For many followers of Jesus Christ a big part (and potentially one of the hardest things) of spiritual growth will be letting go. Here are 30 Bible Verses For Letting Go, divided topically to help you understand what God’s Word says about how to let go and release whatever you are struggling with to God.
What does the Bible say about letting go?
A few things to understand as you think about the process of letting go.
- Your heavenly Father knows what you need.
- What may feel like the right thing to you may not be the best thing for you.
- The kingdom of God is not the kingdom of you. You have to surrender the kingship of your life to Jesus and this will probably involve letting go of a few things.
- The will of God is always better for you than you being left to your own choices.
- God is a good Father who loves you unconditionally. Any “ask” He makes of you is done from a place of greatest love.
Is “Let go and let God” in the Bible?
Although this exact phrase is not in the Bible. The concept of releasing our control, anxieties, fears, and circumstances to God is! Here are 30 of the best Bible verses to guide you in the process of letting go.
30 of the Best Bible Verses for Letting Go
Let go of your past–both the hard times and the glory days
Letting go of our past. Past mistakes don’t define us and neither do past victories. We have to learn to let go of the past–both the hard times and the glory days– and live fully in the present with Jesus.
1. Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. -Isaiah 43:18-19
God is focused on the new things He is doing in your life! Turn your eyes there too.
2. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. -Philippians 3:13-14
We can’t live stuck in the past–God wants to keep our eyes on the present and the future inheritance we have in heaven.
3. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation: The old has gone, the new is here! -2 Corinthians 5:17
The word “creation” here means a new building or a new foundation. God is building something fresh in your life that will serve others. He is making you a new creature–built for his kingdom and not your own.
Letting go and forgiving ourselves
Letting go and forgiving ourselves. This includes letting go of the shame we feel about our past choices. Although we can make restitution and live differently today–we cannot change the past. We have to rest in the forgiveness of the Lord.
4. As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. -Psalm 103:12
God’s desire is to quickly and completely forgive us each time we ask.
5. Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord.” And you forgave the guilt of my sin. -Psalm 32:5
In this Psalm David highlights the blessings of forgiveness after his sin with Bathsheba. He encourages us to confess and reveal sin and allow God to forgive our guilt.
6. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. -1 John 1:9
Jesus has done it! Your forgiveness rests on God’s faithfulness ,not yours!
Letting go and forgiving others
Letting go and forgiving others. Forgiveness doesn’t mean forgetting or a restoration of a relationship–but it does mean letting go and surrendering the justice of the situation to God.
7. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. -Ephesians 4:32
Kindness and compassion are how we see the person we need to forgive through God’s eyes.
8. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. -Colossians 3:13
Once again, Christ Jesus forgiveness empowers us to let go and forgive in the same spirit and love that He forgives.
9. Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times. -Matthew 18:21-22
The power of forgiveness is found in its abundance. Just as God has abundantly forgiven me, I must also forgive abundantly.
Letting go of control
Letting go of control. This is a hard one! We so often grasp at control in circumstances and relationships, but God is ultimately the only One in control.
10. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. -Proverbs 3:5-6
Surrendering and submitting to God’s plan will involve releasing our control and trusting that He knows the right paths to lead us on.
11. At the end of that time, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven, and my sanity was restored. Then I praised the Most High; I honored and glorified him who lives forever. His dominion is an eternal dominion; his kingdom endures from generation to generation. All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back his hand or say to him: “What have you done? -Daniel 4:34-35
Nebuchadnezzar had just had a major object lesson is pride and who is ultimately in control of everything when he penned these verses in Daniel.
Letting go of anxiety and worry
God is bigger than your fears, your stress, and your worries. You can let go of your anxiety and worry–God cares for you and watches over you very carefully.
12. 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
Prayer is a way to release our anxieties to God, filling us with peace when peace makes no sense. Talk to God all day long about your worries. Just tell him how you feel.
13. Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:6-7
I completely understand that this is sometimes way easier to say than to do! Letting go of worry is hard! Writing out my worries in a journal and then praying over each worry and verbally surrendering them to God helps me practically implement this step casting my anxiety on God.
14. You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are stayed on you, because they trust in you. -Isaiah 26:3
Refocus your mind on the Lord and His promises to you.
Letting go of sinful actions, behaviors and thought patterns
Letting go of sinful actions, behaviors and thought patterns. Part of following Jesus is breaking through sinful choices and habits that have defined our lives. We must let go of sin and pursue holiness (living like Jesus did by the power of the Holy Spirit).
15. Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. -Hebrews 12:1
Our past sins and choices are described as weights dragging us down and tripping us down. Let go of your sin and find freedom!
16. But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. -1 Timothy 6:11
Letting go of sin may look like straight up running away and ruthlessly cutting out entertainment, social media, and any other source that fuels your own selfishness.
17. Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. -1 John 2:15-16
Ask God to help change your heart to love the things He loves and hate the things He hates.
18. No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him. Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. The one who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. -1 John 3:6-7
“It’s okay to not be okay, but it’s not okay to stay that way.” -Perry Noble
19. Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. -Deuteronomy 31:6
God’s presence with us in our scary situations, with us in our anxieties is what can give us courage.
20. So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. -Isaiah 41:10
God’s presence is the ultimate answer for letting go of our fears. He is with us and for us–holding us close and providing strength for each step.
21. For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. -Isaiah 41:13
God is holding you by your hand–close and safe. He is willing to help you every step of your journey.
22. I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. Be of good cheer! I have overcome the world. -John 16:33
Yes, there is hardship in the world and plenty of reasons to be anxious, but Jesus has overcome the world spiritually and is with us every step of the way.
Letting go of anger and bitterness.
Choosing to reject bitterness (which is simply deep-seated internal anger) is freeling and healing. We can trust Jesus and release our anger and bitterness to His kindness, justice and control.
23. Looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled. -Hebrews 12:15
Bitterness worms its way deep into our hearts and can bring about intense pain for us and those close to us. Bitterness stunts us spiritually and definitely must be let go.
24. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. -Ephesians 4:31
Bitterness and anger–and their fruits ugly words and behaviors have to be gotten rid of in our lives. God has called us to so much more!
25. A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. -Proverbs 15:1
Escape a cycle of bitterness and anger with soft and gentle words. Use kind speech to diffuse bitterness before it can ever take root.
26. So if you are suffering in a manner that pleases God, keep on doing what is right, and trust your lives to the God who created you, for he will never fail you. -1 Peter 4:19
Sometimes we don’t understand why God has allowed hard situations and suffering into our lives, but this verse reminds us that God is trustworthy and will never fail us.
Letting go of a relationship
Whether a friendship or a work relationship or a romantic relationship–some relationships no longer serve our spiritual or emotional growth.
How do you know when God is saying to let someone go? Once they become toxic and detrimental to our spiritual, emotional or physical health, we must release them to find peace and be in obedience to God.
27. Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” -1 Corinthians 15:33
Bad friends can lead us to wrong decisions and negative feelings.
28. Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm. -Proverbs 13:20
Who we spend our time with influences our spiritual health. Find friends and mentors who want to talk about God, their faith, and how to be a part of the church.
29. Therefore do not be partners with them. For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth). -Ephesians 5:7-9
Don’t partner up (in a romantic or otherwise long-term close relationship) with people who are actively living away from God. Fill your life with the traits of Your Father.
30. Give careful thought, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. -Ephesians 5:15-16
The way you live your life and who you live it with–will help you be present and impactful spiritually in your everyday moments.