i was having a conversation with a friend, who's going through a difficult time, a few days ago. She mentioned that she felt God was giving her more than she could handle, that the burden she was carrying was much too heavy. i gently reminded her of something that took me a very long time to learn—the burden is not ours to carry and being wholly surrendered to God means we don't have to carry the weight of troubled times. She said she had surrendered it all, but i knew she hadn't because her heart was so heavy an joy seemed like lightyears away.
So how do you know if you've truly given the battle to the Lord? James 1:2-4 says:
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
You know you have fully surrendered your circumstances to God when you can look past them and find joy. Not joy because of your circumstances, but joy because you know Who is in control—the Lord your God! i don't know many people who can find joy when times are tough, but i do know people who can find joy in the Lord during those tough times.
Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength—Nehemiah 8:10
Fully surrendering to the Lord won't make your troubles disappear, but i've found that it sure speeds things up. You see, when we try to keep control—believing our way is best— we don't need a Savior and we believe that we can do things on our own. But, when we surrender, we are recognizing that we need to have more faith ... that we need to trust God ... that we need to loosen our grip on control so that God's perfect will can be brought to life. God knows how things will play out, He sees the whole picture .... we cannot see into the future and we will never be able to see the whole picture. This surrendering stuff is a life lesson in learning to trust God.
Father God, i'll just be honest, i really don't like giving up control. It makes me feel like i've lost the battle, like i am giving up. But that is a lie from the enemy! Surrendering all my circumstances to you reveals my faith in you to come to my rescue. You have never failed me, Lord, and i know that there is no problem you can't fix. Help me to not be afraid when i take a back seat to a circumstance that has spiraled out of control — i want You to drive and to steer my life in the direction that will bring you glory and that will result in blessings on my life. In Jesus mighty name!