What To Do When You Are Frustrated

After the uproar ceased, Paul sent for the disciples, and after encouraging them, he said farewell and departed for Macedonia. When he had gone through those regions and had given them much encouragement, he came to Greece. There he spent three months, and when a plot was made against him by the Jews as he was about to set sail for Syria, he decided to return through Macedonia. — Acts 20:1-3

So after more than two years, Paul decides to leave Ephesus. And in this text, we get a very short summary by Dr. Luke about what happens next. If you want to read the fuller context, you need to read 2 Corinthians chapters 1-7. Remember, the book of Acts gives us a flyover, but if you want to look at what is going on in these churches that Paul visits, all you need to do is read their respective letters.

But to give you a quick look, here is a summary of what is happening in Acts 20:1-3.

Paul leaves Ephesus. He travels to the region of Macedonia. He is hoping to meet up with Titus, who was at Corinth. Right now, the Corinthian church was having all kinds of issues, which is why Paul wrote a letter to them entitled 1 Corinthians. In this letter, Paul instructs them on addressing these matters, and Titus is there to help. As Paul leaves Ephesus, he stops at Troas and does some ministry there, hoping to meet up with Titus and hear the report. But Titus doesn't show up. So Paul travels further into Macedonia, probably Philippi, hoping to run into him. And he does finally connect with Titus. Titus communicates to Paul that the issues in Corinth had been dealt with and reconciled. But somewhere during this time, Paul writes 2 Corinthians, a letter he sent to them before he came. As we know, Paul did arrive at Corinth. He stays there for three months, which in this text, he references when he talks about visiting regions of "Greece." This would be his last visit to Corinth. And guess what Paul did during these three months there. He wrote the letter to the Romans. Easily the greatest book he ever wrote. And guess what, all this happens in 3 verses here. That's a lot of stuff. That's a lot of ministry that happens in three short and cryptic verses.

I think we sometimes underestimate the power, impact, and consequence of daily obedience. Don't we? We fail to see how God uses the daily actions of listening and following him to involve us in a strategy that reaches way beyond our life. This is because we have such a myopic view of life. This is because we don't see the same way God sees. It even appears here that Dr. Luke skips over some significant events as he recounts history. In three verses here, Paul went from Ephesus, Troas, Philippi, to Corinth. He met up with Titus and many other men along the way. In addition, he wrote at least two books during this time 2 Corinthians and Romans. Which, by the way, are letters we read even today and continue to impact the lives of people around the world.

So today here is my message to you. If you feel a little unaccomplished and frustrated, I know how you feel. I actually think Paul knows how you feel. I think he was a little frustrated with the church in Corinth. I know this by the way he wrote the letters that he wrote to them. And you may need to hear today. It's okay to feel this way. It's okay to feel frustrated and unaccomplished. But in this feeling, don't do this. Don't stop being obedient. Just be obedient in your frustration. If you have a frustrating marriage, a frustrating job, or a frustrating child, don't let feelings of frustration deter you. Be obedient. Because you may discover one day that during your time of frustration, God was doing more through your daily actions of obedience than you thought he was. And you may look up one day to discover that God was impacting the world around you in a way that you could not see.

ASK THIS: What is your frustration?

DO THIS: Be obedient.

PRAY THIS: God, I give my frustrations to you. Help me to be obedient in these frustrations and feelings.

PLAY THIS: TobyMac - Help Is On The Way.

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What To Do When You Are Frustrated

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55 thoughts on “What To Do When You Are Frustrated

  1. Cory B says:

    More often than not, I get frustrated when people don’t do things or understand things the same way I do. I like to call it “common sense,” but not everyone comes from the same background, race or sex. The closer I am to God, the more I understand He is in control, not me. It would be foolish for me assume I know how someone else should think or what they are thinking. I need to extend the same grace to everyone and give it to him when I am frustrated or don’t understand.

