Life can be frustrating. Just when things are going good, something seems to happen to throw a wrench in our plans, casting a dark veil over our future. It leaves us feeling like we have no recourse, no avenue to go forward, no way to the future we thought we could have. We are left frustrated.
This feeling can arise from many things like trying to pursue a goal but not seeing any visible results. We are frustrated and give up easily because it seems useless, but then we abandon whatever dream we had and are even more frustrated.
Frustrations continue when we go over and over the possible scenarios that could happen because of something that has already happened. Then we become fixated on the negative prospects. Instead of focusing on our frustrations, we need to step into faith and realize God is still leading us, despite what we can see with our eyes.
Walk by Faith
Second Corinthians 5:7 says, "For we walk by faith, not by sight." For someone who is frustrated, these words can feel like a sucker punch to the gut. It is difficult to think about not knowing where we are headed, but we must go there anyway because God says so. This is what it is like to follow God.
Think about Abraham leaving his home to go to a place God would show him. Hebrews 11:8 (TPT) recounts his journey, "Faith motivated Abraham to obey God's call and leave the familiar to discover the territory he was destined to inherit from God. So he left with only a promise and without even knowing ahead of time where he was going, Abraham stepped out in faith."
Abraham didn't do this because he was following a set of rules or laws. He did this because He had a promise from God and considered that more secure than the familiar. Walking in faith is following what God is telling us to do when we have no idea why or how or for what reason.
Walking by Faith Brings Change
It can either be frustrating, or it can be a great adventure. It all depends on our point of view. It all depends on how much we trust God. It all depends on whether we want what God has next for us or only what we can gather in our human strength.
Walking by faith will most certainly bring change. On one level, we know we can't stay where we are and expect anything different, but on another, we know we have become very set in our ways and comfortable with how we are living, what we are doing, how we are eating or the job we are doing.
We know change will bring about something different, and we don't know what to expect. We don't know how to guard against what might happen if things backfire on us. The fear of not knowing is the reason we don't like the idea of change and thus, walking by faith. And yet, it's in this place that God brings us to a higher level in Him. It's in this place that true transformation begins to take shape.
Frustration is real, but it can be overcome when we have faith that God holds us in His hands. It is overcome when we believe God has plans for our good and not our disaster, plans for our future. It's that hope that we must cling to. It's knowing He has a bigger dream for us than we ever have thought about.
When we wallow in frustration, recounting everything that has gone wrong, everything we fear about tomorrow, everything we have no control over, we will be frustrated. We have to step out of frustration by stepping into faith.
What the Heart Longs For
God tells us in Psalm 145:18-9 that God draws near to those who call out to Him: "Listening closely, especially when their hearts are true. Every godly one receives even more than what they ask for. For You hear what their hearts really long for, and You bring them Your saving strength."
For a long time, I really didn't even know that for which my heart longed. I didn't realize that I needed God's strength to make it happen. I am a writer, and I wanted to author a book. Just one book. Now I've written six books and two study guides, have a podcast and coach other women. All that was never on my radar, but God knew it all the time.
He knew what my heart was really longing for was to help others and make a difference in some small way. For me, it all began with walking in obedience of giving up sugar, which led to faith in trusting Him for my weight loss journey.
He gave me the desire and then the strength to walk in obedience to what He had been telling me for over 30 years. Surrendering my sugar addiction to Him was the start of something I never saw coming. It opened huge vistas in my life and has taken me places I never dreamed of going.
Frustration Hinders Destiny
When I get frustrated, I can throw myself a really good pity party. When I go down that path, my destiny comes to a screeching halt. I can almost hear the brakes screaming. I'm not perfect. I've been there.
I bet you've been there or are there now. God can't help each you get to the next level if you are frustrated and living in the fear of the future and the condemnation of the past. This will stop your forward motion, and if you stay there long enough, it will kill it altogether.
Just as I love the process of walking in faith, I am enamored with how God transforms us. It happens as we "fix our attention on God. We will be changed from the inside out" (Rom. 12:2, MSG).
It's so easy to fix our attention on a diet or a plan or process or a method to lose weight and change us physically on the outside. This isn't a bad goal. It just isn't the road to transformation. That only comes when we trust God and focus on what He wants us to do in order to change us emotionally, mentally and spiritually. Once that happens, it begins to change us physically.
Are You Frustrated?
Do you feel Him working on you today? Step out of frustration and into faith. You may not know the exact path He has for you, but be assured, He has plans that are far more than you could imagine, guess or request in your wildest dreams.
First, though, you have to be obedient. What is the next step He's asking you to take right now? When will you do that?
If you are frustrated and feel out of control about your present and afraid of what may happen in the future if you don't figure out how to live healthier, check out Episode 83 of Sweet Grace for Your Journey Podcast, From Frustration to Faith. Find the podcast everywhere including Charisma Podcast Network.
This article first appeared on teresashieldsparker.com.
Teresa Shields Parker is the author of six books and two study guides, including her No. 1 bestseller, Sweet Grace: How I Lost 250 Pounds. Her sixth book, Sweet Surrender: Breaking Strongholds, is live on Amazon. She blogs at teresashieldsparker.com. She is also a Christian weight loss coach (check out her coaching group at Overcomers Academy) and speaker. Don't miss her podcast, Sweet Grace for Your Journey, available on CPN.
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