What part of your life do you worry about the most? Wouldn’t it be nice if you could train yourself to surrender that area, to trust God and let that worry go?
Surrender means trusting God for the outcome without knowing if his answer will be the one you want, or when an answer may come, or even if you will receive an answer or not.
True trust often takes effort, and there is no such thing as “easy surrender.”
To get in good physical shape, you can’t exercise just once or twice. You don’t become proficient playing the guitar or learn to speak another language without some work. You train yourself to get better, and that involves practicing the activity over and over.
It seems like I’ve been practicing how to trust God in some areas for a long time, such as with how I think about money. I worry way too much about finances, even though I’ve tried to turn that area over to God many times. Sometimes, it feels like I’m making progress, but then we have a financial setback and the worry comes flooding back.
I wish this whole trust thing was just a little easier.
I’ve tried to turn the issue over to God, and tried again, and again. That may sound like failure, but I don’t think so. It normally works for a while, and I do feel more peace. So when the worry comes back, I work to turn it over again, and trust God just a little more.
One of the miraculous things about God is that he can use our weaknesses to do good things, including training us how to stay close to him. He uses our most worrisome issues to help us practice returning our attention to him, sometimes over and over again. Our weakness becomes the vehicle he uses to teach us to depend on his strength, rather than rely only on our own.
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)
Since it seems that trust takes training, can we actually get better at this act of surrender? Yes, if we work at it, we can learn to trust God more readily, and here are three things we can do to practice:
1. Identify an area we need to surrender, and admit we can’t manage it on our own.
“I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had no where else to go. My own wisdom and that of all about me seemed insufficient for that day.” (Abraham Lincoln)
2. Tell God we are giving the issue to him and will trust him no matter what. We then try our best to act in a way that is pleasing to him, whether that means to wait calmly or take some action. But we accept that God has final control of the outcome.
“Pray as if everything depends on God. Work as if everything depends on you.” (St. Augustine)
3. Keep practicing surrender over and over. God’s timing is often not our timing. But be hopeful, because surrender is often when God does his most exciting work. Sometimes, it may be to improve our situation, but often he works on something more important: US!
“Surrender yourself to the Lord, and wait patiently for him.” (Psalm 37:7)
Whether we like it or not, trust takes training. But learning to surrender to God is one of the most important skills you can develop, so the practice is worth it. As you keep turning your trust to God over and over, enjoy the new levels of peace you find along the way.
In what area do you need to learn to trust God more?
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