How Can I Be Frustrated With A Good God?

Sometimes we feel guilty for being frustrated with our God. But King David never held back his feelings, and always came back to trusting God.

How Can I Be Frustrated With A Good God?

May 12, 2022

“Ugg! Why does everything have to be so hard?” With an exasperated sigh, I pounded the steering wheel. 

Both of my Map Apps insisted I had reached my destination. But the clump of trees and bushes on the side of the road bore no resemblance to a dog-grooming business. Calling and texting the groomer proved futile. After circling around for what seemed like hours I stumbled upon my true destination. I could barely contain my irritation as I marched into the office and apologized for being late. 

Getting lost was just one of a long list of frustrating situations I’d been battling lately. Individually none of these frustrations would have caused me to lose my temper. But collectively, they pushed me over the edge. 

The aftermath of my meltdown was even worse. Remorse, guilt, and shame moved in as I berated myself for my lack of patience and trust in God. How can I let such minor irritations derail the peace and confidence I have in God?

Thankfully I know someone who can relate to how I feel: King David. Known as the man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22), David chronicled many of his prayers in the Book of Psalms. One of these especially resonates with me during this season of my life. He opens his prayer with these words:

How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever?
     How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
     and day after day have sorrow in my heart?
     How long will my enemy triumph over me? (Psalm 13:1-2 NIV)

Biblical scholars often attribute psalms like these to David’s long struggle with his predecessor, King Saul. As the first King of Israel, Saul led his people to great military victories. But unfortunately, he also rejected God’s authority. In response, God promised to place David on the throne in Saul’s place. During the twenty years between the promise and its fulfillment, King Saul repeatedly tried to take David’s life. Out of his anguish King David wrote this incredible prayer.

David’s questions mirror my own. While I don’t have a King Saul in my life, I have many other “enemies” who work to prevent me from experiencing God’s promises. Like David, I struggle to understand why life is sometimes too hard. And like him, I wonder where God is during these difficult times. 

I’ve learned these important truths from David’s prayers: He doesn’t hold back his thoughts or feelings from God. He doesn’t apologize for them either. Even as Christians we feel all kinds of emotions. Feeling them isn’t as important as what we do with them. Once again, I look to David as my model.

David continues to wrestle in prayer until his heart finds peace:

But I trust in your unfailing love;
     my heart rejoices in your salvation.
I will sing the Lord’s praise,
     for he has been good to me. (Psalm 13:5-6 NIV)

The opposite of frustration is not smooth sailing, as I once thought. In fact, as I wrote in last week’s blog post, none of us will ever experience a lifetime of hassle-free living. 

No, the opposite of frustration is surrender. With surrender comes peace. With peace comes trust. And with trust comes hope.

That day, I wrote out a prayer of gratitude. I thanked God for all the ways He has been good to me. As I remembered, I praised. And as I praised, I surrendered. And on the heels of surrender came peace, trust, and hope.

Life hasn’t gotten any easier. In fact, I predict more difficulties in the path ahead. I pray to be honest like King David, to wrestle in prayer as he did, and to find that place of sweet surrender. Wherever your journey takes you, I pray you can do the same. 

How Can I Be Frustrated With A Good God?

May 12, 2022

Sometimes we feel guilty for being frustrated with our God. But King David never held back his feelings, and always came back to trusting God.

“Ugg! Why does everything have to be so hard?” With an exasperated sigh, I pounded the steering wheel. 

Both of my Map Apps insisted I had reached my destination. But the clump of trees and bushes on the side of the road bore no resemblance to a dog-grooming business. Calling and texting the groomer proved futile. After circling around for what seemed like hours I stumbled upon my true destination. I could barely contain my irritation as I marched into the office and apologized for being late. 

Getting lost was just one of a long list of frustrating situations I’d been battling lately. Individually none of these frustrations would have caused me to lose my temper. But collectively, they pushed me over the edge. 

The aftermath of my meltdown was even worse. Remorse, guilt, and shame moved in as I berated myself for my lack of patience and trust in God. How can I let such minor irritations derail the peace and confidence I have in God?

Thankfully I know someone who can relate to how I feel: King David. Known as the man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22), David chronicled many of his prayers in the Book of Psalms. One of these especially resonates with me during this season of my life. He opens his prayer with these words:

How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever?
     How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
     and day after day have sorrow in my heart?
     How long will my enemy triumph over me? (Psalm 13:1-2 NIV)

Biblical scholars often attribute psalms like these to David’s long struggle with his predecessor, King Saul. As the first King of Israel, Saul led his people to great military victories. But unfortunately, he also rejected God’s authority. In response, God promised to place David on the throne in Saul’s place. During the twenty years between the promise and its fulfillment, King Saul repeatedly tried to take David’s life. Out of his anguish King David wrote this incredible prayer.

David’s questions mirror my own. While I don’t have a King Saul in my life, I have many other “enemies” who work to prevent me from experiencing God’s promises. Like David, I struggle to understand why life is sometimes too hard. And like him, I wonder where God is during these difficult times. 

I’ve learned these important truths from David’s prayers: He doesn’t hold back his thoughts or feelings from God. He doesn’t apologize for them either. Even as Christians we feel all kinds of emotions. Feeling them isn’t as important as what we do with them. Once again, I look to David as my model.

David continues to wrestle in prayer until his heart finds peace:

But I trust in your unfailing love;
     my heart rejoices in your salvation.
I will sing the Lord’s praise,
     for he has been good to me. (Psalm 13:5-6 NIV)

The opposite of frustration is not smooth sailing, as I once thought. In fact, as I wrote in last week’s blog post, none of us will ever experience a lifetime of hassle-free living. 

No, the opposite of frustration is surrender. With surrender comes peace. With peace comes trust. And with trust comes hope.

That day, I wrote out a prayer of gratitude. I thanked God for all the ways He has been good to me. As I remembered, I praised. And as I praised, I surrendered. And on the heels of surrender came peace, trust, and hope.

Life hasn’t gotten any easier. In fact, I predict more difficulties in the path ahead. I pray to be honest like King David, to wrestle in prayer as he did, and to find that place of sweet surrender. Wherever your journey takes you, I pray you can do the same. 

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6 Comments

  1. Joanne on May 13, 2022 at 3:40 AM

    Love this, Shirley Desmond Jackson. Waiting is hard, especially in a difficult situation. Thank you for sharing!

    • Shirley Desmond Jackson on May 15, 2022 at 3:35 PM

      Thank you Joanne! 💕

  2. Teresa on May 13, 2022 at 7:05 AM

    Shirley this blog was so relatable, thanks for sharing. I am so glad that I have a God that understands and is always here for me no matter what is going on in my life.

    • Shirley Desmond Jackson on May 15, 2022 at 3:36 PM

      Thank you Teresa! I’m glad you found it relatable. I certainly needed the reminder! 😊

  3. Jeff Craig on May 15, 2022 at 6:21 PM

    I really enjoyed it and needed to read this. Thank you. Tell Mark “Hi”. Take care.

    • Shirley Desmond Jackson on May 16, 2022 at 3:41 PM

      Thanks Jeff! I needed it too! I will definitely tell Mark you said “Hi”.

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