Surrender What You Can't Control
"You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did." (James 2:22, NIV)
If you want to come through a crisis like a global pandemic with your emotional health intact, you’ll need to learn to control what's controllable in your life and trust God for the rest.
God is active in your mental, spiritual, and emotional health. He wants you to make wise choices based on his guidance from the Bible and through prayer.
And then, when you encounter something out of your control, you can surrender it to God and trust him to work it out for good.
There is a great biblical example of this with Abraham: "You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did" (James 2:22 NIV).
It's easy to go to extremes with this. For instance, you can say it’s all up to God and become passive to the point where you do nothing. On the other hand, you can act like God doesn't play a part in your life and assume everything depends on you.
Both extremes are wrong. Maintaining good physical health is about balance, and the same is true with emotional health. Find a balance that helps you recognize what’s in your control and then make wise decisions, based on God’s guidance as you read his Word and talk to him in prayer. And, learn to let go of those things that only God can handle.
In the movie, The Lord of the Rings, there's a moment where Frodo complains about all the evil and pain in the world. He says to Gandalf, “I wish none of this had happened.”
You may have said the same thing during this time we’re living in.
Gandalf wisely responds to Frodo and says, "So do all who live to see such times; but that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.”
All you have to do is decide what to do with the time that is given to you.
There are a lot of things in your life you have no control over. You can't control the pandemic or how the government and other people handle it.
You can't control the circumstances of life, but you can choose how you will respond -- and that will make all the difference. God is always there to help you make that choice.
Talk It Over
What are the uncontrollable things in your life that have caused you stress because you’ve been trying to control them?
Why do you think God gave you the ability to make decisions and control some aspects of your life?
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This devotional © 2020 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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