Frustration and Anger: Two Sides of the Same Coin

Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools Ecclesiastes 7:9 KJV

One day I was sitting at the table, trying to relax after putting the children to bed, and my husband was telling me about problems he was having on the job, problems new converts were having etc. I told him, “Hey honey, I really don’t want to hear about anyone’s problems right now.”   I had reached my human limit. I was tired, and I was frustrated. Continue reading

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Be Careful What You Wish For

11231937 - conceptual fish temptation

11231937 – conceptual fish temptation

Here’s a little lesson from the Book of Samuel.  The worst thing we can do is act while in a state of frustration. Take time to cool off.   Make sure you’re being led of God and not trying to move things along in your own strength.  I recall the trial of two young converts who were being persecuted by their parents for being born again.  They wanted to move out of their parents’ home and get an apartment together but needed a third person to handle the rent.  Somehow they found another young girl who had recently come to the Lord.  Although this girl had a job, she also had emotional problems and really put the girls through some difficult times.  Part of their agreement was that she would take care of providing money to buy groceries. She never actually gave them money to shop, however; she always had to accompany them to the store. This sounded OK at first, but as soon as they took the groceries to the cashier, she always refused to pay, claiming she couldn’t find the money.

So my husband and I went along one day to see what was going on, and sure enough, when she got to the register, the cashier told her the cost and she did not release the money she had in her purse.  So these poor girls were stuck with this person because they wanted to be on their own so badly and wanted to get out of the persecution but ended up in a worse situation.

Sometimes we think we need or want something and we beg God to give it to us.  We’d better be sure, however, that our desires coincide with the will of God.  In 1 Samuel 8, the children of Israel not only asked for a king, they demanded one out a knee-jerk reaction to a scandal in the temple. Samuel’s sons were taking advantage of the people, and the people decided to correct the problem themselves instead of letting God correct it.

After Samuel’s sons were exposed as hypocrites, they said, “We want what everyone else has—a king,”  because they thought a change in regime would make things better.   They let this scandal affect their trust in God—who, incidentally, had done no wrong. The prophet Samuel told them they would face many hardships with a king, but they would not listen.  The point is that a king was Israel’s own solution to the problem; they did not pray to find out God’s solution.  Israel also misidentified the problem; it was not Samuel, but rather the two sons, who were not worthy of their position. Plus, Israel was ruled God, not a man.

Samuel was distressed about Israel’s request. After all, how could he not take this personally? It was his sons that were causing the trouble. The people failed to realize, however, that even though Samuel’s sons were rotten, Samuel was still God’s man and God’s representative. They’d forgotten it is the Lord who not only grants position and power, but He also takes it away when needed. He has always been the One to set up kings and then take them down.  This is why God let Samuel know “They are not rejecting you; they are rejecting me.” In essence, the people were telling God, “You cannot handle this. We’re the ones who have been hurt and we’ll decide how to fix this.” So the people stopped trusting God’s help and rejected God’s rule altogether. That is why He called their request “wickedness” in 1 Samuel 11:17.  In the end, however, God gave Israel what they asked for in 1 Samuel 8:22, but Israel’s kings caused them a lot of sorrow and eventually split the nation.

 We tend to demand that God give us what we want—right now! When one of our friends gets a new car, for example, we rush to get one ourselves. When someone we know gets married, we demand God give us a spouse, too. And when He doesn’t, we try to solve the issue ourselves.    But God is a God of order and time; He works in His time and will not be rushed. Often what we want is not what we need.

Desires can become idols and replace the will of God if we let them.  All desires are not evil, but if our methods for dealing with those desires or our frustration over not getting what we want, crosses the will of God, those same harmless desires can be deadly to our connection with the Lord.

-excerpt from How to Walk on Water: A Christian’s Survial Guide for going through Trials.

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The Advantage of the Long Road

Zig-Ziglar-Quotes-50

Don’t be discouraged.  Problems can drag on and on in our lives, and I know, it’s a challenge to keep your head up.  How often do we sit through just an excruciatingly long speech, or movie and even though it may be good, it’s a natural inclination to say, “hey, how much longer is this speech going to be anyway?”  And whether this question is asked out of frustration or just pure curiosity, we feel justified in asking. We as humans live in the realm of time and we get mighty concerned about our time here, as we should.  As circumstances begin to play out in a comedy of errors, mishaps, and (sigh) waiting for the wind to blow the sails, the temptation to look at how long a situation is taking becomes overwhelming. Continue reading

Violence + Injustice = Time to Pray

If I dwell too long on recent events, I would probably be so depressed that I couldn’t function.  This week marks the one month anniversary of the Orlando shootings where 49 people lost their lives in a senseless act of hatred.  The happenings of the past month: Orlando, St. Paul, Baton Rouge, Dallas, and yesterday’s tragedy in Nice, France, spell out a string of hateful,violent, back- to-back incidents that I’ve rarely seen rolled together in my lifetime, except during wartime.  Violence seems to be everywhere–harsh and sudden.

When we see this much violence and destruction it’s time to pray. Continue reading

Overcoming Anger

depressed

In our walk with God, there comes a pivotal moment where you have to decide.  Do I want to be right or do I want to be happy and move on with my life?  The times I’ve been in those situations.  I’ve always found that it’s better just to move on.  Why? Here are the problems with trying to show people you’re right. Continue reading