Part 2 of Oasis Church’s weekly sermon series RE:.
A new year brings a fresh start and plenty of room to write new chapters in the stories of our lives. But, with new beginnings will usually come frustration. Maybe you walked into 2011 already frustrated. Frustrated with 2010 and the events that occurred throughout the year. Maybe 2010 was a year that made the high light reel of your life and you are looking forward to 2011 being filled with more of the same. At some point whether life is sunny or rainy, you and I will experience some frustration as we move forward. If you walked into 2011 frustrated, you need to be revived. If you walked into 2011 all smiles and life is great, hold on, frustration is just waiting around the corner. And when it shows up, you will need revival.
When frustration seeps into the circumstances of our lives, we usually like to point the finger at Satan. We say things like “this is the enemy” or “Satan is just trying to distract me”. Don’t misunderstand me, I do believe that Satan loves to distract and get us off course. But, the truth is, the enemy doesn’t cause much of the frustration we experience. It is brought on by our selves.
With that said, here are four reasons you may be frustrated…
- Unrealistic Expectations. When our expectations aren’t met, we get bummed out, discouraged, frustrated and want to throw in the towel. Instead of throwing in the towel, take a look at your expectations of yourself and those around you. Let’s be realistic, your not going to be perfect. Your going to miss some bible studies, your going to make some bad choices, your going to disappoint others. Some people are going to disappoint you, you’re not going to agree with some ones choices. Your going to struggle and those around you will struggle. Set your goals high, but keep your expectations realistic. Let Gods grace flow through you and onto those around you.
- Self Condemnation. You may be frustrated because of your own self condemnation. The enemy loves to see you live in and under guilt. Why? Because if you get too focused on guilt, you lose sight of the freedom and grace you have in Christ. Don’t confuse guilt with conviction. Guilt moves you away from God, but conviction draws you near to him. When the self condemnation sets in remember, “…there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus…” Romans 8:1
- Wrong Motivation. Wrong motives will leave you and I frustrated, lacking the pure drive we need to press on. The weird thing about the Christian life is that it is about you. God wants to do big things through you. But, it’s not about you, it’s all about Jesus Christ. Sound weird? I agree. But, it’s true. Get your eyes off of yourself and put them on the purpose and plans of God. It’s then his purposes flow through your life.
- Instant Gratification. We live in a culture that conditions us to want things instantly. When things do not land our way when we want them to, frustration quickly makes it self at home. There are not many things instantly gratifying about the Christian life. It’s a pilgrimage. God has a purpose and a plan but it does not operate on our schedule. Much of the gratification you and I will receive from our walk with God will never be seen this side of eternity. When you feel like it’s pointless to walk on and that the rewards are few, ask God for the strength to press on in obedience and live to hear those words “job well done, good and faithful servant.”
I hope the four keys mentioned above will help you revive as you move forward into 2011. Just remember, you are going to struggle and struggling is better than not struggling at all. Press on, faith the good fight of the faith, and endure.