What can you do in those times when you’re in the trenches of financial struggle, relationship anguish, health crisis, joblessness, or any other struggle?

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6

Here's the first step that can help your heart and mind to rest and to trust God fully.

Release

Name the issue right now. Say it out loud — the concern, the source of confusion, the worrying circumstance, the sandpaper relationship, or even that thing within yourself that you know you need to change.

Whatever it is that concerns your heart and mind today can be given over to God; not only will this allow Him to work in the situation, it will bring peace to your heart in the process.

Now that you’ve named it, take it out of your mental backpack and heave the weight of it onto Jesus’ lap. See the love in His eyes as He takes your burden from you. You have been invited to cast your cares on Him because He loves you.

“Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7

Releasing your worry to God means that you place it entirely with Him. You give up your need to control the outcome. And that can be hard.

We all have ideas of how our problems can be solved, yet this is where real trust comes in. This is where you leave the outcome with God and believe He will have your very best interest at heart. Have you ever tried to think for God, and then told Him exactly how He should answer your prayer? God says, “Lean not on your own understanding.”

Taking your hands off the situation and trusting Him means you “acknowledge Him in all your ways.”

When two people enter a doorway at the same time and one person steps back, he acknowledges the other. With his body language, he says, “You go first.” It’s the same when you step back in your own situation. You’re acknowledging the Lord by saying, “You go first and forge the path as you see fit.”

It doesn’t mean you no longer take any action. You still deal with your finances responsibly, mange your relationships with kindness and respect, and perform due diligence with your health matters.

What it does mean is that when your specific worry or fear comes to the surface again, you remind yourself that you are acknowledging God in this situation. You release your concern to Him, asking for His peace and His power to be at work on your behalf. This is what trusting God is.

There will always be a fresh concern coming down the road somewhere. That’s life. Yet, as we learn to release the outcome to God, who works for our good and His glory, our hearts and minds will find the rest we need, even in the turbulence.

Photo Credit: Jakob Owens