/ / / Embracing the Beauty of Letting Go {Acts 12}

Embracing the Beauty of Letting Go {Acts 12}

When facing hardships, the normal response is an inability to sleep. In Acts 12 we see how embracing the beauty of letting go sets us free from stress.  #Biblestudy #Acts #WomensBibleStudy #GoodMorningGirls

Sometimes tears flow easily from pain and struggles that you wish you and your loved ones could escape.  Just this past weekend, I came undone in a flood of tears as sadness washed over me.

Often times we try to pray our way out of things that God could have completely prevented to begin with.  Perhaps we are meant to be in them to learn how to trust God.

When we are close to the Lord, we know His presence is with us even when we lack the evidence of His work but on weary and discouraging days – we grasp for a glimmer of hope.  We look for evidence like Thomas did when he asked to see and feel Jesus’ hands and side.

Yesterday I saw this quote on Instagram:

“The trees are about to show us how lovely it is to let the dead things go.”

Fall in Ohio is stunningly gorgeous. The leaves are about to turn deep red, burnt orange and bright yellow.  It’s the sign that the leaves are dying and strangely – it’s beautiful.

Spring brings blossoms and new life…and summer sunshine is wonderful…but I favor the glory of fall.

It is lovely to watch the ground become covered by leaves…dead leaves.

Do you have something dead in your life you need to let go of?  Perhaps it’s like gangrene and it needs to be cut off so the rest of you can be healthy.

It’s time to embrace the beauty of letting dead things go.

That brings us to The Book of Acts chapter 12.

This chapter opens with a sad goodbye to one of the first disciples to join Jesus –James.  James was one of only three at the transfiguration of Christ and was the older brother of the beloved disciple John.  They were the sons of Zebedee which means thunder!

These men were movers and shakers and Herod snuffed out James’ life with the sword.

And my eyes burned as I fought back tears at the beauty of James’ death.

Then we see in scripture, Peter is put in jail by Herod and surely Peter was fearing for his own life.

But then it happened in verse 5:

Earnest prayer for him was made to God by the church.

And while they prayed – verse 6 tells us – Peter slept!

Between four squads of soldiers – Peter slept!

In prison – locked in chains – Peter slept!

Do you lie wide awake at night stewing over scenarios that are eating at you like gangrene?  I have never been one to struggle with sleep. I guess you could say – I excel at sleeping. Lol! But this past year, multiple new things have come into my life that have stolen my sleep.  And here we see – Peter slept.

How was Peter able to sleep?

1.) The prayers of the people sustained him.

2.) He was trusting in God.

3.) He knew what happened to James. He knew he could be at death’s door but he also knew death had no power over him. He had already died to himself and was living for Jesus.

Peter slept because he was resting in Jesus.

Even in prison – he was free.

Even in chains – he was free.

Look at what happens next in verse 7:

“And behold, an angel of the Lord stood next to him, and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him, saying, “Get up quickly.” And the chains fell off his hands.”

Peter’s chains fell off!  

What is it –that is holding you prisoner?

What is stealing your sleep at night?

Go to God in humble prayer.  Give it all and I do mean all – your heart, soul, strength and mind to Jesus.

Die to self.

Now look – death has lost its sting.  This thing that is eating at you has no power over you.

We are free and able to overcome the power of sin through the blood of the lamb…do not walk back into the prison cell and sit there. Do not stay in your chains.  Like Peter following the angel out of the prison – we must follow Jesus everyday in His word and choose to live free.

The church did not depend on the automatic deliverance of Peter – they prayed and prayed and prayed.

James 4:2 says: “You do not have, because you do not ask.”

Our trials are a call to prayer.

Our struggles are a call to prayer.

Our weary and discouraging days are a call to prayer.

Our prisons are a call to prayer.

Prayer should be the normal response of God’s people.  If we are trusting in God – we will pray. If we are waiting for something else, someONE else or some bright idea to get us out of our problem – we will not pray.

