Saturday, February 22, 2020
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5 Lessons From Frustration

Photo courtesy of Isaac Shepherd via Flickr
Photo courtesy of Isaac Shepherd via Flickr

Frustration. It happens when we want things our way and in our timing. The difficulty is, life rarely happens “our way” or in “our timing.” The challenge we have is to not give ourselves over to the frustration, but instead to take a step back to examine what is happening.

If life is not moving forward on our terms it could be because we are in the process of learning a lesson. Once we learn the valuable lesson, then we will be able to make progress forward, or at the very least find some peace. Here are some tips for dealing with frustration.

Tip #1: Recognize That Our Timing Is Never Perfect

We often believe we have the ideal view of how things should be in this world. If the world would only do what we want, then we  would be happy. The unfortunate  or even fortunate part is that we find peace by “living life on life’s terms.” How we think things should unfold is not necessarily right or the “perfect” way. This is why we have a Lord over our lives. We find peace when we stop trying to do God’s work for Him.

Tip #2: Realize That What We Want Is Not Necessarily What We Need

Have you ever wanted a relationship with someone only to realize later that this individual was not the one for you? Or that a partnership would have been a disaster or mess? Only God knows what we truly need, because He knows the story of our lives and where we are going. What we think we need at the moment may be completely off-base with His plans. Our opportunity is to trust the process.

Tip #3: Realize Delays And Detours Serve A Purpose

God protects us from dangers we may not even recognize. We can jump head-first into an ocean of frustration, or we can watch the signs and realize that delays or detours are part of a message. Perhaps we are off-course with God’s plans and He is trying to protect us. In pride, we will try to push past these delays and force things to happen in our own strength and timing.

Tip #4: Recognize That Disappointments Mean Something Better Is Coming Along

We can feel quite sad at a missed opportunity or when things are not working out according to plans. Our opportunity, however, is to realize that disappointments serve as protection. We do not have to spend our energy, time or resources on a perceived opportunity, because something better is coming and we are being detoured away from this situation for a reason. In the walk of faith, we trust that reason.

Tip #5: Realize Frustration Means We Are Trying To Move Circumstances In Our Strength

God will move circumstances rapidly. In our own effort, we can spend years trying to do the same thing. If things are not shifting, there is a reason. We find peace when we give up trying to move circumstances in our own strength and instead trust God’s direction.

Frustration happens when we try to do things ourselves; as humans we do not have that level of strength. When we partner with God and allow Him to move the big stuff of our lives … we are able to surrender frustration and to trust in His greatest plans and blessings for our lives.

About Cathy Patterson-Sterling

Cathy Patterson-Sterling is a Christian counselor with a counseling ministry called Real Life Tool Box. She is an author, speaker, wife, mother and friend. Through her counseling ministry, she offers more than 50 e-learning audio play courses to help people grow in faith and have their healthiest relationships. She is passionate about helping people find freedom from fear or other emotional strongholds that are holding them back from living out their greatest potential in God's plans for their lives.
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