Saturday, June 3, 2017

Don't Give Up, Hand Over

by Andrew Cromwell

You hear people say it all the time. “Give it up to God!” they say, and you think to yourself how you’d like to but what does that even mean? How am I supposed to give it to God? Physically hand it to Him? But He is invisible. And what if the thing being given up is non-physical to begin with, like a worry or fear or question? How do I give that to God? And what if the problem is my teenager? Just tell me how to give them up and I’m there!

And what’s more, giving up sounds awfully like throwing in the towel and quitting. So does “giving up” mean when things get difficult you quit on your marriage or your kids and just trust God to do the rest? And what about debt? Can that just be “quit” on?

We all know that “giving it up” can’t mean just quitting outright, so what are we giving up exactly and how do we do it?

First, you can give it up through prayer.

Sometimes “giving it up to God” simply means praying about it. Prayer is the process of talking with God. The Apostle Peter tells us to “cast all of our cares upon Him because He cares for us.” Imagine all of the worries of your heart like things that are heavy. These heavy weights drag you down so all your energy is sapped just by going through life.

It is helpful to think of this process as one of “handing over”. We hand over those heavy weights to someone who can carry them for us. That doesn’t mean the core issues simply disappear, but rather that God in His great strength now carries them. We give up on the belief that we can carry and handle everything by ourselves.

Second, you can give it up through silence.

Far too often, we just can’t seem to close our mouth for long enough to get clear of the things that we are carrying. Sometimes these are words we say out loud to others and sometimes they are words we say to ourselves. Either way, we usually end up stirring up more trouble, worry, fear, anger, bitterness or hurt.

Is it any wonder that the Psalmist says, “Be still and know that I am God?” To be still is to relinquish the power to control the situation through our words. There comes a point when more words don’t help. This is when a “holy” silence is needed. A “holy silence” is the kind when you shut your mouth because God is at work!

Finally, you can give up through forgiveness.

Many of the things we deal with are because we have not dealt with our heart first. Our heart is polluted with bitterness and unforgiveness. We have been hurt by others and so we have a bitter expectation that people are going to keep hurting us. Often, we fulfill our own expectation by lashing out and hurting them first.

The only way to break that cycle is to forgive. Forgiveness is Jesus’ greatest gift for us and His greatest challenge to us. 

So, what are you carrying that is weighing you down? Maybe it’s time to give it up to God!

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