A flat tire and frustration. Bang, clang, bang clang! The noise began then intensified as my car drew alongside the big cement mixer.
“Wow”, I thought. “I never saw one make that much noise!”
Then I realized it was my little sedan that was making the noise and was also now shaking, all this at about 65 miles an hour. I said, “Jesus! Help!” slowed, pulled off at the exit ramp only, providentially, a hundred yards ahead, called AAA, witnessed to the tow truck driver (who witnessed right back to me, praise the Lord!), spoke of God’s mercy to the man at the tire store who gave me a good price on four new tires, and was at home in less than two hours. Yet, in spite of God’s great mercy, I felt frustration and, I admit it to my shame, angry. In those two hours between the gym and school pickup, I had planned to finish a blog post and get it on the website. I can only say that it is indeed, because of God’s great and unfailing mercy, loving-kindness and tender compassions that we frail humans are not consumed! (Lamentations 3:22)
Frustration can cause fretting. This morning when icy roads thwarted my plan (notice the “my”) to go to swim class, frustration flared again. Hot on its heels came fretting as I tried repeatedly, but unsuccessfully, to settle down and take advantage of the forced day inside.
God is the only remedy! Finally, I decided to rest on the couch, pray in tongues, and review some of my basic meditation Scriptures. Then, I decided, I would wait and listen to God, a spiritual discipline I have worked on recently.
I had only prayed in the Spirit a few minutes when thoughts started bubbling up. I stayed still and “listened” (avoiding my tendency to jump up and grab pen and paper), as Holy Spirit showed me a gap in His protective wall around my heart. Specifically, when I am frustrated, I tend to start fretting, which if allowed to continue, leads to sin.
As I remained on the couch, John 16:33 came to mind.
“I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.] John 16:33, AMPC)
Surely, I thought, all of us living in February 2022 face constant frustration. We all need to be admonished to handle frustration correctly, rather than letting the enemy use frustration to ensnare us into fretting and further evil.
Fretting leads only to evil. Three passages of Scripture came immediately to mind.
 Psalm 37:8, b — “Do not fret—it leads only to evil.” (NIV) Please read all of Psalm 37, which is a protective daily tonic for the world’s present situation. In Psalm 37 God says “Do not fret because of evil men. . . for like green plants they will soon die away.” (v.1) Rather than fretting, we are to actively trust Him and do good BECAUSE
“The salvation of the righteous comes from the Lord; He is their stronghold in time of trouble. The Lord helps them and delivers them; He delivers them from the wicked and saves them, BECAUSE they take refuge in Him.” (v. 39)
 Isaiah 8:12-14 — This verse speaks clearly to today, when America is being threatened by evil as surely as Israel was threatened by Assyria in the time of Isaiah. The message of God through Isaiah was:
(12) Do not call conspiracy [or hard, or holy] all that this people will call conspiracy [or hard, or holy]; neither be in fear of what they fear, nor [make others afraid and] in dread.
(13) The Lord of hosts—regard Him as holy and honor His holy name [by regarding Him as your only hope of safety] and let Him be your fear and let Him be your dread [lest you offend Him by your fear of man and distrust of Him].
(14) And He shall be a sanctuary [a sacred and indestructible asylum to those who reverently fear and trust in Him]; but He shall be a Stone of stumbling and a Rock of offense to both the houses of Israel, a trap and a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.” (Isaiah 8:12-14, AMPC)
Notice that verse 13 teaches that we honor God when we consider Him as our only hope of safety and that we offend Him when we fear man and distrust Him. Selah, selah and selah! Consider also Jeremiah 15:19-21.
 Jeremiah 15:19-21 – It is vile to distrust God’s faithfulness.
(19) Therefore thus says the Lord [to Jeremiah]: If you return [and give up this mistaken tone of distrust and despair], then I will give you again a settled place of quiet and safety, and you will be My minister; and if you separate the precious from the vile [cleansing your own heart from unworthy and unwarranted suspicions concerning God’s faithfulness], you shall be My mouthpiece. [But do not yield to them.] Let them return to you—not you to [the people].
(20) And I will make you to this people a fortified, bronze wall; they will fight against you, but they will not prevail over you, for I am with you to save and deliver you, says the Lord.
(21) And I will deliver you out of the hands of the wicked, and I will redeem you out of the palms of the terrible and ruthless tyrants.
Verse 19 warns us that it is a mistake to yield to distrust and despair. Further, it is a vile thing to suspect or doubt the faithfulness of God. Vile means disgusting, dreadful, horrible, offensive, abominable, repulsive. Oh, merciful God! May Your Holy Spirit engrave the truth in Isaiah 8 and Jeremiah 15 on our hearts!
Worry and fretting – disguised forms of fear, which IS sin. Many of us have said, “I am just a worrier. I cannot help it.” Well, God says fear, which includes worry and fretting, is sin. God commands us not to fear over and over and when we do not follow His commands we sin.
As I ponder this truth, it pierces my heart and motivates me to further study. It also shows me how great the Father’s love is that He takes care to teach how to guard against fretting and worry, the more subtle forms of fear which are tempting to excuse in ourselves.
Freedom from fretting and frustration. I pray we all are warned to cling closely to God when we encounter frustration and are tempted to fret. Here is what I plan to do. I will:
- Stop what I am doing and set aside time to reconnect with God.
- Remind myself that:
- God is SOVEREIGN, (Isaiah 46:9-11)
- He has every day of my life already planned (Psalm 139:16)
- He does not make mistakes (Deuteronomy 32:4)
- When I make mistakes, He makes even them turn out for good because I love Him and am living whole-heartedly for Him (Romans 8:28)
In yielding myself to the truth that God is sovereign and choosing to believe He is directing the details of my life (Psalm 37:23) for my good, I am submitting myself to God and resisting the temptation of the devil to doubt God. And the Word tells me that the devil will then flee from me.
“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (James 4:7, NIV)”
The loving correction of His Rod. I write these words gratefully! His Rod of loving correction imparted to me a much-needed lesson, as He used the apparent disruption in my plans. He has sharply reminded me to catch the little foxes that spoil the vines (Solomon 2:15) and to:
“Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” (I Peter 5:8, NLT)
How blessed we are that the Lion of the tribe of Judah is on our side! Let Him roar! Let His Spirit within us rise up! Let us stand firm in our positions and hold our ground. God Himself fights for us and He always, always, always wins!!
Listen! I hear Him say:
“Don’t be afraid of the enemy! Remember the Lord Who is great and glorious, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes!” (Nehemiah 4:14, NIV)