Devotional 8/1

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18

To conquer frustration, one must remain intensely focused on the outcome, not the obstacles.
T.F Hodge

The stories of the bible are teachings and warnings to us, the readers. There are many things found in the bible which are not popular in church conversation, or ministry preaching. One of the emotions which we all experience is frustration. There are 3 people who come to mind when I think of overcoming frustration: Rachel, Moses and Elijah. Frustration happens to everyone, but Satan uses it as an entry way for sin, and bitterness which causes us to fall from grace. What does frustration look like?

  • If God really loves me, why am I sick? Why do I need mental help?  
  • Why does it seem like everyone else is getting something from Him and I’m just here drying up? 
  • I’ve been sacrificing, I’ve been serving, I’ve been obedient, where are my answered prayers?
  • Does God not think I deserve a family? Will I ever be married, or have children? 
  • Is God’s word really true, where is the salvation of my family?
  • paid vacations like sister so and so?
  • I have been faithful, where is my promotion? where is my new job?
  • I’ve been sexually pure, where is my wife/husband?
  • I’ve been faithful to my tithes and offerings, where is the cancellation my debt like sister so and so? See the source image

The Israelites were found to be in rebellion against God, and personally I believe they were frustrated in their process. God promised them a land of milk and honey which would be theirs, but God never told them it would be drastically different from being in Egypt. He didn’t mention the long walk through the wilderness, the lack of food, delicacies or water along the way. The Israelites made a handmade golden calf, and worshiped it in a celebratory type of way. They engaged in sexual immorality, and worshipped the gods of the Moabites. And they spoke against their leaders too. They tested the Lord’s patience, as we all do.

Another person who became frustrated was Moses, he asked God ‘why are you afflicting me this way!”. What did I do to deserve such treatment, am I not a faithful servant? We also have Elijah the prophet who wanted to die. He was threatened by Jezebel, and asked God to take his life because he concluded he would not make it. He ran into a cave, hoping to die and cried out to God: God I am zealous for your kingdom, why am I going through this? Rachel was another person in the bible who had to see her sister Leah get what she wanted for years and years, and even Hannah, who had to deal with a tormenting spirit named Peninah.

In the midst of negativity, we can appreciate what God has done and remember that He will continue to be good to us. Although it seems that God will not give us the perfect lives we desire, but God is with us and He is a present help in time of need. King David is a perfect example of enduring frustration and discouragement. David told God all that was in his heart, but he also exalted God because He understood that overall God is the supreme ruler and he was merely a man. It is okay to be sincere with God, we can question God in the secret place, and even ask Him where He is: remember God knows your thoughts before you speak them. And in the same prayer, we should humble ourselves to exalt God’s loyalty, power and majesty because after all He has been good.

I recommend two amazing books I have been tremendously blessed by:
No More Faking: Ending the Pretending, by Esther Fleece 
Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely
by Lysa TerKeurst

Let’s pray:

How long, O Lord? Will You forget us forever? How long will You hide Your face from us? How long must we take counsel in our souls, having sorrow in our hearts day after day? How long will the enemy exalt himself and triumph over us? Consider and answer us, O Lord my God; Bring us back to life, Give light to our eyes, or else we will die, and the enemy will say, “I have overcome them,” and our adversaries will rejoice when we are shaken. But we trust and rely on and been confident in Your lovingkindness and faithfulness; Our hearts will rejoice and delight in Your salvation. We will sing to You Lord, because You have dealt bountifully with us. In Jesus name, Amen. heart

 

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