The church prayed that God would intervene. Most likely they did not pray for an angel to show up in prison or for Herod to be struck dead…but that is exactly what God did!

God answered their prayers in an astounding way.

Peter’s chains fell off!

It’s time to let go of whatever is dead in your life.  Like a beautiful bouquet of balloons released to fly high in the sky – may we have the courage to let go of the hurt, the broken relationships, the bad attitudes, the worry, the fear, the things we have no control over and the dead things from our past…

When facing hardships, the normal response is an inability to sleep. In Acts 12 we see how embracing the beauty of letting go sets us free from stress.  #Biblestudy #Acts #WomensBibleStudy #GoodMorningGirls

What do we do now?

Pray.

Worship.

Serve.

Move forward and leave it behind you.

Embrace the beauty of letting go.

Walk with the King,

Courtney

CHIME IN:  Is there something in your life you need to let go of? This is my stake in the ground.  Today I am committing to move forward and let a dead thing go that has been eating away at me. If you’d like to join me – share your commitment in the comments below.

30 Comments

  1. I have to leave in the hands of God, my hurting marriage, my healing (physical & emotional) and trust that it may not all be perfect but it will be exactly the way God intended it.

    1. Phoebe,
      God’s will is to not to harm us. Because we live in a sinful world, God can use the situation for our good to help us grow as we cling to Him. Harm and hurt and sin are from satan. Too many people wrongly believe that whatever hurtful situation they are living in, or going through must be God’s will for them. Sister, you are a beautiful child of God. He is your strength, your rock and your hope. Peace be with you.

  2. Courtney, I would like to join you and I am committing to moving forward and letting this dead situation be put to rest. While this situation has caused me great pain and tears, I have a future to look forward to! Thank you for this wonderful post!

  3. Such a timely reminder, thank you. As I face a new season of life with new opportunities, I grasp desperately at the last threads of the old season. I’m hesitant to let go and to look forward only because I am my own biggest stumbling block. It’s time to let go and look forward. Thank you.

  4. Thank you for the wisdom embedded in your words! For the last few months I have struggled to overcome the loss of my job. The pain of this loss awakens me many a night. While I know the Lord allowed this to happen for my good, I can’t seem to fully let go and move on to the more abundant life he I know has in store for me. I am going to pray more earnestly, leave it at the feet of Jesus and put the “dead things” in my life behind me.

  5. Courtney I pray the Lord give you strength & courage during this hard time you’re facing. I needed these encouraging words today! I too will join with you today and cut off this worry over my situation that’s was robbing my peace. Let us move forward! Thank you, Be Blessed!

  6. I’m struggling to let go of many stressors right now, things I can only leave in God’s hands and pray about. Work related, school related with my children, life related that are all keeping me up at night, giving me physical ailments( colds, chest pains, etc.) I need more prayer and to just lay it all down because he cares for me. Courtney, you have inspired me through your book and website. Thank you. I’ll be praying for you as well. God Bless !

  7. I will pray for you Courtney. I am just coming to a realization that the problems in my marriage have sent me into depression. Never thought I would be depressed. We are working on things, but my mind needs to be healed for things to turn around. Thank you for this post. I needed to hear this message.

  8. Thank you Courtney! I cannot tell you how much these words are the very ones I need to hear right now in my life. My wonderful husband, our beautiful children, and I moved 800 miles from home a few years ago, to escape a domestic abuse situation in my family of origin that was putting us in direct danger. The guilt of leaving behind the other family members who were not involved, the sadness and homesickness I personally feel, and the sadness at the thought of my children growing up without the joy of cousins and aunts and uncles has overshadowed the knowledge that we did what we know to be necessary for the safety of our family. My scars were recently re-opened with a visit, and sleep has been hard to come by. I pray that I am able to follow your lead, and fix my eyes on Jesus, and that I can stop wallowing in my family’s past at the expense of my children’s present.

