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

thief with bag of stolen items for post at Holy in the Daily

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

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“Jesus like sit 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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    17 Responses to How to Leave a Problem in God’s Hands and Not Steal It Back

    1. Lilly Green says:

      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 says:

      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.

      • Monica says:

        How do you pray in the Spirit?

        • Susan Gaddis says:

          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:

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

    3. Vicky says:

      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 says:

      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 says:

      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 says:

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

    7. Angie says:

      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.

    8. JMe says:

      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!

      • Susan Gaddis says:

        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 says:

      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?

      • Susan Gaddis says:

        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 says:

      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.

      • Susan Gaddis says:

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

        • Barb says:

          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. :)

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