I wanted to deal with this idea of frustration that every passionate and driven leader will deal with! 

From reading 1 Samuel 17, the classic story of David and Goliath, I have found some great keys for understanding and dealing with frustration as a young leader.

Frustration is normal.


If you’re a leader and you aren’t frustrated, to be honest, there is something wrong!

Frustration is the gap every leaders lives between WHERE YOU ARE and WHERE YOU ARE GOING. 

In the first year I took on leading our senior high age group in youth I remember having big dreams, high expectations and drive to see great things happen. After a few battles some tough situations that nearly took me out I remember feeling highly frustrated with people, God and myself. My frustration became discouragement and this caused me to loose a sense of faith and motivation about what I was doing. It was through my frustration that I realized I had become so preoccupied with what I perceived to be success that I was not thankful or recognizing the change and growth in young peoples lives that we were experiencing.

Frustration is normal. Frustration is not wrong, evil or bad! In fact frustration is a sign that you CARE and that you have bought in!! And this is great! But as young leaders we need to know how to work with frustration and use it as a source of fuel not as a source of discouragement or division. 

What you do with frustration is what matters not that you have it.


How do handle your frustration? 

Do you respond to your frustrations with the attitude of a victim, with judgment, with anger?

See, there is nothing wrong with being frustrated; you just need to know how to use and work with your frustration. 

I believe God allows us to have frustrations with the status quo because we are called to help bring change and victory into that specific area.  

But how you work with your frustrations and communicate with your leaders and people God has positioned you with will either SHUT or OPEN doors. 

1 Samuel 17:32 (David addresses Saul)

"32 David said to Saul, “Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him.”

David’s heart was not to make a judgment or be a critic; he used his frustration as fuel to be of service to the King and to the people. 

Frustration identifies assignment.


Just recently I was playing a game of football (soccer) and I was getting frustrated with my teammates for continually giving possession of the football to the other team. 

I then realized, to my embarrassment that whenever I got the ball I was giving it away myself! My frustration identified my assignment. KEEP THE BALL! By taking responsibility to keep the ball myself, it brought about positive change to the rest of my team.

In 1 Samuel 17, King David is a young man and he was frustrated by the situation the Israelites were in with Goliath. He was upset by Goliath’s attack on Gods people and wanted something to be done about it. Its funny, because what he may not have realised when he turned up that day was that he was the one called to defeat Goliath. His frustration actually identified his assignment.  

1 Samuel 17:26

26 David asked the men standing near him, “What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and removes this disgrace from Israel? Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?”

What are you frustrated by?

Do your frustrations remain as obstacles or become opportunities?


Goliath was David’s greatest opportunity disguised as an obstacle and through David’s eyes of faith eh was able to take a hold of his opportunity.

David didn’t bring the problem to Saul, he brought a solution.  

1 Samuel 17:32

“...your servant will go and fight him.”

Do you bring problems or solutions to your leaders? 

In most cases our leaders are more than likely aware if not more aware of the problems and dysfunctions that need to be addressed. Our leaders need to know that we are HERE TO HELP! Feedback is a wonderful thing but the heart of feedback is to help not to judge. 

God has always called the next generation to take what the previous generation has built further. So naturally we will have insights and new ways of seeing things but these are meant to be a source of service not division. 

The way UP is DOWN.


David was brought to the king because the men around him recognised that he was there to help; his brother falsely accused him (which is a whole other story…sometimes those closest to you will misinterpret and misread your motivation, but we must be true to our convictions and keep our heart right). If you will be of service and carry the heart to help where you are now, you might find you have the ear of those in greater positions of authority and help bring change to the bigger picture.

Matthew 20:26

“Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant”

David ended up having the ear of Saul and not only his ear but also his blessing. 

1 Samuel 17:32

Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with you.”

Saul could see that David was for him and his heart was for the people of God, so Saul released him to take up the fight that David’s frustration had located. 

I pray that we will be leaders who allow our frustration to be fuel in our service to the leaders and people God has put in our lives and not a source of division or discouragement.