Man sitting against wall looking depressed

Surrendering to the Will of God

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I remember having an interesting conversation about philosophy with a close friend many years ago. We were talking about suffering and had slightly different perspectives on the issue of surrendering.

When my friend was telling me about his spiritual path, he said that he has gotten to the point — after facing many trials — where he just surrenders. I could relate to this in one respect, in that I often feel like just giving up when I’m going through some of my hardest times.

By saying ‘surrendering’ we were simply referring to the act of ceasing to struggle and just accepting one’s circumstances without any mental resistance.

Where my friend and I disagreed (just a little), is that I believe we ultimately have no choice in the matter of whether we surrender or not, because I believe God is in control of everything that happens, including any potential surrendering we might do. Perhaps my friend would agree with this these days, I’m not sure. He has generally been more interested in Eastern philosophy than the Abrahamic religions, and often in Eastern philosophy the concept of God is as a higher state of consciousness (an ‘it’), rather than the personal God (a ‘thou’) who we relate to in Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

I think my personal inclination in the hardest of times is to speak to God through prayer, perhaps along with surrendering, whereas I don’t know whether my friend would bring prayer into his difficult situations, as to the best of my knowledge he doesn’t have a personal relationship with God.

The point that I’m trying to make is simply this: When things are really tough for you, and there is no clear way forward, surrendering (letting go / giving up) can bring great comfort. But you will only wish to surrender by the will of God, because we are merely as puppets in God’s hands: God is the sovereign controller of all things.

8 comments

  1. We just discussed this in our prayer group. We felt the differences were surrendering to the will of God out of love for Him and using the difficulties as an instrument by which to live His will and participate in His Divine plan verses giving up because you lose hope or faith. This happens when we don’t recognize the presence of God (even if we can’t “feel” Him at the moment by way of consolations) in our difficulties.

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    1. That is good timing then! 😄 I believe even our difficulties are part of God’s plan, His will directs us in the good times and the bad. It is all purposeful to Him. Thanks so much for reading and taking the time to comment! ☺️

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  2. Well, from Islamic point of view, we believe that one should be patient in such times. We also believe that both the good times and the bad times are the way of God to test us. So, we should pray to God that we may not be tested beyond our tolerance.

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  3. I don’t like to think of myself as a mere puppet in Gods hands. Almost daily I think about whether or not we really have free will or not. I think it’s the biggest question of our existence. Are we just Gods puppets? Is the script already written for each of us from the moment we enter this life? Or are we more like children? We have a divine parent who has ultimate say but let’s us learn our lessons from the choices we make and the experiences we have. By the way the world is and has always been it seems more like we are children than puppets.

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    1. Thanks for your comment, Saymber! I disagree with you in that I am convinced God is in control of everything that happens. Otherwise, prayer, prophecy, etc don’t make much sense at all. I wrote my book God’s Grand Game to try to persuade people of God’s sovereign control over all events, including all human activity. The book contains many clear (in my view!) arguments. It’s available for free as an eBook, if you’re interested.

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      1. Steven I understand what you are saying I guess I just can’t believe God would orchestrate a war – want innocent people to suffer and die. Is war, disease and famine Gods design to control this planet? What I believe is a lot of what’s wrong with this existence has root causes and I don’t think it’s Gods handiwork but human beings exercising free will – straying from God….horrible choices. We can agree to disagree. I really enjoy your blog and hope things are getting better for you!

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        1. Sure, we can agree to disagree. Thanks so much for taking an interest in my blog, it’s much appreciated! Things are still very uncertain for me but I’m doing okay, by the grace of God! Have a great weekend 🙂

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