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How to leave a problem in God's hands

How to Leave a Problem in God’s Hands and Not Steal It Back

How does one put a problem in God’s hands and not steal it right back, more often than not, unintentionally? This question was asked a few weeks ago on my Author Susan Gaddis Facebook page. Who doesn’t put something in God’s care and forget to leave it there? Guilty—all of us have.

Usually when we neglect to leave a problem in God’s hands the “stealing it back” comes in the form of mental musing over the problem. You know, those anxiety conversations that we have with ourselves in our mind, act out in our imagination, and eventually spill over onto someone’s peaceful day.

Therefore we have to catch those little though starters of doubt or anxiety before they become long conversations in our self-talk. This is what 2 Corinthians 10:5 is referring to when it tells us to take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ Jesus.

4 steps to leave a problem in God’s hands

1. After you leave your problem with the Lord, tune into your self-talk throughout the day. Identify any little thought that wants to hang out with the problem you left with God. After all, this isn’t your problem any more; it is God’s—so stay out of God’s business and mind your own business.

2. Mentally grab the invading thought and hold it up against the truth of God’s Word. Quote a Scripture promise at the sneaky thought such as Psalm 138:8, “The Lord will perfect that which concerns me; Your mercy, O Lord, endures forever; Do not forsake the works of Your hands” (NKJV).

3. Pray the Scripture promise, talk it over in your self-talk, and use it to rebuke the enemy if necessary. Personally, I like to find a Scripture promise for every problem that I leave with the Lord. I keep them on flip cards, which makes them easy to keep next to my bed or in my purse.

4. Put the problem behind you. Where you place your focus will determine if your mind and emotions fixate on the problem or on something more productive. See my post on How to Put Your Problems Behind You.

If the problem seems to continually follow you home …

… out of the Lord’s hands and into your living room—perhaps you never really left it with the Lord in the first place. Maybe you just had a discussion with God about the problem, and then you tucked the problem under your arm and left his presence. Consider spending some quality time with Jesus talking the problem over and getting all your fears, anxieties, and concerns expressed.

Emotions are real and need to be processed. So process them with the Lord before you leave the problem in his care. Then go back to #1 above and begin again. Honestly, what I’ve outlined here takes practice and doesn’t come easy. Give yourself a little grace and keep at it.

What do you do that helps you leave your problems in the Lord’s hands and not steal them back? Which of the above tips do you practice, and which one might be a new tool for your personal growth toolbox as a follower of Christ? I’d love to hear from you in the comment section below.

For more on getting past your problems, see:

How to Put Your Problems Behind You

How to Get Rid of Fearful Thoughts

In Him together, Susan Gaddis

“Jesus likes it when we share.” -Adelaide, age 3: Pass this along to everybody and their brother. OK, maybe not everybody’s brother, but you know … all of your friends would be nice.

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This Post Has 43 Comments

  1. Lilly Green

    Good advice. Guilty as charged.

    Quoting Scripture is a good tool I use, but it’s hard to be consistent. There are so many problems.

    Prayig in the Spirit is something I am trying to do more of again, because often the more we try to understand a situation and “fix” it, the more we pull it close.

  2. Susan Gaddis

    Praying in the Spirit is a great reminder, Lilly. I seem to do that a lot when I’m under pressure. I think it helps release the stress. Anyway, that’s my theory.

    Trying to “fix” a problem that is outside of my control means I do pull it closer than is healthy–what a great image to carry with me as a reminder. I wonder if we are taught to do this by our families or if it just comes naturally as part of our sin nature. *sigh* We all have such a long way to go, don’t we? Thank goodness for grace.

    1. Monica

      How do you pray in the Spirit?

      1. Susan Gaddis

        Praying in the Spirit implies that you are praying along with the Spirit about a problem, and not totally praying from your own logic, Monica. For many of us that means using a form of contemplative prayer or using our prayer language. Both get you in sync with the Holy Spirit and His leadings.

        Praying in your prayer language involves “praying in tongues,” to use an old fashion term. The passage in 1 Corinthains 14:2,4, and 14 teaches us that when we are using our prayer language, we are speaking things that are mysteries or private information known only to God. Praying in the Spirit builds our spirit up, and the more our spirit is built up, the more we are able to pray as the Holy Spirit leads us.

        Having a prayer language allows us to “pray in the Spirit” because we are praying God’s heart. A prayer language is simply something you ask the Holy Spirit to give you, and once he does, it makes it easy to pray about something that seems bigger than you can understand (see Jude 1:20).

