Skip to main content

Frustration, Testing, and the Glory of God

Exodus 33:12-13

Moses said to the LORD, “Look, You have told me, ‘Lead this people up,’ but You have not let me know whom You will send with me. You said, ‘I know you by name, and you have also found favor in My sight.’ Now if I have indeed found favor in Your sight, please teach me Your ways, and I will know You and find favor in Your sight. Now consider that this nation is Your people.”

Moses was a bit frustrated with God in this passage, and I’m sure we can all relate. When we have tried to do what we thought He instructed and things didn’t quite work the way we expected, it is easy to get frustrated. Frustration prevents us from reaching our goals or gaining what was promised. Frustration comes when we can’t seem to get one step further because something keeps pushing us back. Frustration is found where we have no options, and disappointment lurks in the background. 

During times of frustration, we often feel like we are being tested. Frustration, however, will either drive us to God or from Him. If we have no options, we will either turn the source of frustration over to God, or we will give up altogether. Frustration is designed to draw us to God for answers. He uses frustration as a teaching tool to show us where to turn in troubled times.

The real test comes with power. What will you choose to do if you have options in front of you? If you have the choice, will you still choose Jesus?  If you have success, money, health, and all your needs met, will you still choose to do what is right and follow Jesus in the matter? Sadly, many turn to satisfy the flesh at this time, rather than to do what they know is the right thing to do. These are the times when temptation is the strongest. Temptation is your test, not frustration.

There is yet another move of God that comes after frustration and testing. There is a time when He chooses to reveal His glory. Moses experienced this in Exodus 33:12-23 when he desired to see God’s glory revealed. After the children of Israel broke the first set of commandments before Moses could get down the mountain with them, Moses was very frustrated with them. He turned back to God, and God told him to take the people into the land He had promised. He would drive out the enemy before them, but He would not go with them. They could enjoy the blessing without Him. God would remain true to His Word and give them what they wanted, but He would not be with them. Moses refused to go unless God was with them.

Moses had options in front of him. He could please the people by taking them into the Promised Land unharmed. They could enjoy their blessing and be happy. God, however, would not be with them because they had chosen not to honor Him. Moses wisely refused to lead the people into the Promised Land without God’s presence. He would not take the blessing without God’s glory surrounding it. His reason is found in Exodus 33:16 and is something we should all consider: “How will it be known that I and Your people have found favor in Your sight unless You go with us? I and Your people will be distinguished by this from all the other people on the face of the earth.”

During His hardships and times of frustration, Moses had learned well that God’s presence made a noticeable difference in their lives. Without His presence, they were just like everyone else. No one would be able to see God in them, and their testimony would be invalid. Without His presence, the blessing meant nothing. Moses refused to lead the people into the Promised Land without God, and verse 17 gives us God’s response: “I will do this very thing you have asked, for you have found favor in My sight, and I know you by name.” Moses asked God to reveal His glory, and He did that very thing because Moses found favor in God’s eyes.

When we choose to do the right thing in the midst of temptation to do the wrong thing, God will reveal His glory in us. When we choose Him, rather than what He can do for us, He reveals His glory in us. Times of frustration draw us to God, and He will deliver us from all of our troubles in those times. When He does, we should pay close attention because a test is surely coming. Your frustration is designed to show you where to turn. When you receive an answer, make sure God is in it before you go forth. If He isn’t in it, you don’t want it! Seek the Giver, rather than the gift. If He is with you, He will reveal His glory in you. If He is not in it, the gift guarantees no permanence and may quickly fade because it is worthless without Him. God has more for you than just a blessing. He wants to bless you to the point where everyone knows it is His work that got you there, and they see Him instead of you. Turn to Him at all times – during times of frustration, times of testing, and times of blessing.

Have a blessed day!

PHOEBE Connections, Inc. is a 501(c)3 dedicated to enhancing the lives of widows by building relationships and helping them find new identity in Jesus Christ through serving others. We promote an atmosphere of fellowship, where the widow can connect with other widows to develop friendships and supportive relationships.