Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Frustrations, and how to deal with them

Last week we studied John 21:1-14, and we want to linger there just a little longer. There is more to be learned from these verses . . .

Have you ever heard the expression, "If you pray for patience, God will send you things to help you grow your patience"? In other words, the way to get more of that virtue is to be tested in that area. To have more things that try your patience!
This life can be frustrating, no? Whether it's friends, family, or financial situation, or physical health or other issues, we need to learn to deal successfully with frustrations.

Let's dive in again!

These verses tell us that seven of the disciples were together at this time: Peter, Thomas, Nathanael, James and John, and two others who were not named here. Peter decides to go fishing on the Sea of Galilee, and the others agree to go with him.

When I was very young, my grandfather took me to go fishing with him several times. Being little, I had a shorter attention span than he did, and so it didn't take long before I decided that something just wasn't right. The bobber wasn't moving, and I wanted some action! So I pulled in my hook and put a different worm on it. Next I tried what my grandmother said would work -- a piece of her biscuit, hardened overnight in her pantry. No results. I tried several different places on the bank, all within sight of my very patient grandfather. (Grin)

I had not learned one of the important traits of good fishermen: patience.
I was frustrated.
Jesus' disciples were frustrated when they heard His voice. They were tired, hungry, and discouraged. They had fished all night and caught nothing. Jesus asked them "have you any meat?"

Many of us experience what they were feeling. We feel discouraged. We feel depressed. We feel exhausted.
Jesus was asking them a life-changing question.
He already knew the answer, but He wanted them to share their need. The scriptures say that the Lord know our need even before we ask Him.

                        ... for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
                        (Matthew 6:8)

He knows how things are in our lives, but He desires us to tell Him about them.  He works miracles when we share with Him our needs.
When we admit that we are lost, He will save us.
                        As for me, I call to God, and the LORD saves me.(Psalm 55:16)

                       ... just as you have given him authority over all humanity, so that
                       he may give eternal life to everyone you have given him. (John 17:2)

When we admit that we are empty, He will fill us with His power.

                      He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.
                      (Isaiah 40:29)

What are our needs today? Do we need strength? Deliverance? Encouragement? Joy?
The Lord is the One Who can meet our needs.

                     And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches
                     of His glory in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19)

If we have needs, God has answers. When we come to Him in faith, when we take our needs to Him, He already knows them, and will answer our prayers.
The key to His answers is found in His question to Simon Peter. Let's skip down to verse 15:

                     Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these? (John 21:15)

Jesus was asking Peter if he loved Him more than the things around him. More than the sea? More than your boat? More than fishing? More than your friends?
Jesus wants to have first place in our lives. He wants us to love Him more than our possessions, our jobs, our wealth . . . He wants us to love Him more than we do anything else.

And He also wants us to place His work and His will above our own desires. When we are in step with Him, our own desires fade away, and we really want to accomplish His will and His desires, for we know that He wants only the best for us.
We'll talk more about this tomorrow . . . .


Belinda said...

I've often told others that I no longer pray for patience, because I know what I'll get if I do! LOL

Like you, I have very sweet memories of my grandfather taking me fishing. That was his passion and he would sit in the boat all day long, whether the fish were biting or not. And he always came back with fish. His patience was always rewarded.

As a mere human, I struggle with putting Him first before everything else in my life. I want to do it, but I am terrible at letting other things draw my attention away from Him. That is something I definitely need to be praying about.

Marla's Crafts said...

Thanks for this today. We have been going through a lot lately and it has been trying. My husband found out in February that he had to stop working. Severe silicosis. It has been very hard on him. There has been so much paper work that some days the stress has been hard on him. Thank God we have our faith. There is still a lot to do but we are getting there. So again thanks for this message. That is one thing I have always found that God's word always comes to a person when they really need it.

Cathy said...

Ah yes, it's the "be careful what you pray for" thing. Seriously though, I don't think we have to be praying for patience in order to have it tested. It happens in the little day to day things of our lives....... waiting behind the person who is taking forever to make that left turn in traffic. Waiting in line behind the elderly lady who is having trouble understanding her banking.Wondering why my husband is taking what seems like the long way to get to where we need to go. Repeating what I said to him for a second or third time because his hearing is poor. And that's just a short bit of the last couple of days where my patience has been tried. Nothing big, certainly nothing like what Maria and her husband are going through, but a reflection none the less of how the Lord moulds us day by day. The important part is how I reacted to all those testings........ not well, I must confess. I don't think if anyone had been able to look inside my heart, or probably the expression on my face, that they would have seen our Lord reflected there. Dare I say it........ "help me with patience, Lord."