Shaped by Frustrations

Today I found myself thinking about frustration and its effect on my life. I realized that it often drains me of so much energy.

Here are a few ways I experience frustration and maybe, you can relate too:

  • Feeling that I should be more “ahead” in life than I am at the moment

  • Occasionally, I let my feelings dictate my day, and I don’t finish everything I set out to do

  • Balancing time spent with friends + family, while also getting tasks done on my list (I love intentionally spending quality time with people, but it can get frustrating trying to catch up on things after, without running out of breath and mental fuel)

  • I have to give things up, to let God have the center spot in my life. Frustrating at the end of the day, when I realize I keep returning to what I want to cut out.

  • Knowing with my mind that I want to obey God, but not always being able to “For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.” – Romans 7:18

  • Frustrated that I am still struggling with sin and weakness i.e. I am still not patient enough, still not loving enough, thinking that I’m better than the next person…so on and so forth

What I’ve noticed is that in our frustrations, we lose sight of God. Our frustrations become distractions and I believe that distractions are not by chance. Satan places them in our life strategically.

“What the enemy can’t take from you, he will talk you into sacrificing to him”. Not sure where this quote is from, but its spot on.

I’m convinced he spends a lot of effort coercing us into sacrificing our time to distractions - little frustrations, which ultimately remove our focus from God. When we stop fighting and let our frustrations distract us, we turn our focus from God and place it on our problems and setbacks. In our frustrations, we lose sight of how powerful God is, holding us in the palm of his hand.

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God can actually make use of our frustrations and confusing seasons of our life, to bring us closer to him. If you doubt that he is good, or think that the hardship is a punishment, know that he is very good. Know that it pains him to see you struggling with frustration, but he allows it, if by it, you are brought into closeness with him.

Through every frustration, he is unwaveringly there with you.

God desires for us to be dependent on him and uses frustrations to shape us. He wants us molded, transformed and restored into a strong relationship with him. Overtime you will see that He is always faithful, providing for you in the midst of every challenge. He doesn’t withhold anything that is truly good for you.

Through frustration, He is pursuing you.

He is willing to draw us close and go after us, no matter what that looks like. Sometimes it looks like frustration or pain. Sometimes its wonderful, heart bursting joy. Or, it can be both.

In the Gospel of Luke, we can read a parable of how Jesus pursues us, He says: “What man among you, if he has a hundred sheep and loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the pasture and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders, comes home, and calls together his friends and neighbours to tell them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my lost sheep!'–Luke 15:3-6

Friend, if you feel like the “one sheep” that has wandered slightly off path and life seems very frustrating, know that Jesus is after your heart and willing to be present in every frustrating circumstance with you.

We are called to be perfect like Jesus, but the reality is that we will never be perfect. That in itself is frustrating. I will never be perfected completely in this life. But He knows that and He’s not looking for immediate perfection, but for authentic dedication and growth towards perfection. He’s looking for us to depend on his Holy Spirit, and not for us to have all our ducks in a row, just yet.

I challenge you to have a fresh look on your frustrations. Could it be, that God is calling you to look to him in the midst of challenge?

Instead of losing sight of God in our frustrations, take a minute in the thick of it all and choose to focus your mind on the greater plan, His plan for your spiritual growth.

Ask yourself: How can the difficult parts of my life bring me into deeper fellowship with my Savior, Jesus Christ?