Are you holding onto resentment and unforgiveness? Stephanie talks about the importantance of learning how to let go and surrender to God.
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Learning How To Surrender To God
This happened to me recently. As you may know, my husband and I are soon heading out on vacation. Although I’m looking forward to it, I have an extensive To Do list to complete in the next couple of days. For the most part, I’m quite relaxed about it all. However, that was not the case on Thursday evening.
I’ll admit I had a meltdown. An individual we’re waiting on to make a significant number of decisions didn’t seem to realize the urgency of doing so. This realization led me to become frustrated with him, which left me vulnerable to the overwhelming sense that there were several other issues that needed to be resolved as well.
I would like to say I immediately prayed about it and was overcome with a sense of peace. But … that didn’t happen. Not right away at least. I was worked up—and not quite sure I wanted to let go of the intensity of those feelings.
But to do so wouldn’t have benefited anyone. So, because of God’s grace, I refocused on those things that are within my control and made a list of what I have to get done in the next few days. I also prayed for those with whom I was frustrated. (It really is hard to remain upset with those you’re sincerely praying for.)
So what can we do when we’re angry, upset, or worried and really don’t want to pray?
We must realize our anger does not honour God.
Ephesians 4:26-27 says, “Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil” (ESV).
And James 1:19-20 says, “Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God” (ESV).
I used to struggle with anger a great deal when my three now grown children were little. God delivered me and I never want to go back again.
We must realize there are things beyond our control but nothing that the Lord can’t handle.
Those of us who have come to saving faith can rest assured that the words of Isaiah 41:10 are true. “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (ESV).
Psalm 62:8 gives this beautiful reminder: “Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us.” (ESV)
We must choose to obey even when we don’t feel like it.
Before His crucifixion, Jesus poured out His heart in the Garden of Gethsemane. The disciples who were with Him, however, couldn’t stay awake. The Lord gave them this warning in Matthew 26:41—a warning that still applies to us today: Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
My flesh was weak. I wanted to remain angry and upset. These emotions can give us a sense of power. But what’s far more powerful is to surrender our will to the Lord and ask Him to give us the desire and ability to obey His Word.
What were the benefits of relinquishing my negativity?
God poured out His peace.
I was able to create a revised list of things I must tend to before Thursday.
Together with Dave, I composed an email of what we need from the individual we’re waiting on—and when we need his input if we’re going to get things done for him. (He wrote back and assured us that he will get us the information we need.)
And even before I was ready to let it go completely, God showed me how frustrating it is for church leaders who are seeking to further God’s kingdom in their community without the support of those around them.
How about you? Are you facing an overwhelming situation? Are you tempted to nurse your anger? Are you holding onto resentment and unforgiveness?
If the only prayer you can offer is “God, please help me,” then I encourage you to do so. Surrendering to Him is the best thing you’ll ever do.
Steph Beth Nickel is a freelance writer and editor. She is the coauthor of Paralympian Deb Willows’ award-winning memoir, Living Beyond My Circumstances, published by Castle Quay Books.
Steph is a member of InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship and The Word Guild. She and her husband of over 30 years live in Southwestern Ontario, Canada.
Steph’s goal is to nurture and inspire. She blogs at Steph Nickel’s Eclectic Interests. She also guest posts regularly on the topics of Christian living, writing, and fitness. You can visit her website, stephbethnickel.com, to learn more about her.
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