  2. David Fredrickson says:

    When frustration comes it’s most often when I feel I have lost control of something going on, or wishing a different out come would be happening. My relationship with the Lord has become strong enough to realize pretty quickly how silly (wrong) these feelings are. I then begin the process of giving it all back to Him. Sometimes this is immediate, more often it is a process that takes a bit longer. Praise God for His patients with us all.

  3. Keith Panicko says:

    Great word again Vince. Thank you. Frustration is part of life. We just give it up to Jesus. He’s got this.

  4. Joel says:

    There are consequences to actions. They can very frustrating. They must be faced head on and lean on God for help.

  5. Nathaniel Miller says:

    Good Morning Vince, Thanks for the message you gave. I ask for prayer because my family needs to find another church and my wife and i arent on the same page . She wants to stay more conservative mennonite and i dont like the way things get operated in the more conservative settings at times . Not saying that some of those churches arent ok. Also with children ages 5 to 17 just makes things more complicated . Hope i am making sense. Thanks and God Bless your ministry .

  6. Keith says:

    Hi Vince
    i am frustrated with a step son who is going out of his way to be disrespectful and disobedient. please stand with me as i pray for him, to know God and his love. this is a boy who has been let down by his friends and father most of his life. I know he really needs to know God for all the wonder and love he is.

  7. Dennis James says:

    WOW. Good stuff Vince. My frustrations are being able to advance the ministry God has called us to by getting into other churches. Those doors are hard to get open, but, I know our God can do anything and I keep praying.

  8. Paul L says:

    As a new believer later in life and very much on fire for the love FOR and obedience TO our Lord, Jesus Christ, my frustration comes from the time lost before giving my life to Christ. They years that have gone by, the forgiveness I sought for myself and the forgiveness I needed to give to others have created frustration in my new life. I understand that those years lost are just a blink of an eye compared to everlasting life with our Savior, but it is just a little difficult to handle just now.

    • Dennis James says:

      Paul, let me tell you what I found to be true. Those years that you think are lost, they have meaning. God knew you before you were born. He also knew what path you were going to travel. Those years of pain and brokenness is what shapes us and prepares us for the calling He has placed on our lives. I once thought that I wasted many years of my life before I knew Christ and even when I backslid for many years after coming to know Him, but, after much reflection and prayer, I see now, hoe God has used the years of pain and brokenness for His glory . As God ‘s word says in Genesis 50:20 You intended to harm me, but God intended all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.
      So, Brother , don’t beat yourself up, rather find the good in what happened along the way to bring you to where you are now and press on.

      • Paul L says:

        Thank you for taking the time to respond. Your words are very comforting and I know I have work to do so letting frustration influence me further is not bringing Glory to God.
        Again, thank you., Dennis.

  9. Chad Husted says:

    Good word today Vince. I REALLY needed to hear this as I endure a season of frustration in my marriage and my future – the “what am I supposed to do/ be when I grow up.” At 47, this is a frustrating thought. The things i’m doing to obey, to give, love, serve, feel unnoticed and I wonder what is the point. But I am encouraged to press on.
    Press on Vince. Your work is valuable and helpful in ways you may never know. Keep doing your thing.

  10. Eddie Ackerman says:

    I am frustrated with my 10 year old son that just seems to have a very abrasive and rebellious attitude. God, please help me to be patient with him and thank You for the voice of reason in my spouse, who helps keep my anger towards him in check more often than not. Amen.

  11. Dennis Burk says:

    Thank you for the way you put Paul’s travels into such an interesting and concise way. In all my 65 years, this was a most interesting read.
    God bless you as you’ve made time to put these together.

  12. Tim Harmsen says:

    Vince, My wife and I are involved with a custody situation , our grand daughter, josie, is being raised by our neice for medical reasons. Our neice Jamie is freezing us out. We have legal rights granted by the courts. We are reluctant to go down that road. the holidays are comming. This is on our hearts daily. We are seeking prayers, advice, anything you got. This is frustration. love Tim and Karen

  13. Rusty Moore says:

    Vince, again thanks so much for your message. I needed this. Health has been my frustration. But health has also been my teacher. My stage 4 lung cancer and lately 4 heart stents has tried to slow me down with my men’s ministry. I am 33 months on a journey that in the beginning Drs said I had 2-6 months to live. God had been telling me to make some life changes. Well guess what? I have made some major life changes.