        Here’s a link that explains contemplative prayer: http://www.susangaddis.net/2010/07/contemplative-prayer-part-4-in-exploring-different-avenues-of-prayer/

        Confusing, I know. But praying in the Spirit is really a wonderful way to pray.
        Blessings to you,
        Susan

    2. Tammy

      I have carried this problem with me long enough. I have gave it to the Lord to many times to count and stolen it back. The bamage was so bad, and the cut will affect my life forever. I have to forgive this man for taking everything I have ever worked for. I am now 57 years old, and this happened 1 1/2 years ago. I have gained 40 lbs. and really don’t even want to live anymore. I really want to give it to the Lord….please pray that today will be the day….in Jesus name AMEN

      1. Susan Gaddis

        I think that one of the keys in leaving a problem in God’s hands, Tammy, is to discover and experience how loved and secure we are in God’s love. When we really know this… that we are surrounded and saturated with all the Love that God will ever have for us… the complete and perfect love of God, then the things we worry and hurt over fade away because all we see and feel is how very, very much we are unconditionally loved. The fears and anxiety are diven out by perfect love. Experiencing that love means digging into it, discovering it anew, and resting in it with ALL of our focus on that love instead of the problem that has consumed us so much.
        Hope this makes sense,
        Susan

  3. Vicky

    I so faithfully, just pray and give it to God. About 5 well maybe 2 minutes later, with no response from Him, i decide that “I” can maybe resolve the situation faster, after all God is always with me, right? Wrong, I just have to repeat the process like a stuborn mule until I freely Give it to God. AWE, Spirit to Spirit. How awesome is this gift.

  4. Liz Babbs

    Thanks, Susan. This post is very helpful & ties in nicely with the Joyce Meyer teaching I’ve been watching today on ‘The War for Man’s Soul’.

  5. Vicky

    Well i did write down Gods promises & have them readily to pray on each night & morning, I now will arm myself further with God’s promises and keep them in my purse. Ha! Thanks for the advice!

  6. Susan Gaddis

    Glad you found the post helpful, Liz and Vicky. We’re all in this together, aren’t we.

  7. Angie

    Thanks, Susan. Well written. I definitely need to work on not taking the problem back and rehashing it over and over in my mind wondering what I could have done differently or what I should have done. I am hoping with more practice I can overcome this, let it go and stop worrying.

    1. Susan Gaddis

      It does take practice, Angie. Believe me, I know. But the results are worth it. Blessings to you as you grow in this.

  8. JMe

    Thank You for sharing :o) I am in the process of better my relationship with God & one thing I want to learn is to leave it in His hands. It’s a huge learning process for me. Prayers are greatly appreciated!

    1. Susan Gaddis

      I will be praying. It is something I think all of us are still learning how to do. Worry is a strong emotion. But God is stronger. So you are not alone in the learning process.

  9. Alfredo

    Hi, when se know se did sonething bad to somebody and we saw the effects it had on them, and then you no longer see that person, but we aske god to forgive us and help us what do we do?
    I’ve recently hurt somebody, but in a very sneaky way, I believe it hurt her in a way that she won’t express. I feel like we need to be in peace, and I feel the only way to is to say the truth and ask for forgiveness. I always thought when we leave things in Gods hands we have to walk in love, and when we walk in love we should help or Set free and humble ourselves when we think it will help someone be at peace. Also what type of problems are you referring to that we leave at Gods hands?

    1. Susan Gaddis

      Good question, Alfredo. It’s hard to ask forgiveness of someone when they are no longer around. If you cannot talk to the person, you might be able to write them a letter asking forgiveness.

      After you have done all you possible can, including asking God to forgive you, you do have to leave the matter in God’s hands. Perhaps you will run across the person again in the future and you can ask forgiveness then. But in the meantime, it is outside of your control. So leave it in the hands of the only One who can control it–God.

      That’s where the steps provided in this post come into play. Go through the process. It works because it is scriptural.

      This works for any problem. Do what is your personal responsibility with the problem, then leave the rest to God by learning to take your thoughts captive.

      Thanks for stopping by. Susan

  10. Barb

    I place my legal problem now in God’s hands and I don’t want it back. I have to find legal counsel and talk about it . . leaving it in God’s hand to resolve it for me. Thank you God.

    1. Susan Gaddis

      Well said, Barb. Sounds like you’ve had quite a load on your shoulders. I’m praying for you.

      1. Barb

        Oh thank you so much Susan, for responding and especially for praying for me. I have strong faith, and I have put this in God’s hands. I have trouble going through the motions / talk to legal counsel that I have to for this. I trust that everything I do is with God’s hand. Thank you so much for being there (here 🙂 I am grateful for your prayers for me. 🙂

        1. Margot

          Hi Barb. I too am going through some civil legal battles and feel defeated because I have no money for counsel nor strength to move on. I’ve decided to surrender it all to God and pretty much hired Him as my counsel. I will no longer fight the Plaintiff nor think too much about how the case may end up. I am no longer afraid and now at peace.

