When I am stressed out, overwhelmed, and running on empty, I tend to blame others, be short-tempered, and make poor choices (like staying up too late or ignoring work).
Of course, I’m not recommending these options. 😉 No doubt about it—they compound the problem. But truthfully, it’s what I often do.
My response to stress isn’t always so obviously negative. I also gravitate toward finding a creative outlet, getting outside in nature, and losing myself in something (a book, social media, a movie, etc.).
Even these “harmless” and sometimes beneficial activities are typically little more than band-aid, though. I may feel a bit better in the moment, but I’m just distracting myself from my problems instead of doing anything to resolve my frustration.
It’s so easy to allow weariness and stress to turn into complaining and navel-gazing.
My main need when I am weary and frustrated is to reconnect with God, restore my dependence on Him, and let His truth take over my perspective.
However, it’s often hard for me to know where to begin to lay my burden down before Christ. The immediate problems of life can seem so consuming and overwhelming that I don’t know how to disentangle myself from them!
Here are some verses that point me the right direction:
1. Remember how the Lord has cared for you.
“The LORD your God is going ahead of you. He will fight for you, just as you saw him do in Egypt. And you saw how the LORD your God cared for you all along the way as you traveled through the wilderness, just as a father cares for his child. Now he has brought you to this place.’” (Deuteronomy 1:30-31)
I may not always FEEL it, but I can always look back and KNOW the truth of God’s presence and faithfulness. Time and time again throughout the Bible, God reminds people to look back and remember what they know to be true of Him and to cling to that, regardless of what their present circumstances seem to indicate.
2. Go to Jesus; find rest.
“Then Jesus said,“Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”” (Matthew 11:28-30)
It’s the most direct statement possible. Go to Jesus. The burdens I try to take on overwhelm me; trust God and find rest.
3. Find encouragement in God’s word.
“I lie in the dust; revive me by your word. Help me understand the meaning of your commandments, and I will meditate on your wonderful deeds. I weep with sorrow; encourage me by your word. I told you my plans, and you answered. Now teach me your decrees. Keep me from lying to myself; give me the privilege of knowing your instructions. I have chosen to be faithful; I have determined to live by your regulations. I cling to your laws. LORD, don’t let me be put to shame! I will pursue your commands, for you expand my understanding.” (Psalms 119:25-32)
God’s word is truth. God’s word is life.
Yes, by all means, dig into your Bible and immerse yourself in Scripture when you are weary—but not for the sake of mere words. These words speak truth; these words outline and point to a greater reality that should shape how we approach and live every day of our lives.
Rest in that truth.
4. Eternal perspective—keep an eye on the harvest!
“So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith.” (Galatians 6:9-10)
It takes perseverance. God exhorts me to not let weariness overcome me, but calls me to love and “do good” to my family, and to His family. It doesn’t always come easily. But just because something is difficult or doesn’t come “naturally” certainly doesn’t mean I should disregard it or abandon the goal.
Through any circumstance, the foundation of my life doesn’t shift. I may feel one way or another, but that doesn’t change the reality of God’s steadfast presence and His word. In my weariness, let me persevere in doing good—in being patient, in showing kindness, in extending grace, in loving, and, most of all, in pursuing Christ above all. There is an eternal reward!
5. Take heart! Christ has overcome the world!
“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”” (John 16:33)
The end is already decided; we are working with a known outcome. Christ has overcome the world. Everything we do is in light of this.
Here is the crux of the matter. It’s not up to me to figure it all out. God hasn’t tasked me with solving the world’s problems, with managing my life so as to make everything run smoothly and happily, or with understanding it all. He has tasked me with receiving Him, following Him, doing His will, and living in His peace.
A Prayer for Times of Weariness:
“God, remind me of what I know to be true of you. Give me a broader vision than all that I’m focusing on right now. Help me to see you here in this situation and see the people around me as you do. Keep me firmly rooted in your presence and your word. God give me strength to face the challenges of this day, for I know you are going ahead of me. Thank you for the work you’ve given me to do; help me to do it wisely and well. Help me to fight back against my desire to control and manipulate this day and instead to be open to your leading. When I am tempted to feel overcome and defeated today, Lord, help me remember that you have overcome the world. May your kingdom come and your will be done today, Lord Jesus.”
Also, here’s a post I came across after I wrote this. Check it out for some different verses!
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.