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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Frazzled, Frantic and Frustrated!

From Respectable Sins: Confronting the Sins We Tolerate by Jerry Bridges, pages 69-70.

Closely akin to anxiety or worry is the sin of frustration. Whereas anxiety involves fear, frustration usually involves being upset or even angry at whatever or whoever is blocking our plans... Actually, this type of reaction has its roots in my ungodliness at the moment, for at that time I am living as though God is not involved in my life or my circumstances. I fail to recognize the invisible hand of God behind whatever is triggering my frustration. In the heat of the moment, I tend not to think about God at all. Instead, I focus entirely on the immediate cause of my frustration.

The passage of Scripture that has greatly helped me deal with frustration is Psalm 139:6, which says, "All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be" (NIV). "Days ordained for me" refers not only to the length of my life but to all the events and circumstances of each day of my life. This is a tremendously encouraging and comforting thought.

...Can you picture Jesus ever being anxious or frustrated? And whatever in our lives is not like Jesus is sin...

Jean says:

Lord, this gives a completely different meaning to the idiom "Whatever!" Mr. Bridges says that whatever is not like Jesus is sin. That one hits me between the eyes, Lord. You know that I've been struggling lately with frustration over small things. I've been wondering how to short circuit this reaction in my life.

Well, here's my solution. Find a Scripture like Psalm 139:6, memorize it and hang onto it for dear life when those little daily things threaten to push me over the side into the ocean of frustration.

[Photo courtesy of]

"All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be" (NIV).

All of the little aggravations that I allow to frustrate me are ordained by You. Established by You. Allowed by You. Arranged by You. For my good. So that I can exercise my faith in Your Perfect Sovereignty in my life.

I'm back to the amazing thought that You can and do take anything and everything in my life, stir it around a little and pour it out to produce something good and beautiful in me.

Those things that I see as irritating and frustrating have a higher purpose. They give me opportunities to react and respond like Jesus would. And I so often make a big mess of those opportunities.

Please forgive me, Lord. Please help me to do better.

God says:

You're so helplessly human, aren't you, Little One? So beautifully dependent on Me for everything--every breath, every action and reaction.

Just trust Me. Every day. Every moment. At every opportunity, just trust Me.

Your frustration can change to tranformation one little irritation at a time.