LESSON 2 * Second Week
THE DANGER OF FRUSTRATION
Background Reading: Numbers 14:45; Judges 4:15; Proverbs 15:22
Devotional Reading: Ezra 4:1-24
“I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness comes by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.” Galatians 2:21, KJV
“I do not set aside the grace of God. For if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!” Galatians 2:21, NIV
Discomfited— to put into a state of perplexity and embarrassment: to frustrate the plans of.
Adversaries— one that contends with, opposes, or resists: an enemy or opponent.
Frustration is a response to opposition, fueled by anger, annoyance, or disappointment. Many believers find themselves out of the will of God when they allow these emotions to control their actions. The Lord has let each believer know that His grace is enough to cover whatever he needs.
Sometimes believers get so angry that they lose all sense of control of their emotions. Things do get bad, and sometimes out of control, so when this happens, the believer should never allow himself to become so frustrated that he becomes a fool. Anger rests in the bosom of fools, and the Lord cautions the believer to be angry, but not allow the anger to cause him to sin.
Paul knew the danger of getting frustrated, he knew that if frustration is not checked, it can become deadly and dangerous. Paul had given his all to Jesus and had become subject to the will of God. He was a man of strong character and extremely focused on what to do in ministry and he had humbled himself to his Lord. He was opposed and fought from within and from without, without a cause. This behavior from others, especially other believers, was very disturbing and caused him to be very discomfted. But Paul knew what God had done for him, he knew the depth of deliverance God had given him. He knew that he was no longer the same Saul who wanted to persecute God’s believers. He knew that he did not deserve the mercy and grace that God had given to him, he was determined to stay level-headed.
He knew that he could not go back to trying to keep the rules of the law or the peer-pleasing religion. For that would be an abandonment of everything personal and free in his new relationship with God. He knew that his Damascus Road experience would have all been in vain. He would not allow Christ’s death to be in vain for him. Paul decided that he would not frustrate the grace of God.
It is important for believers to remember where God has brought them from and to know they are new creatures because of God’s grace. Many times, because of the desire to please others and to be accepted in the clique, believers fail to operate in the freedom of pleasing God. It seems like God’s grace is not enough for them. It is a very frustrating position for a believer to be in when he is trying to please God and man. This puts him in a position to become completely cut of from God.
So many times, the other nations rose against God and His people. Some of them like Sisera were skilled in what they did, but when they frustrated God’s plans for His people, they suffered a dear consequence. Deborah told Barak that God had given him victory over Sisera. Barak charged down the slopes of Mount Tabor with his troops, and God rerouted Sisera and his troops and caused Sisera to jump out of his chariot and run. Barak chased him until he ran to the tent of Jael who invited him into her tent. He asked for water, but Jael gave him milk and covered him up. He fell asleep and Jael took a tent peg and drove it through his temple and to the ground. He convulsed and died.
God always looks out for His people and when they trust Him, they always come out winners. When the children of Israel were rebuilding their temple during the days of Zerubbabel, the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin came to them and offered to help them rebuild. But they came to frustrate the purpose of the children of Israel. It is dangerous to fall into God’s hand when you have made him angry. When the enemies tried and failed, they thought of another plan. They began to weaken the hands of the people of Judah and troubled them in a building. They hired counselors against them to frustrate their purpose.
They kept bothering them until they wrote Ahasuerus with accusations against the inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem. They even sent letters to King Artaxerxes until they finally got action done to stop the building based on lies. Finally, the work was resumed, and the eyes of the Lord were upon the Jews until the matter came to Darius who led to King Cyrus, and the Temple was built.
Sometimes it might take some time, but when God is for you, He’s more than the world against you.
In the Book of Numbers, Moses sent out twelve men to spy out the land for forty days. After the forty days ended, they came back and ten of them gave a false report which caused the people to become discontented and grumble against Moses. God allowed these ten men to die in a plague that He sent. Only two men were left who gave an honest report. After the people mourned, they let Moses know they were ready to continue the journey and attack the land that God had promised them.
But they had forgotten that God had told them that because of the bad report they would be punished for forty years, which was a year for each day. Moses asked them why they were crossing God’s command again. He told them that God was no longer with them, and they would be beaten badly by their enemies. They went anyway and the Amalekites and Canaanites who lived in the hills beat them badly, and they were discomfited. They would not receive God’s blessings and paid a dear price for their disobedience. When the believers frustrate the plan of God, they can expect disaster.
1. Why did Paul decide not to frustrate God’s Grace?
2. What happened during Moses’ Leadership that caused God to be frustrated?
3. What were the results of that frustration?
4. What happened to Sisera when he frustrated God’s plans for Deborah, Barack and God’s People?
When the enemy frustrates God’s plan for his people,
the enemy suffers the wrath of God.
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