Frustration. Fear. Anger. Discouragement. It’s something we’ve ALL felt in our lives, from time to time. And looking through the pages of Holy Writ (Old AND New Testaments but ESPECIALLY the Old Testament), one might come to falsely believe that the Old Testament kings/prophets never had their fair share of anger/fear/frustration/disappointment. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth!
King David was known (at times) to be in GREAT DESPAIR (over his sins!) This is evidenced in Psalm 69:
“Save me, O God; for the waters are come in unto my soul. I sink in deep mire, where there is no standing: I am come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me. I am weary of my crying: my throat is dried: mine eyes fail while I wait for my God. They that hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of mine head: they that would destroy me, being mine enemies wrongfully, are mighty: then I restored that which I took not away” (Psalm 69: 1-4)
And then there was also Jeremiah (also known as “The Weeping Prophet”):
“For these things I weep; mine eye, mine eye runneth down with water, because the comforter that should relieve my soul is far from me: my children are desolate, because the enemy prevailed” (Lamentations 1:16)
“Behold, O Lord; for I am in distress: my bowels are troubled; mine heart is turned within me; for I have grievously rebelled: abroad the sword bereaveth, at home there is as death. They have heard that I sigh: there is none to comfort me: all mine enemies have heard of my trouble; they are glad that thou hast done it: thou wilt bring the day that thou hast called, and they shall be like unto me” (Lamentations 1:20-21)
And let us also not forget Elijah, who FLED FOR HIS LIFE!
“And Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and withal how he had slain all the prophets with the sword. Then Jezebel sent a messenger unto Elijah, saying, So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I make not thy life as the life of one of them by to morrow about this time.
And when he saw that, he arose, and went for his life, and came to Beersheba, which belongeth to Judah, and left his servant there. But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers” (1 Kings 19: 1-4)
Therefore, David DESPAIRED, Jeremiah WEEPED and Elijah FEARED! They were all HUMAN, just like you and me! And truth be told, NONE of the Lord’s Old/New Testament prophets and/or Old Testament kings were perfect, for even THEY made mistakes! They FEARED, they WEEPED, they felt HIGHLY DISCOURAGED at times, like I said! However, nearly ALL of them (with the exception of King Saul & a few others) repented and came back to the Lord! This is evidence of how the Lord “restored” each of them:
David: Psalm 71 and 72 seem to answer Psalms 69 and 70
Jeremiah: Jeremiah 15: 19-21 was God’s response TO Jeremiah, concerning Jeremiah’s “discouragement”
Elijah: 1 Kings 19: 9-18 is the Lord’s “response” TO Elijah’s “fear”/”discouragement”
But if that STILL don’t help you, then let me tell you of my OWN experiences with fear/anger/discouragement:
1). I’m the only Messianic Jewish-Christian in my family and they all think I’m “crazy” for believing in Jesus Christ and “the bible”, etc.
2). I’m one of the only “open believers” at my workplace (a place where many like to “mock Christ” and “mock the bible”, because they think it’s so much FUN/ENTERTAINING/EMPOWERING to do so!)
3). While all of my old High-School and college friends are now pretty much all married with kids, there’s a very good chance that marriage & kids is not in the cards for ME, as far as THE LORD’S WILL seems to go (thus, making ME feel like a sort’ve “modern-day Jeremiah”)
4). Just like Jeremiah in the OT times, it seems the more I try to preach the gospel of Christ, the more people DON’T listen to me, which is HIGHLY DISCOURAGING, to say the least!
5). People in my family, my workplace/etc. make ME feel like the “bad guy” for not believing in “gay marriage”, “abortion”, “gay rights”, etc.
6). I have a couple of “Christian” friends who find absolutely nothing wrong with abortion, gay marriage and Catholic Church “theology” and of whom seem to think I’m such an “awful person” for trying to say that women shouldn’t have abortions for any reason, and that gay marriage and the Catholic Church are NOT of God!
7). I more or less feel like I’m being forced to celebrate “Dec25th” against my will (just to keep the peace in the family), even though I know in my heart and soul what a GODLESS, DISGUSTING holiday December 25th is! My “Christian” friends think I’m the Devil for even doing so much as “suggesting” that “Dec25th” has MAJOR PAGAN ORIGINS and has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH CHRIST! But in fact, THE WORLD makes me feel like such a “you-know-what” for NOT wanting to celebrate it!
But what is the crime, there? Just because EVERYONE does something doesn’t make it “right”, biblically-speaking! If the world worshiped Baal, would THAT make it “right”, biblically speaking? Anyways, I hate myself for being complacent on this one and for not putting my foot down. Not to mention I’m also probably being a a bit “hypocritical” here as well, as in previous posts, I stated that Christians celebrating “Dec.25th”, KNOWING its true connotations were in possible danger of judgement.
8). Related to #3 above, any time I even “try” to date someone who’s even “remotely” Christian, it NEVER WORKS OUT. EVER. And when I inquired to the Lord about it, the Lord’s response more or less seemed to be: “I don’t call EVERYONE to date/get married, ya know?“ (Hinting that my heavenly “calling” IS to be likened unto a “modern-day Jeremiah”?)