    God Bless you Courtney, you’re voice and sincerity helps more than you will ever know.
    Peace,
    ~Michelle

  9. How timely this is for me right now as I struggle with significant health concerns that limit my ability to run my household and be there for my husband and children in the way they are accustomed to. I keep laying it all at the foot of the cross and then running back to pick it up again. I need to set it down and leave it there. I know that he has things to teach me through this, but I feel like a toddler and want to jump up and down and throw a tantrum! I hope that I can be like Peter and give it all to God and sleep peacefully.

  10. Good words that exhort! Thank you! Praying for you in the practical process of “letting go” of your specific “dead thing”. It’s the pain in the knuckles as we pry those spiritual hands off that hurts so much but then we are free to embrace the things God has for us! (And what a blessing to let the soreness go and feel the freedom of holding things loosely!)

  11. Wonderful blog post! It sparked something deep inside my heart. I am letting go of some past hurtful relationships. I’ve been carrying them around with me this whole time instead of giving them to Jesus. I feel like God used you to speak to me!

    THANK YOU! And praise God!!

  12. I am letting go of a toxic relationship. It means nothing good in my life, and serves me no good purpose, and is not real and loyal to me.

  13. Hi Courtney,

    Thank you for this post. I really enjoy reading your post because it touches my heart every time. I know there are things in my life that I really want to let go of. I really need to pray about this and trust in God because He knows best. I need to trust and be faithfully walking in the perfect path God has for me.

    God bless you Courtney

    With Much Love,

    Jessica

  14. I’m so thankful for the words that God has given you in this post! I’ve been struggling with a past hurt that wounded me very deeply. I read your post yesterday morning and thought about it throughout the day but it wasn’t until I was awakened very early this morning that I truly felt the chains drop! I can’t tell you what an awesome time I had with the Lord! Tears of joy streamed down my face and it was all I could do to not get out of bed and jump for joy! (We’re on vacation and in a hotel room so I opted not to do that so as not to scare the living daylights out of my family! Lol!) Anyway, I usually don’t comment, however, I just wanted you to know that God has used you to get through to me and I am forever grateful!! Thank you so much for the time and effort you put into your ministry! You have truly helped make a difference in my life and I’ve grown closer in my walk with the Lord because of Women Living Well. Keep on keeping on!!!

  15. I’m restoring my marriage. We got remarried a few weeks ago after a year of divorce. Now I’m struggling letting go of that year I spent apart with another man. It’s consuming me!! I pray and pray but I feel Gods not there. 🙁 I feel as if there’s rocks n boulders in my heart.

  16. Jess- I used to think and still at moments think of “where is Jesus?”. It can be hard dealing with past memories, but God wants to transform your heart and mind through his Word and I do believe He is in the business of turning old to new every single day. What helps me stay strong with dealing with my past is Psalm 46:1 “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” and 2 Corinthians 5:7 “For we live by faith, not by sight”. I hope and pray you experience God’s presence more 🙂 <3 Jesus heals!

  17. Courtney–Your words encourage all of us so much. At times you must feel drained. The enemy loves to hit us when and where we are vulnerable. In regard to relationships and other people, our maternal instincts cause us to want to fix situations and people, and preserve things, or restore them to how they used to be. Sometimes it’s not possible. So then we just have to let them go. Your husband gave such a good illustration–gangrene is cut off to let the other part heal. Wow. Focus back on Jesus. In the whole long run, God will cover it. And 100 years from now it won’t matter, anyway! Your words today remind each one of us of something over which we had to go through a period of mourning, and then be done with it. See Psalm 126:5,6, and Psalm 71:20. Of course we’ll bank on promises like Jeremiah 29:ll, too. Thank you so much for all you are doing, and thank your husband for his wise words. Love from all of us to you. You are appreciated more than you know.

  18. How on earth do you let one of your children go? Someone please tell me! Our daughter has forsaken us. Cut all ties with us. Pregnant and living with her biological mother. How do you let her go when she is in contact with the siblings that still live with you but are instructed to give you NO information. This daughter has stolen from us, lied to us, turned our lives upside down. She is TOXIC. I try to leave her God but I keep taking her back.

