Does God Care when I’m frustrated? We explore this question during the snowy wintry month of February. Unless, of course, you live in Florida, Hawaii, or some other place where it is warm most of the time and you never get snow. However, no matter where we live, or what our weather is like, we all experience frustration.
SO, DOES GOD CARE WHEN I’M FRUSTRATED?
Well, God certainly understands frustration. “For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope” (Romans 8:20 NIV).
Frustration is part of our fallen world. Sin is the cause of all our problems, including feelings of frustration.
What really hit me when reading this verse is how it relates to last month’s question: Does God Care When I’m Hopeless? We examined Eve’s hopelessness when she left the garden. Now we understand that, like hopelessness, frustration is also as old as time.
See a pattern? Our struggles and emotions are universal and timeless. God gets me ladies! And He gets you too!
FRUSTRATION: AN ITCH THAT CAN’T BE SCRATCHED!
Frustration lends itself to action. After all, avoiding this annoying feeling is the goal. However, often the action is futile, even stupid. Jonah learned this truth the hard way.
JONAH’S FRUSTRATION LED HIM TO HIDE FROM GOD!
God called Jonah, a prophet in Northern Israel, to prophesy to the great, but evil, city of Nineveh and warn the people of God’s coming judgment. Talk about frustration! These wicked people didn’t deserve God’s warning or mercy. Just kill them God!
From a human’s perspective it’s easy to understand Jonah’s frustration. Well known was the worship of false gods and immoral behavior by the Ninevite people. A fearful world knew of their warrior’s cruel and barbarous behavior. All too often the Israelites suffered this brutality first hand. So, instead of going to Nineveh, Jonah set sail to Tarshish.
Long story short Jonah found himself in the stomach of a big fish for three days and eventually obeyed God.
Just as Jonah feared, the Ninevites repented and God did not destroy their city.
However, despite God’s mercy the Ninevites gradually returned to their idol worship, immorality, and cruel ways. A century later the prophet Nahum called them a “…city of blood, full of lies, full of plunder, never without victims” (Nahum 3: 1 NIV)!
Well, Jonah was gone from earth by this time, but if he was still alive I’m sure that in his humanness he would have thought the Ninevites got what they deserved. You see, this time God punished the Ninevites rebellion. God allowed the heinous Babylonians and Medes to conquer and destroy Nineveh.
Now before you say how stupid the Ninevites were to go back to their wicked ways, think about how many times God’s patience is shown to you during your life. Despite His allowing us many chances to change, we so often go back to our faithless and wicked ways.
I am sure God is frustrated with me with how I try his patience. How many times I’ve made commitments to pray more fervently, keep a schedule with my Bible reading, do more service, give more, spend more time in communion with God, ask forgiveness of someone; yes, I can go on forever. What about you?
THEN THERE IS THE FRUSTATED DAUGHTEERS OF ZELOPHEHAD
The time came to allot the acreage of the Promised Land to the Israelites. There were five sisters frustrated as they heard who got what and where. Because their father died they received no land. Therefore, they brought their grievance to the attention of Moses, who took this problem to the Lord. Guess what? God agreed with the sisters!
By insisting on their God-given rights, Israel’s succession laws changed forever!
Surely most of us have felt cheated and the way these women handled their situation provides a great example of the proper way to address these types of frustrations. Read their story in Numbers 27: 1-11.
HOW DO YOU HANDLE FRUSTRATION?
Do you hide from God like Jonah or take positive action like the sisters?
Consider the different approaches of Jonah and these five women.
- Jonah ran from the problem. The sisters ran toward the problem by approaching Moses and the other leaders.
- Jonah lost his temper and lashed out at God. The sisters stayed calm, looked at options, and approached God through Moses.
- Knowing better than God about how to handle the Ninevites was Jonah’s gift! Mmm, perhaps not. The sisters trusted God’s wisdom and the leaders He chose to enforce the God-given laws and traditions.
- The prophet saw a bleak future. The daughters saw a bright future in the land God promised. A future of which they wanted a part.
- Jonah saw God as unjust in His mercy. These five women trusted God’s justice.
SO, DOES GOD CARE WHEN I’M FRUSTRATED?
Yes, He does! But lashing out, running from God or ignoring His will only results in more frustration.
Also, don’t set yourself up for frustration by unreasonable expectations or caring about others opinions more than God’s.
Instead, we must turn to God’s word to resolve problems and bring peace to our souls. Let’s go back to the Scripture at the beginning of this post: “For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope” (Romans 8:20 NIV).
Kind of a bummer verse, isn’t it? But look more closely and note the words ‘in hope’ at the end of this verse. The NLT says ‘eager hope’ and The Message ‘joyful anticipation.’ Despite our frustrations, God gives us hope for the future. We are wandering in the desert because of sin, and we know the frustrations of the Israelites during their forty years of wandering; however, the Promised Land is on the horizon.
Just like looking more closely at the above verse gave us a new understanding, meditating on Scripture helps us find our way out of frustration.
HERE ARE SOME VERSES TO MEDITATE ON THAT ADDRESS THE QUESTION: DOES GOD CARE WHEN I’M FRUSTRATED?
Click here to find additional verses and a biblical perspective regarding the question: Does God Care When I’m Frustrated?
As always I welcome comments! Express your frustrations or pet peeves. How about ways you frustrate God’s patience? Any suggestions about how you deal with frustration in your life?
Next month we will look at the question: Does God Care When I’m Excluded?