Many of our biggest mistakes in life can be traced to handling disappointment in unwise ways. In times when we’re emotionally low, it’s easy to slip back into the habits that wreaked havoc on our lives in the past. Sometimes, we just need better coping mechanisms!
Here are five simple steps for dealing with frustrations in your life, based on the Bible.
1. Ask yourself, “Did I cause it?”
The Bible says, “A man reaps what he sows” (Galatians 6:7 NIV). Many things in life frustrate us because we brought them on ourselves. We don’t have anybody else to blame.
It’s frustrating to run out of gas on a trip. But if you didn’t stop to get gas before you left, or decided to push your luck, who’s to blame?
2. Ask yourself, “What can I learn from it?”
Use the irritation as an opportunity to grow in character and become more like Christ.
How does God produce the fruit of the Spirit in your life? He places you in the opposite situation. If God wants to teach you love, he will put you around unlovely people. If God wants to teach you peace, he will put you in a situation of total chaos so you can have inner peace.
Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him . . . ” (NIV). There are many bad things in the world, but all things work together and even the negative God can turn into a positive if we will let him.
3. Thank God in the situation.
First Thessalonians 5:18 says, “In everything give thanks” (NKJV). You don’t have to be thankful for a bad situation. But you can be thankful in a bad situation. That frustration, that irritation, that inconvenience, that interruption, may be a blessing or an opportunity in disguise.
The apostle Paul wanted to go to Rome to preach, but God took him to Rome to be in prison and write the letters that formed the New Testament. Paul was frustrated, but God saw it as an opportunity to make him sit still long enough to write the Bible.
4. Turn the frustration into a funny, humorous event.
The Bible says, “A cheerful heart is good medicine” (Proverbs 17:22 NIV). A sense of humor is God’s antidote for anger and frustration.
5. Ask God to fill you with his love.
Why? Because 1 Corinthians 13:5 says, “[Love] is not easily angered” (NIV). 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.
Jesus faced constant frustrations in his life, but he always made time for people. We get so preoccupied with our own things; we forget that people are the priority in life.
“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you” (Isaiah 26:3 NIV).