Do you ever feel like your life is spiralling out of control? I see you rolling your eyes. You’re like, “EVER? How ’bout always???” This is real-time for me, so I get it. In the last few months I’ve uttered the words, “I GIVE UP!” more times than I can count. The Bible reminds us, surrender to God is critical. However, we are never ever to NEVER give up hope. Giving up vs surrendered? How you can tell the difference?
Giving up vs Surrender
The hard truth for us to grasp is most of life is out of “our” control. Which begs the next question: is anyone in control? Yes, God is! To benefit from His control, however, we must learn to surrender, but not give up.
I’m trying to navigate myself toward total surrender. It’s a process. I have to keep asking myself: “am I surrendered, or am I giving up?” Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference. I need to know when I cross over to the dark side. Some cues would be helpful to distinguish the difference, don’t you think?
When I’m ready to give up
Giving up requires doubt. When we doubt God we think to ourselves, a). God has no clue what’s going on. b). God can’t change the situation. Or, c). God can’t be bothered. If God has no clue what’s going on in your life, then God is not omniscient. If God lacks the power and/or ability, then truly He cannot be in control. If God’s lacks the desire or interest to help you and I, then He is neither compassionate or loving. In short, God is not God, after all.
No God. No hope! Only doubt. Feelings of anxiety and helplessness. Despair! This is why we give up. We declare our circumstance unsolvable or incurable. By all measures, this, not our circumstances, is our defeat. Sad to say, to often Christians error on the side of giving up, which only adds fuel to our suffering because it moves us away from God.
One undesired circumstance, one unwelcome outcome is all we need to see we still have some control issues. It’s God’s faithfulness through trials that makes us aware; the way(s) in which we have been trying to control our lives DOES NOT WORK. Friend, it’s so easy for us to convince ourselves that we have surrendered our lives to God, when really what we are doing most often is giving up.
When I’m ready to surrender
Surrender requires faith. We know by faith that God sees us struggling. We know He has a perfect plan (and it’s a far better plan than the one could think up). We trust God has more than enough power to carry out what is ultimately for our best. We know He is a deeply caring and compassionate God, so we believe He will help us in our time of need.
Surrender isn’t about a desired result. Rather, it’s a choice to submit to God’s sovereign will and authority over our lives, no matter what happens. It’s not giving in and it’s not giving up, it is the cessation of our God-resistance.
Are you ready to give up or surrender?
God has promised good to those who do not give up! He gets to define what is “good”. But, Faithful is He who has promised. Hebrews 10:23. Friend, I’d like to leave you with one question: is it possible that God has a better strategy to achieve beyond what you could ask or imagine? I’m asking myself that same question.