Frustration is something we all face from time to time. The question is, how do we respond?
Do life’s trials make us bitter… or better?
Do they cause us to sink or soar?
It takes wisdom and maturity to swallow disappointment without complaint.
Any two-year-old can throw a tantrum, but if we hope to do more than survive setbacks — if we want to actually grow through them and profit from them — then we must learn healthier ways of handling hardships.
So next time you’re feeling frustrated, consider it an exercise in character-building. Learn to view frustration as a friend, not a foe.
Practice the following responses — one for each letter in the word FRUSTRATION — and they will soon become second-nature.
11 Ways to Respond to Frustration with Fortitude and Grace:
F = Faith
Trust that God has a purpose and a plan. Look to Him for guidance.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” – Proverbs 3:5-6
R = Respect
Treat others well. Don’t use frustration as an excuse to be rude or impatient.
“Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.” – 1 Peter 2:17
U = Understanding
Why did this happen? Have my actions caused or contributed to the problem?
“How much better it is to get wisdom than gold! And to get understanding is to be chosen above silver.” – Proverbs 16:16
S = Sympathy
Demonstrate compassion for others who’ve been through similar trials.
“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” – Ephesians 4:32
T = Teachability
What lessons can I learn from this? How do I avoid similar situations in the future?
“He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way.” – Psalm 25:9
R = Resourcefulness
Think outside the box. Be flexible. Is there a different approach I might try?
“And not finding any way to bring him in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down through the tiles with his stretcher, right in the center, in front of Jesus.” – Luke 5:19
A = Acceptance
Frustrations are just a fact of life. Anticipate and make allowances for them.
“Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.” – 1 Peter 4:12
T = Tenacity
Hold fast to your convictions. Remain resolved. Don’t give up in the face of frustration.
“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.” – Hebrews 10:23
I = Integrity
Guard your good name. Live above reproach. Never return evil for evil.
“One who walks in integrity walks securely, But one who perverts his ways will be found out.” – Proverbs 10:9
O = Opportunity
Where God closes a door, He opens a window. Look for it.
“Was it not You who dried up the sea, the waters of the great deep, who made a road in the depths of the sea for the redeemed to cross over?” – Isaiah 51:10
N = Need
We need God’s grace, strength, wisdom, and mercy, and should pray for such continually.
“And my God will supply all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:19
Misguided parents will sometimes cater to a child’s every whim (thereby doing him a great disservice). There’s a name for kids who must always have their way: spoiled brats.
God loves us too much to make the same mistake. Scripture goes so far as to say that we should rejoice when we encounter hardships, big or small, for God uses such trials to mold in us the character of Christ (James 1:2-3). So remember that next time you face frustration of any kind.
Someday, when we stand before Him complete, we may finally recognize frustration for what it truly is: a friend without whom we would remain stunted and immature.
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