Frustration. Whether it’s people or just life in general, all of us deal with frustration on a regular basis. Perhaps your husband isn’t doing what you think he should, or your marriage isn’t what you want it to be. Maybe your current duty station is dreadful, or the housing assignment should be condemned. I’ve been in all of these situations, including a military home that was torn down after we moved out of it!
(an excerpt from The Warrior’s Bride, releasing October 2014 . . .)
When frustration builds and I want to walk away, God brings the book of Ephesians to mind. The Apostle Paul is a prisoner in Rome when he writes to the church in Ephesus to encourage them and to help them understand what the church should look like. Take a look at the first seven verses of chapter 4:
As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.
This passage contains so much truth for anyone struggling with contentment. I imagine Paul, with passion flowing, reaching out to this church and begging them to live a life worthy of their calling. Live a life worthy of what they have received freely from God.
Just in case the church is uncertain, Paul adds exactly what it means to live worthy: to be completely humble, gentle, and patient, showing love and unity. I don’t know about you, but those are a tall order for me. But they are possible. Verse 7 says it so beautifully: “grace has been given.”
This is where everything in the Christian life comes full circle.
The gifts of the Spirit come from God after salvation. And as you allow Christ to become Lord of your life, these gifts grow and overflow onto others around you. The encouragement of seeing God’s grace cover you and be passed onto others helps you to step out in greater faith, trusting Jesus to be Lord of even more of your life.
But it is a process that takes patience, because we don’t change overnight. It takes faith, because we are trusting biblical promises for future results that we can’t see clearly. And it takes determination, because your enemy Satan seeks to distract you from what’s important, diminish what God is doing through you, and negate what God is doing in you.
And one of the enemy’s tactics against you: to get you frustrated with your current situation. Keep your focus on Jesus and allow God to finish the process within you.
What current frustration can I pray with you about?
If you’d like to receive these twice-weekly blog posts in your inbox, click here.
If you’d like to receive my newsletter with all the latest news on my books, click here. The next one is coming out in just 4 weeks!