Philippians 4:10-13 (NLT)
10 How I praise the Lord that you are concerned about me again. I know you have always been concerned for me, but you didn’t have the chance to help me. 11 Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. 12 I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. 13 For I can do everything through Christ,[a] who gives me strength.
I believe that the Apostle Paul learned the secret to dealing with frustration. If there was anyone who had the right to feel overly burdened with hardships, problems, imprisonment, obstructionist, fake friends, sickness, perils on land and in the sea, this man of God certainly had his fill.
In this text, Paul commends the Church at Philippi for their steadfast care and concern for both his physical and spiritual body. He tells them and reassures them about the strength of mind and character that he has been given through the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Paul recognized that this special grace was given to him, so that he could pass it on to the church and the other churches who were being persecuted for their faith.
All of us go through periods of frustration. Our natural reaction is to blame our circumstances on others. When we feel that doors of opportunity are closed in our face, or we are being neglected, rejected, and overlooked for a promotion, upgrade, etc; we tend to blame external forces. We seldom think that the problem might be an internal problem that we have covered up or failed to address. We need to do an internal audit, a heart check to see if there is something inherent in us, that is keeping God from manifesting the prays that we have prayed.
But instead of looking inward, we figure that making external changes like: losing weight, divorcing our husband or wife, changing jobs, moving to a different state, will be the answer to our frustrations. We believe these changes will spare us further disappointment and frustration. But that is not how to find genuine peace and contentment. God would have us look within ourselves and examine our hearts, our motives, whether we have resentment, anger, unforgiveness, low self-esteem, or a problem in our relationship with our Heavenly Father. When we are frustrated, we must determine the cause.
Discontent has three internal roots according to an article in “In touch Devotional” by Pastor Charles Stanley.
- One is the inability to accept ourselves as God created us. The gifts, talents, personality and physical attributes that we have were given to us by the Lord. We many not like them or appreciate them, but the Bible says” We are fearfully and wonderfully made.” These attributes are exactly what God chooses to use to work out His plan and purpose in the earth. Dwelling on what we lack or what we would like to change distracts us from serving God.
- A second root is a reluctance to deal with our past. We may have difficult, painful memories or recall mistakes that brought us heartache. But only when we admit their impact and confront those issues, can we change our emotional and psychological impact and reaction to them. It wasn’t until Jacob in Genesis chapter 32, dealt with his past, that he was able to ask forgiveness from his brother Esau, and arise victoriously after that all night wrestling match with the angel of the Lord. Howbeit, Jacob had to come face to face with his demons. He had to acknowledge who he was; a trickster, a supplanter, a flawed human being. Once he admitted he was jacked-up messed-up, tore-up from the floor-up, God could give him a new lease on life. God changed his name from Jacob to Israel, meaning “Prince,” because Jacob had prevailed and won this particular battle.
- A final source of frustration is a refusal to deal with behaviors or attitudes that are outside the Lord’s will. We see the evidence of this behavior in Abraham, Sarah, Rachael and Leah and Hannah. Each of these individuals failed to wait on the timing of God. They interfered in the plan of God and got in to a competition with one another, especially Rachel and Leah. God had closed up their worms and instead of waiting on God they took matters into their own hands.
Holding on to an ungodly spirit or a bad habit will often lead to the useless practice or repeatedly trying to justify ourselves to our heavenly Father and those around us. The human solution for dealing and handling frustration-changing our external situations will only fail us every single time. The only solution to truly uprooting and gaining victory over our frustration is by relying, depending, trusting and having full confidence in our Heavenly Father. He is the one who will give us the peace, courage and strength to overcome our human condition, our shortcomings, weakness and internal emotions.
ENJOY THIS BEAUTIFUL FALL DAY AND:
DON'T FORGET TO SAY YOUR PRAYERS