Ryan is the Senior Pastor of Harvest Bible Chapel in Hickory, NC. He is the host of the "In The Room" podcast, and the author of 8 Hours, Or Less: Writing Faithful Sermons Faster.  

7 Ways To Wind Up Weary

7 Ways To Wind Up Weary

BIG IDEA: Nobody just wakes up weary one day. We wind up weary after an extended time of neglecting the means God has given us to draw our strength from Him.

Galatians 6:9 says, “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” Despite the clarity of this verse, “weary” is the way I’d describe many of the Christians I know. Understand, when I say “weary” I don’t mean “tired.” A nap will take care of tired. Weariness is a soul fatigue that impacts every facet of life.

The good news is, nobody simply wakes up weary one day. We wind up weary after an extended time of neglecting the means God has given us to draw our strength from Him. In essence, weariness is what happens when we try to be God. 

I’ve written previously on how to get through a season of weariness, but it’s equally important that we identify the behaviors that cause the weariness in the first place. Here are seven ways to wind up weary:

1. Hide Sin

Nothing will siphon strength from your soul like secret sin. As it lies hidden in your heart it pollutes your soul. Guilt and shame slowly suck away the joy and assurance of Christ’s finished work in our place. This is what makes 1 John 1:9 so important to our spiritual health. John writes, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” If you have sin hiding in some dark corner of your heart, stop what you’re doing, find someone you trust and drag it out into the light. 

2. Neglect God’s Word

God designed us to need more than bread for nourishment. We were created to live on every word that comes from the mouth of God (Deuteronomy 8:3). The quickest way to starve your soul is to neglect feeding it with the Word of God. Read it, memorize it, listen to it, meditate on it. Do whatever it takes to get this most important nourishment into your heart, mind, and mouth. 

3. Don’t Pray

All it takes is a few days of passing up an intentional, specific, and focused time of prayer and I’m running on fumes. Through His Word, God talks to us and through prayer we talk to God. Communication is key to every relationship and the same holds true in our relationship with the LORD.  Pick a time, a place and a plan and get after God’s heart - every day. 

4. Max Your Output

All output and no input is a recipe for disaster. Your soul is like a tank that must continually be filled. If you draw on it for too long without refilling it, you will do deep damage. You’re not God. You’re not self-sustaining. You’re not all powerful. You and I are dependent on God. Wait on Him and He will refill your tank.

5. Skip Sleep

I have three little kids who, for reasons beyond my comprehension, seem to hate a decent night's sleep. A few days of little to no sleep and I cease to be human. Lack of sleep has emotional, mental, and physical consequences that impact our spiritual lives. While a nap might not wipe out your weariness, it may be a necessary first step. 

6. Ignore Your Emotions

You need to know yourself and be mindful of your emotional health. Improper stewardship of things like stress, anxiety, discouragement, and depression takes a toll over time.  You need to know what circumstances and situations are most depleting for you emotionally and be prepared to manage them accordingly. You can’t just put your head down and pretend you’re unaffected. God made you an emotional being, created in His image, and you’re responsible to steward those emotions in a way that honors Him. 

7. Isolate From Community

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 says, “Two are better than one…if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!” Community is life giving, soul refreshing, and faith strengthening. Even introverts like me need good Christian brothers and sisters in their lives.  All people were created for community and without it we can’t be all God created us to be. God created us for relationship with Him and relationship with one another. Community is a means of encouragement, assistance, and help. Without it we’re on our own - and you and I can’t do much on our own. 

If you’re currently walking through a season of weariness, take heart because there is hope. Waiting on God is the only way through weariness. Maybe your heart is currently full, your faith strong and your energy high. If that’s you, make sure you take stock in these seven areas. Remember, no one wakes up weary overnight, but if you ignore the means God has given you draw strength from Him, you will wind up weary over time.  

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