March 9, 2017
READ: Acts 16:16-34
He and his entire household rejoiced because they all believed in God (v.34).
If there’s a frustration more annoying than overly complex or—worse—incomplete instructions, I’m not sure what it is. Automated answering systems, perhaps? “Your call is important to us. Please listen carefully to . . . blah, blah, blah.” That’s why I so appreciated this serene simplicity from a New Zealand-based company: “If the GPS has been recently used, you should get a fix almost immediately. If it hasn’t, put the GPS outside with a clear view of the sky and have a cup of tea.”
That, in a nutshell, sums up the Kiwi (New Zealand) way of life. Get things done. But when you can’t, enjoy the moment in the best way possible.
Paul and Silas were experiencing no small amount of frustration in Philippi. A fortune-telling slave girl kept disrupting their efforts to share Jesus with the people. The source of her power was demonic, so Paul exorcised the demon. Infuriated, the girl’s masters had Paul and Silas tossed into prison. “The jailer put them into the inner dungeon and clamped their feet in the stocks” (Acts 16:24).
That didn’t stop the two. They didn’t rage, rant or complain. Instead, “Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening” (v.25). They made the most of the moment and extended their ministry even when they were behind bars. Their divinely interrupted incarceration—“all the doors . . . flew open, and the chains of every prisoner fell off!”—led to the conversion of the warden and his entire household (vv.26,34).
When obstacles, interruptions and frustrations impede our idea of progress, that’s a pretty good time to “have a cup of tea” and look for the new thing God is about to do. He can turn our frustrations into praise.
365-day plan: Judges 7:1-25
Read John 16:33 and consider Jesus’ promise when your frustrations mount.
What situations frustrate you? How can God turn your times of frustration into something worthwhile?