9). A couple of sins I struggle with (hoarding and/or food addiction) are SO HARD to overcome. I go through periods of time where I can “seem” to overcome it for awhile. But then…..I oftentimes seem to subtly go right back to it (nevermind the fact that I’ve tried to pray and cry out to the Lord about it LOTS of times……maybe I just need more faith?)
10). I try to find time each and every single day to “spend time with the Lord” and/or to “read his written word”. But it seems like every single time I try to open up the bible, I get sleepy…….really, really sleepy……or I become SO afraid of accidentally getting a WRONG interpretation from the bible that I’m almost too afraid to read it, sometimes (I know how ridiculous that must sound to some!)
11). No matter HOW HARD I try to keep my patience at ALL times and in ALL situations, there’s things in my family and ESPECIALLY at my workplace that test my patience TO THE HILT! Working with the general “public” on any given day’s gonna come with customer “complaints”, naturally. And oftentimes, it’s complaints that either I can’t do anything about (as I don’t make the rules there) OR that I consider not even “complainable”.
For example, if I try to bag a customer’s food in a special way where the hot stuff isn’t touching the cold stuff or if I want to wrap up some small tubs of sauces in a small bag WITHIN the plastic bag so the sauce doesn’t move around in the plastic sack and spill everywhere, it seems like 8 times out of 10, the customer will either COMPLAIN or give me this STRANGE LOOK like “ugh, you’re being WAY TOO nice to me, you’re WAY over-doing it, ugh!” And it REALLY tests my patience, sometimes! Here I am, trying to provide EXEMPLARY customer service TO the customer, and yet, there they are, complaining about EVERY. SINGLE. LITTLE. THING! It’s NUTS! In fact, this is often what I have to deal with on a daily basis!
I kid you not. I’ve had days where ONE customer complained about 5 or more small little things, one right after another, boom, boom, boom! And then, they’d have the gall to complain to ME if MY face looked even just a “little” minorly frustrated at the end of their “spiel”. Or I’ll have customers that won’t complain but they’ll wait until I have everything all bagged up for them, with a long line behind them and then, they’ll ADD things to their “order”. AGGRAVATING! But I have to try to remember to have the PATIENCE OF CHRIST! That’s not always easy in my line of work, folks! In fact, I’ve even had customers complain that I’m TOO nice at times. Well, in MY opinion, being “too nice” is FAR much better than being “rude”, am I right?
What IS it about human nature, that the MORE someone gives to us, the LESS AND LESS we appreciate it? Now I sort’ve know how Jesus Christ must’ve felt on the cross. And even before and after. During the times of the ancient Israelites, The Lord did A TON of stuff for the Israelites: He brought them out of Egypt, he parted the Red Sea for them, he gave them manna to eat from heaven, he miraculously brought forth water from rocks/desert, he oftentimes helped them defeat their enemies and blessed their crops, etc. etc. But it seemed like no matter HOW MUCH he did for ancient Israel, the Israelites STILL turned on Him and were UNGRATEFUL to Him! In fact, it seemed that THE MORE He DID for ancient Israel, the more and MORE they hated Him and turned on Him! HOW SAD! 😦
Honestly, there’ve been days at work when I’ve felt like: “Ok, if the customers want to complain, LET THEM, I’m sick and tired of trying to provide them exemplary service if they’re just going to walk all over me like that!” But ya want to know what the Lord taught me on those days? “Treat ALL customers the way the RUDE customers treat YOU, guess what? YOU are then NO BETTER THAN THEY ARE!” Ouch! A hard lesson learned, but learned, nonethess!
Oftentimes, WHEN we are feeling discouraged, it’s because we’re spiritually lacking in something! Do we lack faith? Obedience? Patience? What IS it that we lack, first of all? And secondly, how do we overcome whatever’s LACKING? Answer: Through the Almighty Power & Glory of our Lord, Yeshua Hama’shiach (Jesus Christ Almighty!) His ways are NOT our ways and His divine understanding is NOT our human understanding! Our human nature is to want to get even with those who discourage us! But it’s Jesus’s nature to HUMBLE US!
lt’s not all bunnies and rainbows, folks! There’s going to be times in our lives when we feel MAJORLY DISCOURAGED and feel like throwing in the towel! But we MUST remember:
“But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved” [Matthew 24:13]
“The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles. The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all” [Psalms 34: 17-19]
“Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness” [Isaiah 41:10]
“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” [John 16:33]
“Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved” [Psalms 55:22]
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end” [Jeremiah 29:11]
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” [Matthew 11:28]
“And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not” [Galatians 6:9]
“It is of the Lord‘s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him” [Lamentations 3: 22-24]
And if that STILL doesn’t encourage you or provide hope, then think of it THIS WAY: Satan and his demons are THE ONES who are making you FEEL the way you do right now! And it’s their JOB to make you feel that way! HOWEVER, Revelation 20 and Matthew 25 state that they’ve ALREADY BEEN DEFEATED! They are nothing more than DEFEATED FOES:
“Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels” [Matthew 25:41]
“And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever” [Revelation 20:10]
So just remember THIS, folks……When Satan and his demons get you down, just remind Satan of his future! (Revelation 20:10)
So……in conclusion? ANGER NOT, FEAR NOT, BE DISCOURAGED NOT! Why? Because God/Jesus Christ is IN CONTROL! And may you and I never, EVER forget that folks, for the rest of our existence! Amen! 😉