The phrase “Let Go and Let God” is one we have all undoubtedly heard before, it’s a phrase used by both those of faith and those just reciting it as a helpful platitude. Though the expression is never found in Scripture, it does allude to a very important principle that has practical application in our daily lives.
When we are faced with unexpected circumstances in life that are heartbreaking, disappointing and seem unfair or unjust, often times we find ourselves struggling with stress, anxiety and worry. The problem is that those negative emotions not only do not serve us, but they are in fact rooted in a lack of trust in God and His sovereignty. It’s like saying “God, these circumstances are way too much for You to handle.” God’s word actually explicitly tells us not to fret, which means to constantly be worried or anxious.
“Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; Do not fret—it only causes harm.” – Psalm 37:8
Matthew 6:25-34 is one of the most phenomenal passages of Christ’s direct instructions for us not to worry about our lives, yet how many of us actually live with the faith to walk this out on a daily basis? It doesn’t matter whether we are worrying about the future of our country because of the outcome of the presidential election, stressing over finances, facing a health issue or struggling with a person or persons in your life that are a constant source of strife and negativity, we MUST have faith that God can and will work all things together for good, IF we SURRENDER and TRUST Him. (Romans 8:28)
“Worrying always results in sin. We tend to think that a little anxiety and worry are simply an indication of how wise we really are, yet it is actually a much better indication of just how wicked we are. Fretting rises from our determination to have our own way. Our Lord never worried and was never anxious, because His purpose was never to accomplish His own plans but to fulfill God’s plans. Fretting is wickedness for a child of God.” – Oswald Chambers
To be honest, I was a little surprised the first time I realized that fretting is actually sin, especially because it is something that comes so naturally to us all, but it’s easy to understand when we realize that it is rooted in a lack of trust. I know in my own life, facing extreme challenges and struggles during the time I came to faith in Christ actually helped me drastically to live with faith during my trials. Realizing that worrying took away the enjoyment of my days, and stressing over outcomes was only going to take away my sanity helped me to just surrender and trust that God is in control.
Jesus said that “in this world we would have tribulation, but take heart for I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) We should expect hardship, not be surprised by it, but we should also have the “peace that surpasses understanding” (Philippians 4:7) during our life’s tribulations, because we know we are children of a sovereign God who has never surrendered control.
I love what the Lord says in 1 Corinthians 4:5; “judge nothing before the appointed time.” In other words much of the hard things we face in this life, we will never fully understand on this side of heaven. Much of what we experience in this life we will never grasp how God was using it for His purposes until we are able to see His eternal perspective. Paul said: “Now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully.” (1 Corinthians 13:12)
No matter what your source of stress, worry and anxiety, it has a purpose and there is some benefit to us–or God’s kingdom that will one day be revealed.
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” – II Corinthians 4:16-18
About a month ago I got some surprising news that filled me with stress, anger and worry. Soon after I saw a teenage kid holding a sign at a major intersection by my home that read: “God always has a way. Let it go, God’s got this.” I immediately got the message and the rest of my day was drastically improved as I “abided in the shadow of the Almighty.” (Psalm 91:1)
What are you fretting over that you need to surrender to God today?