  14. Tobey M, says:

    Vince- thanks for the encouragement and challenge today. Teenagers are really pushing the limits, please be praying for us to administer Godly discipline and be diligent in our follow through!

  15. Donny Lill says:

    Earlier this week I found myself beginning to “give up” as I have been juggling many tasks at work, denied opportunities to move on in my career, and trying to be a good leader for the Knights of Columbus district I am assigned to. Not to mention trying to lead my family throught their challenges and adventures. The words this morning made me stop and sit in silence…DON’T GIVE UP! Thank you Vince!

  16. Tom Fredericks says:

    Pastor Vince – Thanks for reminding me that feeling frustrated is never a permission slip to become apathetic. Rather, I MUST remain committed to studying, absorbing and obeying THE Word of God. You are a blessing! 🙏

  17. Ryan says:

    Thank you for this today, Brother Vince! I have found myself very frustrated lately with work and a son who is making some wrong choices. I know when I get frustrated I end up acting and communicating in ways that sabotage the witness I desire to have to my students, colleagues, and family.

  18. Cory says:

    Frustrated with the slow pace of registration for our Men’s breakfast. Getting a lot of “think abouts”. Praying for the rest of the men and their comments below.

  19. Trent says:

    My whole life is frustrating. I feel like a terrible husband. An innadequit father figure to my kids. I hate my job. I don’t want to pay all the bills. I complain constantly and beg God to tell me what to do when and where and please tell me now. I have felt before and the message today reinforces the fact that I am right where I am needed. Whether I see it or not and whether I feel it or not. I am to fight on. To run this race to the end. Perhaps me not hearing God say anything specific is not Him “not telling me what to do” but rather Him “not telling me to go somewhere or do something else” because I am right where I am needed. God give me the faith to press on when the finish line is unseen. Give me the strength to persevere when my own strength is weary. Give me the love and wisdom to help build my family up along the way and lead them in a way pleasing to You. Father touch all your men and fill us with your spirit. Amen

  20. Norm says:

    Thanks for the encouraging and timely word. As Jesus said, the Father is always working. That doesn’t mean we are always aware. Daily obedience while He works. Very powerful! Press on Bros!

  21. Walter says:

    My frustration is with the current workforce. Trying to find and retain quality employees is such a struggle.

  22. rick says:

    I am so frustrated watching my teenage kids make bad decisions. I am told to let them make mistakes and deal with the consequences . How can I let them travel down that path without offering advice? or counsel?
    Yet, every time I do it makes matters worse.
    Jesus, help me see You in their lives.

    • Steve says:

      I hear you, brother. I am experiencing something similar with our 16 year old foster son. We continue to try to point him in the right direction and he continues down the same path and covers his tracks with lie after lie. It is so frustrating. Lers continue to love and offer sound advice while holding them accountable for their choices. Praying for you. Hang in there and keep fighting the good fight.

  23. Carl Snider says:

    Pray for my wife. She has been struggling with here past and not fully looking to God for wisdom, strength, and courage to put it to rest. It is making our marriage relationship frustrating for me.

      • Carl J Snider says:

        Vince, I am so thankful that God has brought you into my life. You help me to keep my focus on God. I have been praying for you and Riley also.

      • Paul L says:

        Carl, I know your heart and your resolve in Christ is demonstrated by your actions and words which continuously show your dear wife the Grace of our Lord. Don’t give up man, Christ is doing beautiful things through you as you have shown me first hand.

    • Tobey Main says:

      Vince- I really needed that reminder today! Thanks for the encouragement and challenge to stay obedient in the face of frustration. Teenagers are really pushing the limits in our house, so pray for us to remain steadfast in Godly discipline and follow through while working through these times

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