Four Ways to Hang On When You Want to Let Go

We all feel the impulse to quit, to pull back — to put on the brakes from time to time. We can feel overwhelmed and like life is just too much.

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We can feel like we are just not up for one more task, one more smile, or one more issue. Right?  Can I get a witness?! And, the urge to just throw in the towel can feel so, so strong that we intuitively know we just need a breather — we need rest.

We need a respite from the crazy so we can regroup and start tomorrow with some more strength.

But, rest? Really? Not in the real world — well, at least not in my world!  And, I bet just putting on the brakes and taking a break in your world isn’t so easy either.

Let’s face it. We often don’t have the luxury of just saying, “Hey, everybody.  I’m tired and about to lose it so I am just going to step away from all my responsibilities, relationships, and roles for a week so I can rest.”

At least that doesn’t happen in my world.  How about yours?

I have been at the end of my rope recently and every cell in my body and every neuron in my brain is screaming for rest, retreat, and respite.  And, because I, like you, can’t just put on the brakes and drop everything all at once, the Lord is showing me how to hold on, stay strong, and rest.  Or shall I write, R-E-S-T!  You knew an acronym was coming…didn’t you?

So, these are the four ways to hang on and stay strong…

1. R- Remain
“Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.” (John 15:4 NIV)

Jesus is the vine, we are the branches. He is our life source. He gives us the energy, motivation, and strength we need because when we are connected to Him, His presence energizes us. His power motivates us and His spirit gives us all the strength we need.

If we don’t get our life from Him, we shrivel up and run out of steam. But, when we remain in Christ, our perspective changes and our power grows. Often, when I am just flat-out empty, I can look at my life and see a scrawny vine who hasn’t been drawing nourishment from my one and only life source — God and His Word. So, the first way to hang in there and stay strong is to remain in Christ.

When we remain in Christ, we refrain from striving.
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2. E – Endure
“For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised” (Hebrews 10:36  ESV).

“Endure” can be a tiring word to even say because it can conjure up images of barely holding on, fighting back resentment and hopelessness, and just clinging until we are too tired and we lose our grip. But, that isn’t what biblical endurance is.

Endurance isn’t passive. It is active perseverance. When you endure, you refuse to give in or give up too soon.

When you endure, you look like Jesus.

“For the joy set before Jesus, He endured the cross.” (Hebrews 12:1, 2 ESV)

So, for the joy set before you, endure.  Don’t quit yet.

Earth is short and heaven is long, so hang in there.

When you endure you look like Jesus.
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3. S – Seek
“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33 ESV)

When we feel overwhelmed — at least when I feel overwhelmed — I start seeking a way out! I look for the nearest exit, the best solution; the remedy for all that is making me crazy. But, when I seek God first, I find that His grace washes over me, changes my perspective and buoys me. When we seek Him first, the other stuff is either added to us or it matters less to us.

If you’re barely hanging on, don’t just seek a solution, seek God first.
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So, if you’re barely hanging on, don’t seek a solution – seek God first.

4. T – Trust
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.”  (Proverbs 3:5- 6 ESV)

Trust is a transfer we make in our hearts. We transfer the ultimate responsibility for, and authority of, our lives from us to God. That means we trust that God’s power is bigger than our problems.

We trust that His way is better than our way.

We trust Him with everything we don’t understand.

We trust that He will never let us experience what His grace won’t carry us through.

Even if you feel like you’re barely holding on, hold onto Him with a feeble fist full of faith and He will never, never, ever let you go!

God won’t let you go through what His grace won’t carry you through.
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So, if you feel like you are about to lose your grip, rest in God’s hands. He will carry you and give you rest. R.E.S.T!

Jesus said, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:29, ESV)

Which one of these do you need the most? In the comments below, share below how you hope to focus on that this week!