Everyone from time to time faces situations that are frustrating. Sometimes frustration is of our own making and at other times it is caused by circumstances beyond our control. Who hasn’t been frustrated by broken promises, lack of funds or complicated details? There are three basic reasons for frustration. The first reason occurs when situations do not take place in our time frame or something costs us more time. We don’t want to spend time doing things we dislike Secondly, human nature tends to want to travel the easiest path. But God sometimes knows the best path is not the easiest. Thirdly, we may end up in a situation that seems to have no solution; such as, “Too much month and not enough money.” Normally frustration is short lived and we soon leave our problems behind. However it is possible for a preacher or any Christian to become continually frustrated to the point it begins to hinder their daily life.
Frustrated Christians tend to share two traits. First, they have lost their true purpose and calling in life. Or perhaps worse, they develop a lifestyle that is at odds with God’s calling. It is important to understand that God’s calling always has a higher purpose than our own. His way is best! Second, they won’t bother to change their behavior and form good habits. Christian may be frustrated because they are not living according to God’s calling and purpose. As a result these believers live without a focus on doing the will of God. Like the writer in Ecclesiastes, they feel their life is ineffective and being wasted. “Vanity of vanities . . . all is vanity.”
Preachers must not allow frustration to ruin their life. No one should be overcome with perpetual frustration. We must recognize that our problems are not inconveniences but opportunities for God to intervene. If you are tired of being continually frustrated here are some simple steps you can take.
1. Follow God’s purpose. You are God’s ambassador, His messenger. “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33. Remember your calling from God and focus on doing His will. Don’t allow frustrations to rob you of the joy of Christian service. You must realize that everything in life does not always work out the way you want. His will is more important than your own desires. Learning to lean on His understanding and not your own will help keep you from frustration. His purpose is greater than your purpose.
2. Build your life on the Bible. “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” – – 1 Peter 5:6-7. Develop habits that reflect Bible principles. Pattern your life after the beatitudes. Apply the principles found in the book of Proverbs. Ask the question in every situation, “What would Jesus do?”
3. Pray consistently. Prayer does change things. Perhaps the most important thing prayer changes are our own heart and attitude. Prayer places problems before the throne of grace. Why worry when we can pray?
4. Find a spiritual mentor. One of the best pieces of advice I received when I first entered the ministry was to find a mentor and confidant. A good spiritual mentor is a person of your gender whom you can trust with your most troubling problems. This will help you get through times of trials and struggles. Such a mentor will build mutual accountability with you to help you develop good life habits which slowly replace the bad. A mentor can give you understanding to problems that you may find perplexing.
5. Serve someone. Everyone is in need and everyone has something to share. When we focus on others our frustrations don’t seem so great. Life is not easy and everyone is having a hard time. Concentrating on the needs of others will melt away our own problems. “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” – – John 16:33.
Working with people can be a struggle or it can be a blessing. It all depends on your attitude toward God’s purpose in your life. If you are doing His will you will no longer feel the pressure of daily life because your only goal is to please Him.