How To Deal With Frustration As A Christian
Inside: Do you feel frustrated? Learn why we feel this way and how to overcome those emotions when life isn’t the way we expected! Tips for when we deal with frustration!
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Have you ever been frustrated?
You pictured life looking a certain way or turning out a certain way, but it isn’t. Your life is no way near what you envisioned.
Maybe you wish you were further along, perhaps you wish you were married by now?
Had a baby by now?
Friend, what is causing you some angst?
Maybe you’re like me and the last 1 1/2 years have been ridiculed daily with some sort of frustration.
The world is becoming eviler and eviler and it’s deflating to see. (Doesn’t it seem like a lot has fallen apart? Or maybe it’s my naivete?)
What’s the Deal With Frustration?
Here’s the deal, we all want what we want, and when it’s not the way we expected, it’s frustrating.
The truth is we want it now. (and we thought toddlers were the only ones who through temper tantrums!)
It’s hard to wrap our minds around why something isn’t happening for us. We rationalize the heck out of it:
I’m a good person.
God should do this for me.
I’m not like so-and-so.
You try and rationalize it, right?
It’s so difficult to grasp why we can’t have what we want and we don’t want to slow down and wait for it. We want to grab the steering wheel and push that gas to the metal and get it now.
What Exactly Is It?
Do you know what frustration is?
It’s an emotional response to opposition to the fulfillment of individual will.
Basically, when we don’t get what we want when we want it, we aren’t happy.
Here’s the other kicker, the greater the roadblock, the more frustration we have.
Stop and think for a few minutes, what is the roadblock in your life causing you frustration right now?
You have probably heard this before (especially if you’re a Christian), but God has a plan and purpose for your life.
You have a special assignment that only you can do. Sure someone else could try and do it, but your personality and life experiences make you perfect for this job.
I want you to again go back to this obstacle in your life, maybe it’s guiding you away from what you want and aligning you more with what God wants.
If we go back to the definition above, frustration is caused by an obstacle in the fulfillment of our will, not God’s.
Let’s reiterate that: frustration is when our will isn’t happening..(but who are we to think we have the right way? We aren’t the Creator of the World!)
So if we are feeling frustrated, we might need to go to God and ask for realignment to what His plans for our lives are.
At it’s core, it’s surrendering to Him and His desires for us.
It’s hard, but at the fork in the road where we get frustrated, it’s a sign to reaffirm trust and remember, “your way, Lord!”
Biblical examples are helpful to me because I can see others dealing with these emotions and what happened. (I hope you find looking into Scripture helpful when you struggle!)
Can you think of examples from the Bible where we see the frustration of God’s people because they were following their own ways?
One of the best parts about reading the Bible is how similar the people are to us.
We can shake our heads at them and wonder what were they thinking and then act the same way as them.
When we read about the torture and difficulties they endured in Egypt, we can attest to feeling like good things will never come our way.
When Moses leads them out into something good, we cheer with them.
And then they come to the wilderness and things don’t go the way they had planned.
Perhaps the Israelites felt like they deserved a break (I mean they earned it after 400 years) and thought they should have an easier life.
But what happened?
The wilderness was not what they wanted and so they became frustrated.
“Why did you lead us here to die, we were better off in Egypt!”
Many times, they became angry because of the obstacles they saw in their path. And their focus became one of seeing all the problems and not God.
The problems shoved God way out of the way where they created more problems and actually in a few instances found new gods.
But as we hold the Bible in our hands, we see in culmination what God was doing.
God had another way filled with ups and downs.
I know what you’re thinking, you just want the good parts and not the bad. (I want that too but what I’ve learned is life is 50% good and 50% hard so we need both!)
Here’s what I know, God uses it all for His glory and for your growth!
The even bigger picture is God uses our experiences as a testimony for others’ growth.
Action Steps For Times of Frustration
What can we do when we feel frustrated:
- Focus on a blessing in our life. We receive so many blessings every day!
Nothing draws us back then to be a treasure hunter of blessings. If you can’t find one, check out your breathing. Breathe in and out and thank God for the blessing of your breath which is keeping you alive.
- Let yourself feel the emotions. Cry. Jesus felt emotions. God has blessed us with tear glands so I think we are to use them. Although there is a season and we don’t need to get stuck there.
- Ask God to align us with His will and humility to stop thinking we know the perfect path.
- Remember God does miracles and works for the good of those who love Him and have been called by Him.
The oyster deep in the sand beneath that waves gets sand in its shell. This grit is painful and frustrating but with time, the pearl is made.
We will always have obstacles but as we endure them and ask for God’s help, we have the hope of blessings in the future!
5 Power Verses When You’re Feeling Frustrated:
(Print them off and learn them when frustration happens!)
Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence (with Scripture References)My Quiet Time Devotional | 365 Devotions for Women To Bring You Into The Peace Of The Presence of God | Peach Floral Softcover Flexcover Gift Book DevotionalTake Heart: 100 Devotions to Seeing God When Life’s Not OkayEmbraced: 100 Devotions to Know God Is Holding You CloseBe Still: A Year of Daily Devotionals for One-on-One Time with God (The Inspirational Devotions Collection)Women of the Bible: A One-Year Devotional StudyNew Morning Mercies: A Daily Gospel Devotional
So, you’re basically saying that feeling frustrated when attempting something is God telling you that you shouldn’t try said thing. For example, I’ve wasted an enormous amount of time trying to play the guitar. Is the frustration I feel as a result of my total lack of progress God telling me that I’m not meant to be able to play the guitar?
Hey Mark- thanks for the comment! I’m not saying that exactly but if what you’re trying to do makes you feel opposite of what God is, I’d ask you to pray and ask for HIs wisdom. Could God be asking you to do something different with your time instead of learning the guitar? Is there something else that brings you joy?