    1. Leca,
      In a nutshell: PRAY. Pray, pray, pray, and never stop praying. I’m sorry you and your family are going through this. Don’t grow weary in praying. Also pray that the Lord will give you patience, strength and wisdom as you go through this challenge. I ask those things for you right now in the mighty name of Jesus. And also ask for God to tug at your daughter’s heartstrings and speak to her and keep her close to Him and to seek His guidance throughout all of this. Peace to you and yours.

  19. Indeed, God is so great and faithful.He cares about us, even when we are hurt, confused and hopeless. The decision therefore lies within ourselves; if we would like to let go and allow God to heal, restore and make us whole or if we just remain in the hurt, self-pity, anger and strife mode. Today i boldly claim that i am letting go of all hurt, disappointment, selfishness, bad temper and painful experiences behind and i look up to the hill from where my help come from. I had rather keep my mind focused on God so that he keeps me in perfect peace, because the rest is detrimental (dead/offers nil results).

  20. Hey! Thanks for sharing this I have been holding on to past hurts of my husbands pornography problem I seem to always be reminded of it everyday. And it weighs me down in every way. It’s hard I feel much more distant with God, and less intimate with my husband. In my own mind I justify not listening to him, and see him as a hypocrite. I hate it and wish I could just be completely free of this feeling….. if anyone could keep me in prayer to have a forgiving heart towards my husband and restore our marriage I would appreciate it!

  21. Hi Courtney,

    Thank you for this. There has been something I have needed to let go of now for many years and slowly throughout the year I have gotten better at it; however, I still feel like it gets the best of me sometimes, and I react towards it. I want to be completely free from this, its frustrating…its a daily reminder and daily task for me.

    The good thing is that I am now winning the battle more so than before. I feel I am at 95% but want to be free from at 100%….Work in progress.

    This thing is a relationship gone bad. We had a child within the year of knowing each other and two years later he was unfaithful. (10 years younger than him). She knew his situation and she was fine with it. I did not find out until 4 years later. I was devastated completely I lost 30lbs in one month….so depressed; however, I’m winning today. It still angers or upsets me and I don’t want to be angry or upset, as I refuse to waste my energy on that. After going between us many years. I had two children from him and he left anyways and married her.
    That made me feel like I was not good enough, like we weren’t good enough.There were a lot of things I had to work out within myself to be okay.

    I need to not harbor any ill-will. I want to carry on as if it doesn’t bother me. Please pray for me. I’ve made progress (big progress) and Im happier; however, I’m still a little upset….just a little. 🙂
    God Bless.

  22. I thank God for you n this post. Sadly I have been struggling with this toxic situation for quite some time. Praying n fasting then seeing it get better but in time it goes right back to craziness. Lately it has gotten just hurtful. I am about ministry. Bringing souls to Jesus Christ. But some people are all about themselves. Obedience is better than sacrifice so i choose obedience. Leadership is not accountable, they tell lies and are always missing in action.They don’t mind blaming others either. Ive stuck it out and have begun to act out of character to speak up for those who won’t and for what’s right and the tears and staying up all night is because I know better. So seeing this Post. Thank you Jesus. Conviction! Correction! Peace!

  23. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful word, the Lord led me to this tonight while studying for a lesson I’m preparing for our 10-12th grade sunday school class tomorrow….. such revelation in this! I can’t wait to use this quote and point along with my lesson tomorrow! So many times we naturally do this very thing even without realizing it – thank you again for being obedient to post. God bless!

  24. I need to let go of a toxic and broken relationship between myself and my first love. He and I have been apart now for over a year but I daily feel him in my soul
    I want to be free from the hurt and the dissapointment of that failed relationship. I no longer want to be burdened by its lingering passion or by the regrets it has left me with. It is over forever and can never ever be again. In Jesus name.

  25. This came to me right on time! I have so many dead things in my life I am struggling with right now.

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