Replacing Despair & Frustration

Today I read Numbers 3-4, Acts 25 and My Utmost for His Highest. Despair and frustration are a couple of things that I personally struggle with from time to time. In reading about Paul this morning and his circumstances, he had every reason to despair. He had the Jewish religious leaders wanting him dead, he was kept in prison even though there was no reasonable charge brought against him, and he had to appeal to Caesar just to save his own life. As I think about his situation it definitely is unfair. How is it fair that these guys could have him held hostage and kept from his mission by making false accusations that everyone in the government at the time even knew were false and not punishable by death? How did Paul keep from feeling a deep sense of frustration and despair?

The one thing that strikes me in all of this is Paul’s sense of greater purpose and direction. He was in the game for the ride. He didn’t really care where the train was headed just that he was on the train and that God was in it. He didn’t stress over the details (that we know of) or get depressed and down. We don’t see him dwelling on what he was gonna say to get back at those guys or how he would “confront” them. He just saw every step of the journey as one more thing that God had for him to go through and he would take each thing in stride and assume it was all a part of the plan.

In my own life I don’t think I trust God enough to see everything as part of His bigger plan. I see the humanness around me and the bad decisions and selfish things that I and others do and I get upset and my own sense of fairness leads me to a place of despair and frustration when I can’t seem to solve or help fix the problem. I rehearse in my head how I am going to respond to the issue or person and that sometimes drives me to a deeper place of frustration because I know at some level my conversation will not change the situation around me. Yet in the midst of all of this, as Oswald Chambers says, Jesus is there telling me to move on and not let the past keep me from doing what he has for me in the present. Even when I fail and miss an opportunity, instead of dwelling on it, I am to pick myself up and keep moving in step with His Spirit. What an encouragement it is to know that my Lord loves me that much!

Lord, help me not to be a man who dwells on the past with its hurts and failures, but rather looks to the future with hope and continues to walk with you. Because of the gift you have given me for empathy and relationships I have a tendency to want to fix things instead of rolling with them. Help me to roll with life depending on you and not my gifts. I love you Lord. Amen.
blog comments powered by Disqus