30 Life Principles to Live By from Dr. Charles Stanley, Day 19

Holding Too Tightly

Life Principle 19: Anything you hold too tightly, you will lose.

Admit it—in a tough situation, your first emotional response is to take control. We all want control. We want to live with the assurance everything will be okay and the things that aren’t can be fixed with concentrated effort. Secretly, we often think, “If I plan carefully and labor enough, I can overcome any difficulty.”

The problem comes when our efforts aren’t enough—when the difficulty we face is greater than all of our resources or completely outside our scope of influence. God allows these trials for an important reason: He wants us to recognize that He is in control.

When you face circumstances that rapidly deplete your spiritual, emotional, and physical reserves, you may want to cling to something strong out of fear. The question you must consider is whether your worries drive you to the arms of God or to your own resources.

Are you hanging on to something other than the Lord? Are you gripping some form of earthly security instead of trusting Him to help you? Remember, whatever you hold too tightly, you will lose. Whatever you’re clutching for safety has become an idol for you. Regardless of whether it’s wealth, giftedness, relationships, or religious rituals, God is not going to allow you to keep it as your source of confidence—a role that rightly belongs to Him. Rather, He will allow it to fail you so you will see He truly is your sovereign and unfailing Lord.

God longs for you to release yourself into His control and eternal support. He will take care of all that concerns you in the best way possible, and He will also sustain you in the process (Phil. 4:6-7). Though the Lord will test you in time, it will always be with the purpose of demonstrating His never-ending love.

You drink wine by the bowlful
and use the finest lotions,
but you do not grieve over the ruin of Joseph.
Therefore you will be among the first to go into exile;
your feasting and lounging will end.

Amos 6:6-7 NIV

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6-7 NIV

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