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.
I’m tired of trying to fix my husband. I give this to God so many times & sometimes I give up. The stress of his anger & depression is hard, but God has seen me through for years. I pray for his salvation! God will make a way!
Cindy, you are alone! So many women nodded their head when they read your comment. Thank you for sharing your struggle with courageous honesty today. I pray that today’s post encouraged you to let go and trust God with Your hubby’s heart and life. Thanks for stopping by GiG today.
I too am trying desperately to fix a family situation due to addiction.. it has totally destroyed a very close family.. my heart is broken, because I have tried everything I can do to try to fix it… My youngest sister has walked away from our family because her son is the addict, and she feels we chose him over her. I feel like the rest of the family has moved on and is living their life, but it is consuming me.. please pray for us..
April, my heart breaks for you and your family. God sees your love and care for your family. I pray that today’s devotional pointed you toward God’s desire for you to let go and trust Him – even though it is so hard to do. Surrender is our only path to peace. All the best to you, Barb
I can identify with everything you mentioned in the article!! Thanks
Praise God! Thanks for stopping by GiG today and while I hate that you can relate to circumstances of my story, I also hope that you were encouraged by God’s promises to all of us.
Barb, thank you so much for this devotion! After many years of trying to “control” situations in my own family, I finally gave up and surrendered it to God and am finally at peace. It has been a difficult journey but one that I know is totally in the hands of the One that can do the work that I could never do. May God bless you Barb and all the GiGs for your ministry. Only in heaven will you truly know how many lives have been affected by your faithfulness and devotion to our wonderful Lord and Savior.
I have been dealing with addiction in my home for many years. Though I work very hard to let God handle my situation, I struggle with trying to control it. I have been called an enabler for sticking to my marriage vows. I needed these words today, for I believe letting go does not have to mean giving up. I know God will continue to strengthen me when I give my struggles to Him!!
Michele, if I were there, I’d give you a big hug. I’m so glad that today’s devotional spoke to where you are at right now. God is with you and for you. It’s okay to let go and trust God, even when you need to set up new boundaries or if a time comes and there are hard decisions for you to make. Surrender is letting go and trusting God as well as allowing God to bring trusted voices into your life to support you, too.
I have said the prayer and will do my human best to continuously allow our Father to control the situation.
Dear God, I am tired of trying to fix/solve my husbands alcoholism, anger, hurt & pain. 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
Sweet Patti, I love that you shared your prayer. I’m sending you much love and a big hug right now. It’s so painful when we watch someone that we love struggle with addiction. Surrender is your path to peace. Take care of yourself and make sure to keep sharing what you are going through with wise, trusted Christians in your life.
I need to stop trying to fix my relationship with my son and daughter-in-law. They choose not to discuss the problems with me so we can try to work them out. Changing what I don’t know is difficult! I feel as though I can never do the right thing, which leaves me frustrated and sad. I just want a Godly relationship with love and concern, but I can’t make it happen. I’m giving it to God!
Barb and mighty women of God, I feel your pain and am suffering too. I have surrendered, but find it a slow fade back into bad habits and I need to surrender again. I need to surrender daily and sometimes moment by moment. I had to repent last night for my unbelief, I told God that it wasn’t unbelief in Him and what He could do, but in myself and my ability to let go and get out of the way. Thank you for the timely devotion! Would you happen to have the scripture references for the line of ‘If we let go…?’ Stay strong and God Bless!
I’m so glad that today’s devotional was an encouragement to you, Tabitha. Surrender is a journey for all of us and thankfully, God never expects for us to be perfect. Thank you for courageously sharing your experience from last night. I know that your vulnerability was a blessing to others.
Thank you for these words of encouragement today. I have been going through a difficult situation with my children and others in my family. There are some addiction issues with one person and recreational drug use by others, but there are justa lot of hurt feelings due to other issues. I have had to learn to let go so that God can work rather than me try to control the whole situation.
As much as I miss my children, grandchildren and other family members, God has work to do in our lives and His timing is perfect. He will find the right time for us to reunite. I pray for us all every day and have left the situation in His capable hands.
Alisa, thank you for stopping by GiG today! My friend, I hear your heart and your heartache over what you see happening in your family. I love your testimony of faith and trusting God’s timing, even when it is hard. Keep praying and you are loved!
I TOO AM TIRED OF BEIN TIRED OF TRYING TO RID MYSELF OF A SMOKING ADDICTION. I HAVE SURRENDERED TO GOD FOR HIS DESIRES AND NO LONGER MY OWN. IM TRUSTING IN GOD FOR EVERYTHING IM CONCERNED ABOUT BECAUSE HE DID PROMISE TO PERFECT ALL THAT CONCERNS ME AND FOR THAT I AM TRULY THANKFUL FOR. FOR ALL WHO ARE TIRED OF BEING TIRED OF TRYING TO FIX THINGS THAT ONLY GOD CAN I PRAY THAT YOU HOP ON TO YOUR THIRD TIRED AND SAY GOD I GIVE UP IT IS YOU WHO IS ABLE TO DO THE EXCEEDINGLY ABUNDANTLY AND I SURRENDER ALL TO YOU!!!! PLEASE PRAY FOR MY CHILDREN AND THEIR WIVES TO BE SAVED. THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS YOU
Janet, thank you for stopping by Girlfriends in God and sharing your testimony with us. Keep surrendering, sister. God won’t let you down!
Barb, this is such an on time word for as I am trying to re-establish myself back in North America after living in the Caribbean for 23 years. So many applications, phone calls, paperwork and money towards this effort. It has been exhausting. Thank you so much for such for that apple of gold on a silver plate.
Welcome back, Diane! I love that God knew the encouragement that you needed to hear!
I love this devotional. It feels like it is talking directly to me. I have tried very hard to help my dear brother with alcohol addiction. It has gotten to the point that his cognitive senses are gone and dementia is setting in. He will require a nursing home or some sort of assisted living. He is not elderly. There is nothing more that I can do…..except pray.
Sweet Pamela, thank you for sharing your comment. There are so many of us who love family members struggling with addiction. I’m so very sorry for the pain and heartache that you’ve been through. You have done all that you can do – and thankfully, God is still God and He loves your brother. Praying with you and for you.
I was finally able to read this on Wednesday, a day after it seemed everything at my office was piling on me. My assistant took extra vacation and I felt like everything was on my shoulders… you know running the office, in charge and in control! I felt like I was out of control, my spirit was overwhelmed and in demand of me time with God which never materialized. I appreciate this devotion the day after because I felt like everything you listed. I truly love God and know He is more than enough but sometimes the world I live in. I am thankful for the words spoken because I needed reminding of all the things God is if I let Him. Today is a new day and a new chance to Let God Be God.
Hi Terry! I’m so glad that you were able to see this post and that God used it to reaffirm everything that you know. I love how you point out that God is more than enough – that’s so true!
Dear Lord – Today I am willing to stop trying to control what I can’t change and let God lead. Only with the help of God! Amen
Val, thank you for sharing your prayer with us. We’re standing with you in that prayer and I know that many other women are praying along with you.
This is confirmation that I need to surrender my adult daughter to God. Time and time again she is doing the same things and the results are the same. I am tired of talking to her about her choices. I am to the point where I throw my hands in the air.
Sometimes it feels as if God is not present but I know that He is with me. He is looking on and He is working.
I choose to let go of my daughter daily. Daily will I give her over to God. I have done the best that I can and I can do no more. She’s in God’s hands.