ODJ: let go!

September 27, 2014 

READ: 2 Corinthians 1:3-12 

He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. . . . For the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ (vv.4-5).

As the story goes, a man was hiking alone when he slipped and fell down a steep cliff. In desperation, he grabbed a tree limb and began shouting for help. Finally, he heard a booming voice answer, “Yes, I’m here.” The hiker was elated. “Who are you?” “It’s the Lord.” “Oh, thank you, Lord!” the hiker gasped. “What do you want me to do?” “Let go.” The terrified hiker couldn’t release the only security he thought he had, so finally he meekly asked, “Is there anyone else up there?”

Life is tough. Circumstances often seem unfair, and there are times when we feel close to death. It’s usually in the midst of these moments of desperation that God urges us to let go of our feeble solutions and trust Him. In 2 Corinthians 1:8-11, Paul shares an intimate account of the difficult time he had in Asia and of how he felt close to death. He also reminds his readers, however, that God is our source of comfort and that we can use our growth through trials to help others (vv.3-6).
It was in the tough times that Paul learned to depend on and surrender to God’s grace rather than rely on his own wisdom (vv.9-12). He travelled thousands of miles over many years—enduring difficult circumstances. Yet, through it all, he learned to be content no matter the situation (Philippians 4:11-13).

Most of us would never choose a life of suffering, but the only way we can learn patience and grow in character is by learning through difficult times (Romans 5:3-5). When we surrender to God and trust Him to carry us, we might even find peace in our final journey of this life—through that valley of the shadow of death (Psalm 23:4; James 1:2-4).

Let go and let God be your all!

—Ruth O’Reilly-Smith

365-day plan› Matthew 27:57-66

Read Matthew 16:25 and consider what Jesus says about surrender and where it leads. 
What do you need to let go of today? What will happen if you truly step out in faith and surrender to God?