Frustrated? Take Your Complaints to God

I decided, “I will watch what I say and make sure I do not sin with my tongue. I will put a muzzle over my mouth while in the presence of an evil person.” I was stone silent; I held back the urge to speak. My frustration grew; my anxiety intensified. As I thought about it, I became impatient. Finally I spoke these words: “O Lord, help me understand my mortality and the brevity of life.”

─ Psalm 39:1-4 NET

You know the feeling … the sense of being upset or annoyed, especially when things go a different direction than you expected, or your hands are tied, and you are unable to change or achieve something … That’s frustration.

One great example of how we should handle frustration as children of God is recounted in Ezra. Groups of God’s people returned to Jerusalem to build God’s house. As they began to build the altar and the temple foundations, those living nearby opposed the work, and caused the project to be halted for a time.

Ezra 5:3-5 says, “Almost at once Governor Tattenai of West-of-Euphrates, Shethar Bozenai, and their fellow officials came to Jerusalem and demanded: ‘Who gave you orders to build this Temple and equip it?’ They also asked for the names of all the men who were helping build the Temple. But God was watching over the Jewish leaders, and the Persian officials decided to take no action until they could write to Emperor Darius and receive a reply.”

Those who opposed the rebuilding of the temple were asking questions and taking names, making their opposition clear. No doubt it frustrated the Jews, but they pressed on, continuing to work in spite of the frustration until there was formal direction. God watched over them and when the answer came, Darius allowed them to continue.

In our verse today, the psalmist didn’t let his anger or frustration push him to respond in a negative way. Instead of speaking out and complaining about others, he remained silent. And when he did finally give voice to the situation, he took his complaint to God.

When we are serving God, others may try to confuse, frustrate or even delay you. But you can be confident that God is at work, accomplishing His will in the world today. Refuse to give in to the frustration. Don’t let it sidetrack you, but trust God to complete all that He is doing.

Today’s One Thing

What is your biggest frustration today?

  • Read today’s verse.
  • Resist the urge to speak out of anger or frustration.
  • Take your complaint to God.
  • Wait for Him to perfect those things that concern you while you are doing what He’s asked of you.

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