          1. Barb

            Hi Margot, I prayed for you as soon as I saw your message. Just that you searched and found this site tells me how much this situation has hurt you. I am glad you have put it in God’s hand. I don’t know what else to do either. Sounds like you have a good attorney! You message came at a time to remind me to leave my legal problem in His hands as well as I go next Wednesday. We need money to get through life, as much as we need air, food, and water. Prayers and blessings. Barb

          2. Margot

            Barb, thank you so much for your prayer – I couldn’t stop myself from breaking down in tears. To think that you would offer such a wonderful and unselfish gift of prayer to a complete stranger like me. Many lawyers have agreed to take my case as they have found that I am completely innocent and being taken advantage and bullied by this Nigerian lady for money that she thinks I have. I wept to my mother, asking why this is happening to me. With her I confided that I shamefully doubted my faith in God and felt He has abandoned me. She told me to give thanks to God for He has chosen me among His flock to carry His burdens. After surrendering everything to Him, I felt so much better and I know I will be ok. I am no longer afraid. Barb, I will constantly mention you in my conversation with God and ask Him to keep his arms wrapped around you on Wednesday.

          3. Barb

            Hi Margot, I am honored to pray for you and my prayers for you continue. Be safe. You are OK and you should not be afraid. No, I don’t think you ever doubted your faith, but rather you cried out to God, that He show you He loves you and is taking care of you. I too have often felt abandoned, that He hates me, for how could someone who loves me hurt me so much. I give it all to God and don’t want it back. I pray for miracles. I pray that, like Job, my life will be restored doubly and triply blessed. You are no stranger Margot. 🙂 Like me, you are a child of God and I will pray for you. Thank you so much for your gift of prayer for me. I am humbled and so thankful. God bless you Margot, may all your needs be met and let all be well with you. Prayers and Blessings, Barb 🙂

          4. Margot

            Hi Barb. Is tomorrow the day God’s team will take over your legal battle? I thought about you while I was driving yesterday from work and then the Beatles song Let It Be began playing in my head. I’m not familiar with the words but when I Googled it, the lyrics made sense. Maybe it’s one of God’s favorite songs? Keep in touch, let me know how it went.

          5. Barb

            Hi Margot. 🙂 You continue to be in my prayers. I included you when I lit candles for others yesterday. My situation was last week. An agreement was reached so the case will be dismissed when the terms are fulfilled. I left it with God and this was the best he could do. Even my lawyer said it was ridiculous, and that I had a 90 percent chance of winning (and the additional cost of a trial, which I could not afford) but this agreement meant it was 100 percent over. They even admitted there was no evidence that I did anything wrong, but I am older and not so “slick” at testifying like those who do the scamming, so I was afraid. I don’t want to elaborate, but the relationship of these two women is not in God’s favor. So, God has taken care of it and I am safe. I have continued to pray that your legal situation reach a settlement favorable to you. You don’t even know how to defend yourself when something makes no sense and it rooted in evil. Yes, Let it Be. 🙂 You will be alright. Give it to God and don’t take it back. That is hard. Be strong. I will continue praying for you Margot. 🙂

  11. REBECCA

    One thing I have found most helpful, is everytime the thoughts start creeping up, when I would before begin a long prayer about what God shld do and how He cld fix it. I now just take it as an opportunity to be thankful. I thank God out loud that he has control of the situation. I thank Him that He has the best plan for my life. i thank Him that I can trust Him with everything, including my heart. I thank Him that in the midst of every “waiting” I can depend on Him to be all sufficient for my needs. No matter how major or minor they may seem. It is very freeing to just let God be God. But it does take some learning for us “control-freaks”. But I have learned this is where my peace truly lies, when I lay down my life fully into His hands and BELIEVE that He WILL take care of me.
    My other trick is to always rem that the word said Satan is a liar and the father of lies and there is NO truth him. That means whenever I hear hose voices of fear, doubt and anxiety, I can rejoice, becauseexactly th eopposite of what he is telling me, must be true.

    1. Susan Gaddis

      Sounds like you have some wonderful experience with this, Rebecca. Good stuff! Letting God be God is hard … and why we try to tell Him how to handle His business does sound weird. But still we do it. Great reminder to rest in Him and let Him fix things. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts with us.

  12. zainab bello

    GOD IS ABLE

  13. zainab bello

    I am going through so much that i cannot go into details without breaking down . i need your prayers for God to deliver my son and for God will be done in his life .

    1. Susan Gaddis

      Oh Zainab, I will be praying for your son. I could hear the tears in your note. May you find peace to leave the problem with the One who created your son.

      Prayers,
      Susan

  14. G

    Wow. God led me here and this was the word I needed!
    HAHAHA! PRAISE HIM!

  15. Nat

    Great and powerful article. Thank you!

  16. Confused

    How do you leave it with god if it pertained to wanting to having your marriage reconciled?

    1. Susan Gaddis

      Good question! Thanks for asking it.

