Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope (Romans 5:3-4 NIV).
Friend to Friend
Many years ago, I reluctantly attended my first family member addiction recovery support group. I’d spent years trying to fix an addiction issue in my family, even forcing solutions when necessary. Nothing worked, but that didn’t stop me from trying harder. As my mind spun with hundreds of worried worst-case scenarios, I doubled down with begging, bargaining and at times, a barrage of angry words. As our family situation declined, I became desperate.I was losing hope fast.
While we like to think that hope is found in a happy ending, Today’s Truth illuminates the path to hope. It’s a progression that one scholar calls the “Golden Chain of Christian Growth and Maturity.” As the Apostle Paul defines the progression of hope, we see heartache is often the unwanted starting place.
Does this mean that God gives us a “backhanded blessing” by causing us to suffer so that He could give us hope? Not at all! God isn’t the cause of the heartache in our world. However, God knows how to redeem our heartache and give us more than the world tries to take away. As we trust Him in the situations that we can’t control, God transforms our suffering into strength to endure (perseverance and Christ-like character as well.
On the day that I finally gave up trying to fix our family situation, I felt like a huge failure. However, God used what seemed like failure to transform my faith. In time, I shifted away from trying to escape from my suffering and I began to see how God was sustaining me in my suffering. As I woke up energized to face each difficult day, I noticed that Jesus was shining brighter in me.
You can experience the blessings of Romans 5:3-4, too! What’s the key to experiencing the hope that we’re promised in Today’s Truth? In a word: Willingness. Are you willing to stop trying to control what you can’t change and let God lead?
Letting go isn’t as easy as it sounds, is it?
Letting go means there are no guarantees.
Letting go means we have to admit we aren’t in control and stop trying to act like God in others’ lives.
Letting go means we have to give loved ones the right to make their own decisions, even if those decisions are unhealthy.
All of that is scary. But clinging to our illusion of control isn’t bringing us hope or peace, either. Ultimately, God wants to do more in our lives than just ask us to let go. He wants to use our situations to strengthen us in His hope and shine His glory through our lives.
God wants to lift that heavy burden from our lives and give us the blessings of perseverance, Christ-like character and hope. We have to take the first step and be willing to let go.
Even if you aren’t ready in this moment, read this sneak peek of how God wants to bless you when you let go and let God transform your life:
If we let go of our fear, God will give us FAITH.
If we let go of our “not enough,” God will release His ABUNDANCE.
If we let go of our panic, God will give us PEACE.
If we let go of our expectations, God will give us the EXTRAORDINARY.
If we let go of our hurt, God will give us HEALING.
If we let go of our guilt and shame, God will give us GRACE.
If we let go of our failure, God will give us FORGIVENESS.
If we let go of our pain, God will give us PURPOSE.
We’ve all got problems that we can’t fix, but we can encourage each other! What do you need to stop trying to fix? As you reflect on God’s gifts above, which one is most appealing to you? Click on the comment button and let’s share.
Dear God, I am tired of trying to fix/solve ____________________________. So today, I surrender myself and my situation over to You. I want to experience the perseverance, Christ-like character and hope that You promise in difficult circumstances.
In Jesus’s Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
What do you fear will happen if you stop trying to control a particular person or situation?
Which one of the blessings above do you need most?
More from the Girlfriends
Today’s content is from Barb’s recent devotional book, Surrendered: 40 Days to Help You Let Go and Live Like Jesus. This 40-day devotional invites you to let go of trying to control others or outcomes and learn how to live like Jesus. Learn how to trust God’s power, presence, promises and provision for your life so that you experience God’s peace no matter what’s happening in your life.
©2021 by Barb Roose. All rights reserved.