Wednesday, May 21, 2008

FRUSTRATION!

I think I feel frustration about more than any other feeling. I feel frustrated for myself, for my friends, for perfect strangers...I just pick up frustrations and feel them...news, blogs, magazines...I find the frustrations...So guess what! Today I was reading this amazing book by Jerry Bridges, Respectable Sins. I have no idea why I have never realized it before, but FRUSTRATION is a sin! It's easy for me to commit my anxiety and fears to the Lord and know that they come because I am not fully trusting His Will for my life. Frustration usually comes out of some situation where I feel someone has made a bone-headed move or someone has been jipped out of something in life.
So, here's what good 'ol Jerry says about it: "Both anxiety and frustration are sins. They are not to be taken lightly or brushed off as common reactions we have to difficult events in a fallen world. Can you picture Jesus ever being anxious or frustrated? And whatever in our lives is not like Jesus is sin. Granted, we will never achieve complete freedom from anxiety or frustration in this life. But we should never accept them as just part of our temperament any more than we would accept adultery as part of our temperament. Keep in mind that even though anxiety and frustration may not be as serious as adultery, they are still sins. And alls in is serous in the eyes of a Holy God."
I kind of put the cart before the horse. Here's what the very respectable Dr. Bridges had to say first about frustration--read on--he gives a solution!!!
"...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."
He goes on to say this: "This passage of Scripture that has greatly helped me deal with frustration is Psalm 139:16, which says, 'All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.' '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. So when something happens that tends to frustrate me, I actually quote Psalm 139:16 to myself and then say to God, 'This circumstance is part of Your plan for my life today. Help me to respond then please give me wisdom to know how to address the situation that tends to cause frustration.' Note what resources I have brought to bear on the circumstance that tends to frustrate me: specific applicable Scripture and dependence on the Holy Spirit expressed through prayer to enable me to respond in a godly manner. Then I pray for practical wisdom to know how to deal with the situation."
One more paragraph...this is good stuff! "It is also beneficial to ask God if there is something I need to learn, or if there is something I need to be attentive to. Sometimes God uses events that tempt us toward frustration to get our attention, or even to push us further in an area we need to grow in. In any case, there are no events in our lives that do not ultimately come to us from the invisible hand of God, even though they may come through some visible cause."

So, there you have it: my newly learned lesson for the day! I was seriously getting ready to post this huge thing about the frustrations in my life (church, family, friends, etc), when God had me read this! You can't tell me that God isn't busy everyday in our lives helping to conform us to the image of Jesus Christ--if only we're willing!
I guess I'll be going out and getting a tattoo of Psalm 139:16 soon!

1 comments:

peter marie said...

Thanks for this post.It is so encouraging. Will you be my mentor?:)

When will you be done with that book so I can read it already?!?!