Can't See The Forest For The Trees
CAN’T SEE THE FOREST FOR THE TREES
Job 17:11 My days are past, my purposes are broken off, even the thoughts of my heart. 12 They change the night into day: the light is short because of darkness. 13 If I wait, the grave is mine house: I have made my bed in the darkness. 14 I have said to corruption, Thou art my father: to the worm, Thou art my mother, and my sister. 15 And where is now my hope? as for my hope, who shall see it? 16 They shall go down to the bars of the pit, when our rest together is in the dust.
Introduction: Many in the church of God are filling frustrated and are living in despair. Far too many are suffering and causing others to also suffer because of selfish desires and wants which are unfulfilled. When a person is experiencing frustration, it involves their whole being. The ten senses of sight, hearing, taste, touch, smell, feeling, thought, consciousness, memory and experience, become involved when one is frustrated. As well it will also take the involvement of these same senses in the transformation process, which brings about the ending of frustration, and the birth, growth and creation of patience.
People who are frustrated have the inability to see the forest for the trees. In other words, that which is causing the frustration is also the instrument that causes loss of sight to the truth. So the forest is visible, but the trees are not seen. How is that possible? Let’s look at the definition of “Frustration.”
Frustration – is a deep chronic sense or state of insecurity and dissatisfaction arising from unresolved problems or unfulfilled needs.
What is the root cause of people’s frustrations? The root cause can be found in another word, “selfishness.”
James 4:1 From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? 2 Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.
James 4:1 (Amplified) WHAT LEADS to strife (discord and feuds) and how do conflicts (quarrels and fighting) originate among you? Do they not arise from your sensual desires that are ever warring in your bodily members? 2 You are jealous and covet [what others have] and your desires go unfulfilled; [so] you become murderers. [To hate is to murder as far as your hearts are concerned.] You burn with envy and anger and are not able to obtain [the gratification, the contentment, and the happiness that you seek], so you fight and war. You do not have, because you do not ask.
When is person is frustrated, they are also unhappy. There are times of momentary happiness, but they are short lived. Soon the person reverts back to their old selfishness and to a relapse to old habits of insecurity and anger.
When we look at the text today, we see an example of what a frustrated person goes through.
Job 17:11 (Amplified) My days are past, my purposes and plans are frustrated; even the thoughts (desires and possessions) of my heart [are broken off]. 12 These [thoughts] extend from the night into the day, [so that] the light is short because of darkness. 13 But if I look to Sheol (the unseen state) as my abode, if I spread my couch in the darkness, 14 If I say to the grave and corruption, You are my father, and to the worm [that feeds on decay], You are my mother and my sister [because I will soon be closest to you], 15 Where then is my hope? And if I have hope, who will see [its fulfillment]? 16 [My hope] shall go down to the bars of Sheol (the unseen state) when once there is rest in the dust.
In one day Job lost everything. He lost all his material goods first. Then he lost all of his children. After that, he lost his health. He even lost the support of his wife. There were no immediate answers from God as to why Job was in this state of affairs. Friends with bad advice were around his bed. So in view of what he was going through, you might say that if anyone had a right to be confused and frustrated, Job was a good candidate.
One of the basic causes of unhappiness is our refusal to accept the moment-to-moment reality of what is or what’s happening right now.
Phil 4:11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
At the root of our frustration is this: The way things are is different from what we want or expect, and we don’t accept that as fact. It is kind of like getting angry every evening because the sun goes down. How many of us can stop the sun from going down? Not many of us would intentionally bang our heads against a brick wall. Yet, when we refuse to accept what is, we do just that…bang our heads against the brick wall of reality.
Accepting what is does not mean that things must stay the same. In fact, as you learn to accept the here and now, you keep within yourself all the energy that you otherwise may have wasted in disappointment and frustration. Therefore you have more control, peacefulness, and power. This means you are in a much better position to change what you can, to be an active force for good, to help transform your life, your family and your world.
Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Now, what I am about to say may be quite a stretch for you; in fact, it might make little sense, and you may choose not to buy into it. But if you try the idea on for size; you might find that it fits better than you think.
Let us assume there is a good reason for all that happens to you, that each event is designed to feed your growth and happiness, that everything is orchestrated for your highest good, that it is all perfect, for you and for everyone else.
You might credit this to the wondrous and divine plan of a loving God. What if you decide to live your life from this point forward with the complete conviction that everything that happens to you…without exception…is absolutely perfect just as it is? Here are some benefits you might experience from seeing the world this way:
You would no longer waste precious time and energy fighting the reality of what is. You would have far more energy available to make positive changes both within yourself, your family and in the world.
Unchanged by needless frustration, anger, and fear, you would see people and circumstances with more clarity and understanding.
Accepting what is; you would live more fully and richly in the present moment. Freed from the weight of needless stress, your body and immune system would function with greater efficiency and strength. Your energies would be less scattered, leaving you more peaceful and alert.
You could draw more people with a deeper compassion, sensitivity, good humor, and creativity. You would find it much easier to concentrate cheerfully and sincerely on the task God has placed in your hand. You also could more easily adjust to God’s Presence in your life.
Knowing that everything is perfect just as it is, you would be far less apt to dwell on worries about the past or fears about the future. You also would be less prone to be fearful, angry, or depressed over the events in your life. You could better see that, as terrible as things are at times, conditions such as hatred, war, poverty, young children dying of starvation or cancer may really be invitations for us to learn, share and take responsibility for creating a kinder, more loving world.
With your increased energy and understanding, you would become a much wiser and stronger force for good in this world. Your self-control, wisdom, and energy would be a beautiful, living example for your loved ones and for all who cross your path.
You would more easily embrace the wonder and opportunity of each present moment. No matter what happens…whether pleasant or painful…you could greet each event with greater composure and understanding, saying from the depths of your heart, “Thank you Lord. I will make the best of this opportunity.”
You may not totally accept the belief that “It’s all perfect,” but perhaps some aspects of this way of thinking will help you to live with greater peace, creativity, and joy in the present moment.
C. S. Lewis a philosopher, writer and professor said:
“It doesn’t really matter whether you grip the arms of the Dentist’s chair or let your hands lie in your lap. The drill drills on!”
What I am trying to get across to you today is that life is filled with surprises and disappointments. How you live your life is really up to you. No one can frustrate you, you are frustrated because of how you view the situation you are facing.
For just a moment I am going to assume that there are frustrated people who want to be set free today. Perhaps you are saying I am going to make it my goal to overcome my frustration. My question is what are you going to replace it with? What attitude brings an end to frustration by replacing it? The answer is frustration ends where patience begins. You see the control mechanism for frustration only comes into existence by the birth, growth and creation of patience.
James 1:4 (NKJV) But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
As one author put it, “Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it. Make it your friend and ally, not your enemy. This will miraculously transform your whole life.”
The best place to bring your innermost hatreds, anger, fears, and frustrations is to God? Where better to take them? If you cover them, they will only make you bitter and sooner or later they will come out and cause great harm to you and those in our path.
Many a person has started with a small bag of the frustrations of life, but end with one that fills their lives.