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Stress and Frustration: The Accompaniments of Greatness



David was deemed “a man after God’s own heart” in 1 Samuel 13:14.

Yet reading through the psalms, we get to know David as a man who knew much frustration. Much agony. Much stress.

“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from my deliverance and from my words of groaning? My God, I cry by day, but you do not answer, by night, yet I have no rest.” –Psalm 22:1-2

How interesting that one of the most powerful men in all of the land at this time, – David, the King of Israel – would be crying out to the Lord in such despair.

A couple weeks ago my kindergarten students took their first standardized math test.

Halfway through I started to hear sniffling then crying then bawling. One of my best students was very upset that he didn’t think his answer was correct and he wanted to quit the test. I couldn’t tell him that he actually clicked the right answer! All I could do was remind him he could do it and was doing an awesome job.

Have you ever been there?

Have you ever been so upset while striving towards a goal or calling that you want to quit before you accomplish it?

I can relate.

It’s so easy to doubt yourself.
To doubt your ability.
To doubt your competence.
To doubt your worth.

To struggle with the pressure of trying to be perfect.

The pressure that intensifies at very benchmark of success.


This student went on to score the highest score of all my students. Yet he was the only one displaying signs of stress and frustration, and wanting to quit.

Much like King David.

Much like so many men and women of God, both now and throughout history.

Yet this remains relevant to each one of us!

God has placed greatness and exponential potential inside of you. But the closer you get to reaching your goal, the more pressure you will experience.

Greatness is accompanied by heavy stress and frustration.

But ultimately, victory is just around the corner.

Peace is just around the corner.

Rest is just around the corner.

Recall the agony of David:

“Lord, how long will you continually forget me? How long will you hide your face from me? How long will I store up anxious concerns within me, agony in my mind every day? How long will my enemy dominate me?” –Psalm 13:1-2

Yet David learned to redirect his thoughts toward the God bigger than His agony.

The God bigger than his anxiety.

The God bigger than his stress.

The God bigger than his frustration.

By the end of the same psalm, David goes on to declare with confidence, “But I have trusted in Your faithful love; my heart will sing to the Lord because He has treated me generously.” –Psalm 13:5-6

And David kept going.

David did not give up.

Will you?


“Consider it a great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. But endurance must do its complete work, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing.”

-James 1:2-4


Questions for Today:


“Every Line” by Newspring Worship

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