There is a difference between weariness and tiredness. At the end of a long day of work, it’s normal for our bodies to need rest. Weariness is different. Weariness is when we feel like there are just too many things coming at us at once and feelings of being overwhelmed encompass us. Weariness whispers in our ears, “This is too hard. I can’t do this. I can’t keep up. It’s all just too much. My calling is too hard. I just want to quit. Isolate. Insulate.”
“Weariness can get a foothold in our lives when we believe the lie that says that we are limited to our own strength and resources.”
John chapter 15 begins with a beautiful word picture of Jesus being the vine and His people being the branches. When we abide in Him, we receive a constant flow of life and strength. It goes on to say, “apart from me you can do nothing.” Perhaps the problem isn’t so much that we’ve momentarily forgotten that we need His strength, but that we ever thought we could do what we’re called to do without His constant flow of strength in the first place.
Weariness begins to lose its’ hold over us when we replace the lies that it speaks with the truth in God’s word; truths like:
- “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.” Isaiah 40:29
- “The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.” Psalm 28:7
- “The LORD gives strength to his people.” Psalm 29:11
Our God is mighty and powerful, and we are made in His image. We don’t need to yield to the lies that tell us that we’re weak or unable to do what God calls us to do.
Another way that weariness can lose it’s hold over us is when we, in faith, begin to make declarations over our lives. Declarations from the word of God, such as:
- “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Phil. 4:13
- “…God has come to save me. I will trust in him and not be afraid. The LORD God is my strength and my song; he has given me victory.” Isaiah 12:2
Another way that weariness will begin to lose its’ hold on us is when we choose the right kind of rest. The truth is, not all rest is restorative. When weariness is weighing us down, it’s wise to avoid numbing ways of seeking rest, such as watching television, video games, shopping, or any other form of escapism. These forms of relaxation may be fine at times in our lives, but they will not accomplish the restorative type of rest needed to overcome weariness. Jesus gives us the prescription for weariness when He says in Matthew 11:28-30:
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Jesus invites us to come away with Him. In His presence we find restorative rest as we soak in His word. This is not a time in His word to prepare for a sermon or to minister to someone else. This time is just for us. One on one time with our Strength. Listening to worship music in His presence is also restorative as we meditate on His attributes and all He has done.
Jesus also invites us to find restorative rest on the Sabbath. No matter what day of the week you choose to celebrate it, Jesus offers us a gift. The gift is Sabbath rest. It’s all too easy to look at the Sabbath as another command to obey, but what it reveals to us is that God is compassionate towards His people. He isn’t some relentless slave-driver who never allows His people to rest. There are promises given in scripture for those who will abide in God’s presence on the Sabbath…promises that if we will choose to obey, we will “ride on the heights of the land” and that we will find our joy in the LORD. Sounds good to me.
Psalm 91:1 says, “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest…” This means taking a good look at what we turn to in order to feel safe and comforted. Is it God? Or something else? If it’s something else, we can do a 180 in a moment through repentance.
What are the messages we’re agreeing with in our own thought lives? Is it weariness speaking? Or faith. We need to give the weariness messages a push-back if we’ve been entertaining them. Resist those thoughts and choose strategic thinking in order to overcome weariness.
May the Lord be your strength and your song today,
Scripture therapy for weariness:
“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.”Deut. 31:6
“I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” Phil 4:13
“Let the weakling say, “I am strong!” Joel 3:10b
“On that day the LORD will shield those who live in Jerusalem, so that the feeblest among them will be like David, and the house of David will be like God, like the angel of the LORD going before them.” Zechariah 12:8
“The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace. … The LORD gives his people strength. The LORD blesses them with peace. …” Psalm 29:11
For God says, “I will break the strength of the wicked, but I will increase the power of the godly.” Psalm 75:10
The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.” Psalm 28:7
“You, God, are awesome in your sanctuary; the God of Israel gives power and strength to his people.” Psalm 68:35a
“But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31
“The LORD is the strength of his people; he is the saving refuge of his anointed.” Psalm 28:8
“You are their glorious strength. It pleases you to make us strong.” Psalm 89:17
“So be strong and courageous, all you who put your hope in the LORD!” Ps 31:24
“Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong.” 1 Co. 16:13
“This is my command–be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” Josh. 1:9
“See, God has come to save me. I will trust in him and not be afraid. The LORD God is my strength and my song; he has given me victory.” Isa 12:2
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.” Eph. 6:10
“The LORD is my strength and shield. I trust him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy.” Ps 28:7a
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Gal. 6:9
“If you fail under pressure, your strength is too small.” Prov. 24:10
“You have taught children and infants to tell of your strength, silencing your enemies and all who oppose you.” Ps 8:2
“The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights.” Habakkuk 3:19a