“Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive  mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”  Hebrews 4:16

I just hung up the phone — uggh!  I’m so frustrated!  My heart pounds hard.

My mornings are filled with burnt toast and tired children — uggh!  I’m so frustrated!  I’m snappy.

I’m going to be late — uggh!  I’m so frustrated!  I drive crazy.

My circumstances suck — uggh!  I’m so frustrated!  I give up.

Any of these sound familiar?  I wish I could say I’ve made them up, but I can actually remember these happening to me.  What would your list look like?

God doesn’t call me to be frustrated, but I have wrestled with understanding what I should look like, how I should behave and what even I should think when I’m frustrated.  You see, frustration is in itself no sin, but is a conduit to sin.

Frustration is defined as a feeling of dissatisfaction, often accompanied by anxiety or depression, resulting from unfulfilled needs or unresolved problems.

This means, in practical terms, it’s what happens when I don’t get my way or I’m not satisfied with the results.  Paul tells us that circumstances in life will stink (my paraphrase), but how we respond to those frustrating moments is really what matters!  The feelings are real, they will present themselves and well up within, but Paul further explains in 2 Corinthians 10:5 that “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”  It’s clearly a choice!  How I respond is a choice!

The good news is that God has given instruction on how NOT to handle it on my own.  I can’t speak for you, but I tend to screw things up when I try to handle them on my own.  So, when the moments arrive, and they will, when my needs are not met and I’m struggling in the lack of satisfaction, what do I do?  How do I respond?  My body clenches, my teeth clamp, my heart races and I tend to huff!  But God gives me an outline of what I SHOULD do in these moments instead.

God wants my every thought to fall in obedience to Him.  He desires for me to fly the white flag in life indicating a full surrender of everything in my life.  He expects and desires me to surrender my satisfaction, my unmet needs and my unresolved problems.  He knows all about them anyhow, He just waits for me to hand Him the reins.

Oh, so yes, that outline!  I mentioned, God gives me the ultimate outline for response.  From within my frustrations we are called to approach the throne with full confidence!  Pray with confidence when I’m frustrated?  Pray or huff?  I really want to huff . . . but taking that thought captive in obedience means to snuff the huff and practice my prayer.  And then comes the why!  Why pray?  Because in doing so, the floodgate of our hearts open to receive from the Father His mercy!  It also unlocks the code required to see the grace only He can serve that WILL help us in our unfavorable frustrations!

by:  Mark Cruver

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