Then they journeyed from Mount Hor by the Way of the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom; and the soul of the people became very discouraged on the way. -- Numbers 21:4 (KJV)
It is a common human experience which seems to be getting worse. Good decent people, doing their work and living their lives, are becoming weary in the journey. For those serving the LORD, either in the home, school, work-place, or pulpit, it can be even more challenging. Ever-tired, losing motivation, wondering if they can keep going on.
Have you ever felt that way? Do you currently feel that way?
Understanding the Problem
In order to solve the problem of weariness, which leads to discouragement, we need to understand the causes. If we are going to survive and succeed in our spiritual lives, let’s face these causes and overcome them with the tools God has given us.
Long Hours: Serving God is not a 40 hour, 9 to 5 proposition with 2 to 4 weeks annual leave. It extends to 24/7, with no holidays. Furthermore, our time and life is not our own and privacy, though possible, becomes less so.
One of the most common statements today is to say: ‘I’m so busy.’ Is this a complaint, a brag, or both? Remember that you can be ‘busy for nothing.’ Busyness does not automatically equal productivity; let alone fruitfulness. Unnecessary busyness can quickly lead to weariness. A time management stock-take can help immensely of alleviating some of your weariness; be sure to ruthless weed out all superfluous activities.
Spiritual Realm: Whether we realize it or not, we are engaged with the spiritual realm. Those involved include the Holy Spirit, angelic beings, the devil and his demons. These forces are much stronger than human power and, when they oppose, they can make you exhausted. Again, we have spiritual weapons that can contend with spiritual powers (Ephesians 6:10-18; James 4:7; II Corinthians 10:4).
Working in our own strength: Often, people try to fulfill spiritual service with natural strength. This is a sure way of draining the calcium from your bones. Even the mightiest among us will deflate like a popped balloon if we keep trying to do things on our own. It is time to become a team-player, with God as the captain.
Carrying the burdens: Related to the last point is that what we face in life and ministry is far more than we can handle. yet, amazing, we still think we can dead-lift the burdens and cares of life. To persist in the face of overwhelming weight is to invite more than a hernia; it is to court trouble itself.
Embracing the Solution
Thank God that he knows all about this and has already sent help. Jesus gives a wonderful invitation in Matthew 11:28-30 (KJV):
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
Take Christ’s Yoke: Your victory over weariness and discouragement starts with a simple step: come unto Jesus and receive rest. He invites you to take His yoke upon you. This is very important. If you take your own yoke, you are literally ‘on your own’ and will become weary very quickly. The genius of taking Jesus’ yoke is that as you are linked up with Him, He does all the heavy pulling and you merely follow on. In this way, the yoke is easy and the burden light.
Sufficiency from God: Remember that all of us lack in some area of life, even if we are gifted in other areas. No one has it ‘all together.’ That’s why we need to take hold of the truth that our sufficiency is from God (II Corinthians 3:5). He fills all the potholes in your life. Don’t try to be everything and don’t try to be all things to all men; be your self, but be your best self. Remember that God will help you get to the goal-line.
Cast all your cares on Him: Something else you should do I Peter 5:7 says Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. Why are we carrying burdens when God has graciously offered to take from us. In essence, God is offering to do the heavy lifting for you. It is time to redeem the coupon and hand it all over to Him. You will be lighter, freer, healthier, happier, even younger! We are to cast all our care on Him - whatever they may be. He can handle them all; why not do so right now?