Picture, if you will, a group of warriors moving stealthily through the darkness of night, making their way toward the enemy camp. With weapons at the ready, they creep through the blackness like ghosts. Suddenly, a group of enemy soldiers (probably a scouting party by the few number among them) advances on them from the left. The "good guys" easily defeat the small band and continue their assault on the main camp. Without warning, another group of enemy soldiers burst through the trees on the right. This time, the good guys are severely outnumbered; still, they make a stand and fight their way through. When, at last, they reach the enemy camp, they immediately find themselves surrounded by hundreds (or maybe even thousands) of angry armed soldiers. The good guys have no choice but to lower their weapons and raise their hands in surrender.
My question to you is, when did the good guys finally surrender? Was it when the going got tough? Was it when the enemy struck back? Was it when they grew tired? No, no and no. The fact is, they didn't give up until they were out of options, until there was no hope. For our good guys in the scenario above, this is commendable. They kept on fighting the good fight.
It is also commendable when we, as Christians, hold fast to the "never surrender" motto, that is, when we're referring to the enemy. It's not so great when we're unwilling to surrender to God, and let's face it, that's exactly what we do from time to time. As long as we can fight our way through, acting in our own strength, we're content to face our enemies alone. After all, why bother God with such insignificant little problems? And, even when the enemies outnumber us, we decide that since we've made it this far, surely we can keep on. It is typically only once all hope is lost and we're completely out of options that we turn to God and place the situation in His hands.
Is it any wonder, then, that God often has to put us in uncomfortable and undesirable circumstances? We cry out to God, wondering why we're being punished, yet we continue to press forward with our own plans, strategies, and ideas. The truth is, God isn't punishing us (not in this instance), but He's trying to get us to the place where we'll stop depending on our own strength and will to see us through and surrender fully to Him. That's where He wants us. That's where He desires us to be. He longs for us to completely trust in Him, knowing that only in and through Him will the battles be won.
If you're facing a battle today, and you're quickly losing hope, don't pout; rejoice! You've almost reached the point of ultimate surrender, and in this case, that's the perfect place to be. Don't keep fighting on your own. You don't have to. God has promised to fight for us if we'll only allow Him to take the lead. As strange as it may sound, the best way to win in the Christian life is not to fight harder; it's to surrender.
Lower your weapons (pride, independence, stubbornness), and raise your hands in surrender (and adoration) to the true victor. Give it all to Him and watch how He works. I think you'll find surrender has never been sweeter.