Residual Frustration

Numbers 20:10-11 — He and Aaron gathered the assembly together in front of the rock and Moses said to them, “Listen, you rebels, must we bring you water out of this rock?” Then Moses raised his arm and struck the rock twice with his staff (NIV).

Moses was mad. He yelled at the Israelites, and then he beat a rock with his staff. But why was he so upset? Israel was complaining again. In Numbers 20:2-6, you can read how the Israelites moaned and groaned about there being no water. They went on and on about how Moses had led them into the desert to die. Unfortunately, this was not an isolated event.

The Israelites were an ungrateful bunch that frequently grumbled against Moses. Their complaints were constant, even though God gave them great victories. Moses listened to their nagging, but he finally had enough and blew his top.

This brings me to the first truth you need to know about anger. Anger often results from residual frustration. Moses allowed Israel’s complaints to pile up one on top of the other, and it eventually broke him. He lost his temper.

There are many well-meaning Christians who are irritated and dangerously frustrated in their personal lives. Maybe your nerves are depleted because of your current economic or social status, or the boss is riding you at work. Perhaps your teenager is rebelling, school is demanding, or the baby is crying again! Frustration is mounting, tension is building, and an emotional tirade is looming. Now…take a deep breath. Frustration does not have to birth anger.

Perhaps you have been lashing out as Moses did. You may not be smacking people or objects with sticks, but your words may be hurtful at times. I encourage you to deal with frustrations as they come. Don’t hold everything in until you are at a breaking point. Exchange the nagging pressures of life for the peace of God. You, and those around you, will be glad you did.

1 Corinthians 10:13 — And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand (NLT).

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