holds the antidote to trouble; he gives peace in the middle of the storm. God provides a secret grace so that we may circumnavigate frustration.
Everyone has frustrations. The three characters in the prodigal son story experience massive frustrations. We read of the prodigal son in Luke 15: 11-32.
The son said:
“‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ … Not long after … the son … squandered his wealth in wild living. … he spent everything … and began to be in need … he went … to feed pigs. He longed … but no one gave him anything. … So he got up and went to his father. … His father saw him and was filled with compassion. … they began to celebrate. … The older brother became angry. … He said, ‘When this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’ … The father said, ‘he was lost and is found.’”
This is a story about frustrated people. A son requests his inheritance, leaves home and squanders the family fortune on sinful living. In the end he repents, but along the way, everyone experiences pain. This happens to many families. Trouble seems to follow some people and as a result, they are always frustrated.
In the prodigal story, the father is frustrated because his youngest son rejects his love and his wise teachings. His son turns his back on his heritage (the family values and reputation that have taken generations to build). The son wastes his inheritance (the money that others have worked so hard to save for him). Ignoring all his father’s counsel, the son scars his own life with wickedness and sin. This could totally destroy the son’s future and mar the lives of his descendants for many generations to come. This is frustrating and very painful for the father.
The youngest son is frustrated twice in the story. First off, he is frustrated with the confinements of the farm and with the lack of excitement in his life. He is restless so he leaves home with a portion of the family inheritance.
Secondly, he is frustrated at the end of his encounter with sin. He has lost all of his money, he has destroyed his future, he is living with pigs, he is starving to death and he has the shame of dishonoring his family name and hurting a father who loves him dearly. This is frustrating and very painful for the youngest son.
The oldest son is frustrated with his younger brother’s awful behavior. He can’t believe the extent of his brother’s evil choices. His frustration is compounded when his father completely overlooks his bother’s sin and celebrates his return. The oldest son has been faithful, but he never received the honors that his wayward brother received from their father. He is angry. This is frustrating and very painful for the oldest son.
The oldest son did not learn to deal with his frustration and is left with baggage. He may have been a bitter man for the rest of his life
Perhaps your frustrations are like the frustrations of this father or perhaps you are frustrated like one of the sons. Everybody faces frustration. Frustrations come from financial pressures, unfulfilled expectations, school work, our job, failures in life, problem overloads, sickness, abuse, sin, strife in our relationships, church people, traumas that cause loss, responsibilities, addictions, our marriage or not being married, and there is a long list of other things.
Sometimes frustrations pile on top of each other. The results may lead to depression, hopelessness, and defeat. This can produce an inner rebellion against God and fill us with frozen anger. Good Christian people can find themselves stuck in the pit of debilitating frustration. When this happens, people may retreat from life and fellowship; they may lose their faith and become critical. They will often cast off restraint and entertain a life of sin. In the process, they may lose sight of their calling and become dysfunctional Christians. It is essential that we rule over our frustrations before they rule over us and destroy our future.
You will certainly have troubles. That is unavoidable, but with God’s help, you can ride above the storms.
The Bible tells us what to do. It says:
“Rejoice in the Lord always. … Let your gentleness be evident to all. … Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things. … And the God of peace will be with you.” Phil. 4: 4-9
Here are seven directives from these verses that will enable you to overcome your frustrations so they will not overcome you. These things must become a way of life for you. Practice them and you will walk in the presence of God.
1. Rejoice in the Lord always.
2. Be a gentle person and express gentleness in all that you do.
3. Do not have a distracting worry about anything.
4. In everything give thanks.
5. Speak and pray into existence the blessings of heaven.
6. Make petitions and requests to God for help.
7. Train your mind to focus on good and godly things.
It is time to ride above the storms and override frustration. If you do these seven things – God’s peace will guard and protect your mind. Then the peace of God that passes understanding will be with you. You will be able to rule over the frustrations in your life.
And you will find that the God of peace is with you.