4 Lessons From Frustration / Luke 9:38-56 NIV
Intro - Frustration is a universal condition. It’s like butting your head up against a wall. No matter what you do you seem to hit a brick wall. Sometimes it’s one step forward and two steps backward.
Good news #1 - Frustration is a completely normal human emotion. The only way you can not be frustrated is to give up.
Good news #2 - It only follows that there would come a time when Jesus would be frustrated. Today in Luke 9:38-56, we find Jesus in several frustrating situations.
Good news #3 - You can become frustrated but you don’t have to stay frustrated!
Four Lessons We Learn From Jesus’ Frustrations:
#1 Our failures of faith still lead us to _______________.
“You unbelieving and perverse generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you and put up with you?”
Do you think Jesus was frustrated? Yes! Let’s dispense with the foolishness that we shouldn’t ever become frustrated. Even in the work of the kingdom of God we can be frustrated. But God is a good God! Even when He is disappointed in us, He never gives up on us!
Lesson: It’s not the ________ that stops us, it’s the _________.
“The godly may trip seven times, but they will get up again. But one disaster is enough to overthrow the wicked.” Proverbs 24:16 NLT
This is an evil world in which we are attempting to practice righteousness. The Bible tells us that we will sin sometimes. We will fail sometimes. When that happens, DON’T QUIT! Confess! Pick yourself back up.
#2 - We will not always understand _____________ .
“They did not understand what this meant. It was hidden from them, so that they did not grasp it, and they were afraid to ask him about it.” Luke 9:45 NIV
There will be times when you’re frustrated that you just can’t seem to understand what God is saying. When life doesn’t seem to be going your way. You wonder what God could possibly have in mind.
Lesson: It’s not _________ we need, it’s __________.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Never rely on what you think you know. Remember the Lord in everything you do, and he will show you the right way.” Proverbs 3:5-6 GNT
Sometimes you’re just going to have to admit that you don’t understand WHY God seems to moving you down the path you’re traveling. In those moments remember that it’s not understanding you need, it’s trusting. God does have a good plan. When we don’t see it or understand it, we must trust it anyway. That’s faith.
#3 - Greatness is recognized by _______________ .
If ever there was a day when we must remember this truth, it’s today. One response to being frustrated is to blame someone else. (We rarely blame ourselves, right?) So when we look for someone to blame, it has to be someone who doesn’t really have the power to tell us we are to blame. The least powerful person in Jesus day was a little child…
“Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For it is the one who is least among you all who is the greatest.” Luke 9:48 NIV
To welcome a little child really means to welcome the one with the least power. Jesus repeats it plainly in the back half of the verse. Who is the one who is least in our society? Not children! Immigrants. We’ve blamed so many of our problems on those who have no ability to defend themselves against our complaints. If Jesus were commenting today on our society, what would he tell us? Welcome the least among you!
Lesson: It’s not ______ that makes us like God, it’s _________ .
“A generous person will be made rich, and whoever satisfies others will himself be satisfied.” Proverbs 11:25 GWT
Why did Jesus give this mini speech about welcoming the least? Because the disciples were arguing amongst themselves about who would be the greatest! Being great has never gone out of style. There are those among us who tell us our goal as a country should be to be great again! Here’s Jesus slogan. Be generous again! Be welcoming. Only God is truly great. We can try to demonstrate what makes Him so great - by being generous with others. By being open with our help. By being selfless instead of selfish.
#4 - Our godly plans will _______________ .
Few things are more frustrating than when our plans don’t work out. Imagine Jesus’ frustration, when he among all others was open on many occasions to Samaritans, but now in his hour of need, they refuse him.
“But the people there did not welcome him, because he was heading for Jerusalem.” Luke 9:53NIV
What does Jesus do? Pick another village. Disciples wanted to call fire down and destroy. Remember this the next time you want to call fire!
Lesson: It’s not about _________ , it’s about___________.
“You can make many plans, but the LORD ’s purpose will prevail.” Proverbs 19:21 NLT
This is so helpful to remember that not even Jesus’ plans always worked out. But he never doubted God’s purpose. Ok, this village says no? Let’s not waste our anger. Let’s just go to the next village. It’s not about our plans, it’s all about God’s purpose. That is sure. His purpose will prevail.
Five Simple Steps For Handling Frustration:
#1 - Ask yourself, ____________? (Galatians 6:7b)
The Bible says, "A man reaps what he sows." We are frustrated by many things in life because we bring them on ourselves. Stop looking for someone else to blame and take the blame yourself. Two good reasons - #1 - only then will you stop putting yourself in a tight spot. #2 - You’ll learn something…
#2 - Ask yourself, ______________ ? (Rom. 8:28)
"In all things God works for the good of those who love him." There are many bad things in the world, but all things work together. God can even take the negative and turn it into a positive if we let him. Use irritation as an opportunity to become more like Christ.
#3 - In the situation ____________. (1 Thess. 5:18)
"Give thanks in all circumstances." You don't have to be thankful FOR a bad situation, but you can be thankful IN a bad situation. Frustration may be a blessing in disguise. If you can only stop and see what God could be doing for you in that frustrating moment. Thanking God takes hot air out of sails.
#4 - Turn the frustration into a ____________. (Pr. 17:22)
"A cheerful heart is good medicine.” A sense of humor is God's antidote for anger and frustration. We’ve forgotten how to laugh at ourselves. We can take things way too seriously. It’s hard to be frustrated and laughing at the same time. Laughing at yourself takes you out of the central ego spot and lets you see you in human terms. Much easier life that way!
#5 - Ask God to ______________ . (1 Cor. 13:5)
"[Love] is not easily angered." Love is self-giving, not self-serving. We get irritated because we think everyone and everything has to revolve around us. Love concentrates on the other person. Can you stop your frustrations by experiencing love for someone else?
If we are living the way Jesus instructs us to live, then we will be amazed at how much God loves us. We’ll be amazed at His glory and His success and His purpose. We cannot remain frustrated with our present circumstances when we view them against the backdrop of God’s kingdom. Your choice is a simple one. Stay frustrated. Or stay amazed. You cannot do both.