Turn what over and to whom? Trials, struggles, frustrations, all our concerns, everything, turn them all over to God. It may sound easy but it is far from it. It is impossible except with the help of God…and then anything is possible (Matthew 19:26).
The struggles we face today are no different than what our brothers faced in Jesus’ time, only ours are multiplied many times over. And we, like them, often attempt to solve, correct, and handle stresses on our own.
Why do we do this? What makes us think that we have the wisdom, strength, perseverance, and ability to do what needs to be done without any help? Well, there are a variety of reasons and excuses we can and do use. All of them are pointed out in scripture as well as how to overcome and defeat them.
Some of us are drowning in defeat. We are obsessed with our problems and the struggles we face while we don’t realize most were brought on by ourselves and the bad decisions we made and continue to make. We allow our pride, selfishness, stubbornness, and lack of humility to get in the way of clear and wise thinking.
Then, when things do not go our way we get depressed, blame others, blame God, and are not able to think straight much less make wise decisions. We refuse to humble ourselves and ask for help. When we are in the midst of the chaos in our lives we still refuse to turn it over to God, our redeemer, helper, counselor, protector, and bearer of all the good gifts available to us.
Before I list what the scriptures say about the concerns we worry and fret about and how to “turn it over to God,” I ask you to do one thing. Make two lists. The first list should consist of things that God has done for you, protected you from, saved you from, kept you from doing some pretty stupid things, and blessed you during your life and that includes how He helped you when you did not even believe in Him. The second list should contain all the things you are complaining about such as poor health, HOA rules you hate, people who don’t understand you, appreciation you deserve but don’t receive, my spouse and I just don’t fit anymore and so on. I bet that if you look at the list with truthful eyes and heart you will see, like I did, that God has blessed and protected you in more ways than the complaints you have. And if you are truthful you will admit, like me, that when you looked at the list of complaints and bad consequences you face, you are the cause of most of the negative consequences you suffered and are suffering. When you do a reality check, be ready because it may hurt and take you/me, down a notch or two.
Scripture tells us we have problems because we sometimes:
Try to fix things ourselves and allow pride to get in the way and refuse to ask for help or advice. Proverbs 13:10, Where there is strife, there is pride, but wisdom is found in those who take advice.
We are stubborn. Romans 2:5-6, But because you are stubborn and refuse to turn from your sin, you are storing up terrible punishment for yourself. For a day of anger is coming, when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.
We refuse to humble ourselves and we pay the consequences. Matthew 23:12 Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.
We listen to our heart which is often misguided by emotions. Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?
And often we blame others for our self-induced problems and depression. Matthew 7:3-5 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.
We complain about our spouse, our children, and a variety of things which are to blame for our stress while we never look at ourselves to see if our walk measures up to the standards God has provided for us or even the ones we set for others. For a reality check read Ephesians 5:1-33. If you use these scriptures as a plumb line and standard, you can’t go wrong.
Now that we realize that we are the cause of most of our problems and are ready to take on the challenging task of repenting and striving to do better, what do we do? Go to scripture for the answers. Scripture tells us to “turn it over to God.” Repent, admit all our sins, failures, struggles and hardships to Him. Then pray that you will listen to what you are called to do in scripture, not give up when struggles become unbearable, and trust in Him, His word, and that you can overcome…but not by your might. As stated in Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me. And Psalm 125:1 For with God nothing shall be impossible. Remember it states “with God” not with me!
Then, sincerely start praying and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the scriptures that will help you understand what you are going through and how to spiritually handle the situation and find the peace and joy that you search for that can only come from the Lord when you submit to Him. Philippians 4:6, And the peace that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Do not be anxious about anything. Tell your requests to God with thanksgiving.
If you are like me, it took time to realize the desperation you were in and then the desire to find a way out. Healing will take time but if you preserver, don’t lose heart, and if you focus on Him, you will succeed.
We all have different, but really the same, struggles that we face and the way we handle them. In part 2 I made a list of some of the scriptures that I found helpful to me to realize and find the peace that is truly beyond understanding as stated in Philippians 4:6-7, Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
To succeed when you “turn it over to God” consider this;
You will need perseverance. James 1:4, Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
Following this is a must: 1 Peter 5:7 Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.
Know what His commandments are and commit to following them: John 14:15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.
If you don’t trust and believe you may as well give up because it will not work; Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. AndMatthew 21:22 And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.”
You have to be honest: 1 John 1:9, If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Forgiveness is a must but that does not mean you have to accept a wrong done to you: Ephesians 4:32, Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Another thing that may be difficult to give up but defiantly worth the change: Romans 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Changing and following Philippians 4:4-9 may be very difficult for some, but necessary and you will not find true joy if you ignore these teachings: Philippians 4:4-9 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
You must change the spirit of your mind: Ephesians 4:23 And to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and Romans 8:6 For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.
You must follow the second greatest commandment with no exceptions or excuses; John 13:34-35 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.
You have to change your personality and put off everything that is contrary to His teachings. Difficult but not impossible if we remember to repent when we fail. Ephesians 4:22-32 To put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger,
To those of us struggling with pride, follow Philippians 2:3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,
When we are struggling it means we can’t handle challenges by ourselves. The wise thing is to seek and accept advice, if not we will just go on struggling. Remember Proverbs 16:18, Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. And Proverbs 13:10, and seek wisdom from others. Where there is strife, there is pride, but wisdom is found in those who take advice.
If you are like me, learning to turn your concerns over to God will take belief, faith, desire, conviction and understanding of who He is and who you are and the powers and control respective to each of you. When the transition happens, you will feel and know the peace and joy He offers during all circumstances, especially the difficult ones. You will still have doubts about yourself and frustration because of how you handle things, but you will not doubt the joy and peace that helps you handle what has been adding destruction to your life and the relationships around you.
So tough it up, accept responsibility, form a sincere commitment to straightening out your life, and turn it all over to God and allow Him to help you find the way out.
Jesus has helped me, and continues to help me navigate life and I have faith and belief He will never abandon me. How I handle life and the circumstances I face, good or bad, depend on how closely I follow what He has taught and continues to teach me. The decision on how you handle stress, depression, and all that goes with it is up to you. You can try it your way (and how it that working out) or accept His assistance.