If we are upset or annoyed when life isn’t ministering to our desires and needs, preconceived plans or expectations we are frustrated. The causes can include unrealistic goals, poor work habits (disorganisation or lack of planning), trying to meet several conflicting demands at one time, factors outside our line of responsibility or beyond our control. Maybe a different approach or strategy will be more successful.
Frustration brings discouragement because of the lack of measurable results tempting a person to give up or to accomplish ‘in the flesh’. Abraham tried this approach ‘to help God out’ – the consequences are still in effect today (Gen 16:1-5,15). We can only do God’s work in His way and with His enabling (Zech 4:6). Paul said, ‘I do not frustrate or put aside the grace of God” (Gal 2:21). Through surrender to the Lord, we are able to turn these trials into advantages that work for us and bring glory to God. Keep an eye on your goals – ensure each aspect of life is aiding towards its fulfillment. The Bible declares in God’s economy, “All things work together for the good of those who have been called according to His purpose” (Rom 8:28).
Don’t despise your efforts or allow self-rejection to destroy God’s peace in your heart, instead consider what He’s already done in your life. This will give you hope and reassurance for the future – to know His calling on your life will happen if you consistently obey and co-operate with Him, confident that “He who has begun a good work in you will complete it” (Phil 1:6). Satan, with discouraging and negative thoughts, tries to get our eyes off what is being achieved with God’s help in our lives, so bring into captivity every thought making it obedient to Christ (Rom 12:1; 2 Cor 10:5).
Keep a check on your emotions and how you dissipate the frustration – venting it at others in anger by attitude, action or words is not acceptable. Don’t internalize it either through self-pity.
How do I handle frustration?
God holds us responsible for faithfulness rather than results. We need to have a long-range view, be realistic, understanding things of value take time to achieve and there will be progress as we consistently apply ourselves even if there is the odd setback and failure. Everybody has their emotional ups and downs; don’t let the downs destroy you. Focus your hope and attention on God, encouraging yourself in Him, by getting your eyes off yourself and the problem onto His solution (1 Sam 30:6). “Commit your way to the Lord, and He will help you do it” (Ps 37:5). Get His perspective on the matter – and use the trials as stepping-stones to victory.
See also: anger, desires, disappointments, expectations, irritation, not being ministered to, peace, perspective, progress, self-pity, stress.