When We Feel Frustrated
But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at last you have revived your concern for me; indeed, you were concerned before, but you lacked opportunity. Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.
During seasons of frustration, a natural reaction is to blame circumstances or individuals. When we find ourselves hindered from achieving our goals, discontent may be triggered by external forces, even though the root cause often is internal. Then we sometimes make changes—such as quitting a job, ending a friendship, or moving away—in an attempt to spare ourselves further dissatisfaction. But that’s not how to find genuine peace. When frustrated, we must determine the cause. Discontent has three internal roots:
One is the inability to accept ourselves as God created us. The talents, personality, and physical attributes we’ve been given may not be what we desire, but they are exactly what we need to follow God’s will for our life. Dwelling on what we lack or what we’d change distracts us from serving Him.
A second root is a reluctance to deal with our past. We may have painful memories or recall mistakes that brought us heartache. Only when we admit their impact and confront any resulting emotional or psychological issues can we move on in peace.
The final source of frustration is a refusal to deal with behaviors or attitudes that are outside the Lord’s will. Holding on to an ungodly spirit or a bad habit will often lead to the useless practice of repeatedly trying to justify ourselves to our heavenly Father and those around us.
The human solution for frustration—changing our external situations—will fail every single time. The only way to truly uproot our frustration is by relying on God for the strength to grapple with its source.