      After you’ve followed the steps in this post, you continue to pray for your marriage, seek God for right ways to respond to your spouse and for insights into positive steps to take towards reconciliation. You can also seek Christian counseling for moving forward in forgiveness on your end, so you don’t grow bitterness in your soul.

      Leaving a problem in God’s hands doesn’t mean you stop dealing with your end of the problem. It means you leave worry, confusion, internal drama, negative self-talk and your agenda in God’s lap and pick up trust in God, His peace, and rest for your soul. Jesus becomes your focus, not the problem.

      It’s not easy to do the above; it takes discipline and passion for God and for His work in your soul as well as the passion for seeing God work in the person you love.

      FYI, I’ll be introducing a course this summer on how to do this. If interested, you’ll find information at https://lounge.susangaddis.net/lounge/ .

  17. Santi van Zyl

    I so need this right now. Desperately.

  18. Margot

    Hi Santi, back in April 2015 I posted my need for God’s help. All I did was I prayed and asked God to be my defender and protector. That’s it. After surrendering my problem to God, I let it go and stopped worrying about it. I wasn’t being irresponsible for ignoring my problems; instead I took a leap of faith in God. The next day my prayers were of gratitude, although it was too soon, I already thanked God for answering my prayers. And he sure did!! That big legal problem thrown at me and scarred me in so many ways just disappeared. I mean it just stopped! I don’t know what happened, didn’t want to find out, but it’s been 2 years since the other side contacted me and I know God is responsible for saving me. Without a doubt, 100% it was God who made it all vanish. Another big part of being saved was that in my heart, I released and forgave the person who tried to hurt me.

    What I’m saying Santi is that it’s not enough to ask God for help. You must BELIEVE that He really is going to remove you from a bad situation and you have to wait in faith.

    Trust me, only God could have saved me from the burden that was thrown at me. I didn’t have a lawyer, I was by myself and yet it all disappeared into thin air. Well I suppose I had THE ONE JUDGE on my side.

    Ask already.

  19. Cindy

    I am finding that I need to put things in the “Lords Hands” as I am incapable of handling certain situations, as I know getting angry, striking out, will do nothing and will only make things worse. I always refer to this “you must take the board out of your own eye before you can take the splinter out of their eye.”
    I am finding out that this works, the Lord knows the best way to help you and if you keep the faith you will see this.

    1. Susan Gaddis

      What a great example of personal application of Scripture, Cindy! Thanks so much for sharing it with us. 🙂

  20. Rhonda Beaver

    Do you pray for relief in your situation everyday? Or do you put it in God’s hands and faithfully wait for relief without putting in prayer everyday?

    1. Susan Gaddis

      It depends, Rhonda. Many times I remind myself first thing in the morning that the problem is in God’s hands and why He is capable of handling it and not me.

      Other times, I go to Him and talk about my heavy heart in the midst of waiting for Him to bring a solution. That prayer is about my heavy heart, not about His taking care of the situation. I ask for rest in the storm and wisdom, and I thank Him that He is in charge of my problem.

      Great question! Thanks for asking. (For more posts on worry, check out: https://susangaddis.net/2018/09/christian-perfect-love-overcome-anxiety/ and https://susangaddis.net/2018/09/from-fear-to-concern/

  21. Neha

    It looks like I am in a perfect storm. Physically emotionally work wise relationship n marriage wise.everything seems to be a mess. But I know and believe that the Lord is in control and will ask the storm to settle down. Need prayers.

    1. Susan Gaddis

      A perfect storm…. Got it, Neha. I will be praying for you!

  22. Tawana

    I am so encouraged by all that I have read. I too am facing a huge legal battle with a federal agency. It is something that I have been fighting for almost two years. Their employee made an error that resulted in me being withdrawn from my nursing program. Because a contract was signed and they had already spent 25k on my education, they are threatening me for repayment. They lied to myself and school, along with attempted to have me sign another document that basically accepts the employee’s error so that I can return to school. Three of their administrators admitted to the error by phone, and all of the details are documented. I have been anxious dealing with this situation to the point that I can barely check my email or go to the mailbox in anticipation that I will hear from them. I have prayed and went on several fasts. There are days this issue consumes me and then I question my faith. It has been baffling to me that this is not an open and shut case after submitting my overwhelming evidence of the error. This is a federal agency that has no accountability. I find myself praying for the hearts of all of the people involved. At one point I even let them know that my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, will have the final say. Right now I am at the process of waiting for them to follow-through on their threats of financial harm. I thank you all for encouraging me. After reading about your situations, I began to thank God for deliverance. I feel convicted at times for being selfish in my prayers regarding this situation. I just want it to be over, but I know God is strengthening my faith and character. I realize His timing is not the same as ours and He will be glorified in this situation. I know that this battle is not mine but the Lord’s. Please pray for my strength, peace and endurance. Thank You!

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