There are times when you just feel weary.
Weariness a runner feels after running hard and the finish line is not in sight.
Weariness a soldier feels when the battle goes on and on and the victory is not sure.
Weariness we feel when we have trusted God for an answer that hasn’t come.
It’s more than physical weariness. It is fatigue that affects you emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. That leads to discouragement, discouragement that leads to doubt, doubt that left unchecked can lead us to a complete loss of and absence of hope. A reluctance to experience any more. Despair.
Many of us have been in that place. The place where despite our prayers and what we know to be true we are not sure if it will turn out OK, if our prayers will be answered and ultimately leads us to doubt God. I do not believe God is surprised by this or that He is angry or disappointed when it happens. In what would seem to be a contradiction it is in these times when our faith or trust is at its weakest God is most willing to help us.
“Lord I believe. help me with my unbelief” Mark 9:24
In this story a father brings his young son who is possessed by an unclean spirit to Jesus. He tells Jesus about his son and asks “can you help us?” I can almost feel the pain and the discouragement this father feels as he asks this question. Everything he has tried, even the prayers of the disciples has failed to bring any relief to his son. “I have tried everything” he cries. “If there is anything you can do please have pity on us and help us”.*
Jesus asks, What do you mean, “If there is anything?” All things are possible if only you believe. The man replies in desperation “I believe Lord. Help me to believe. Lord help me believe what I struggle to believe”* and despite his lack of faith the spirit is cast out by Jesus, the boy is free
Consider for a moment what the apostle Paul says in 2 Corinthians 1:8
We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself.*
This is the same Paul who had a personal encounter with Jesus, who performed miracles, helped lay the foundation for the church that we all benefit from today, Paul who wrote much of the New Testament and he is saying “we were under great pressure in Asia, utterly at a loss .” We thought we were toast.
I believe Paul wanted us to know that even though they were spiritual leaders they were not immune to despair or the feeling of uncertainty, doubt, discouragement in the midst of trouble. He is saying “We had one of those times in Asia where we felt overwhelmed, in over our heads to the point we were ready to give up and accept what we felt was imminent.”
But in the following verse Paul writes this: “We told ourselves that this was the end. Yet we believe now that we had this experience of coming to the end of our tether (rope) that we might learn to trust, not in ourselves, but in God who can raise the dead”.**
In this story and in the story of the little boy we see God who meets us where we are and provides what we need. And in this we are taught the one thing we do need. Trust in God.
For the man who didn’t have the faith to believe, despite this God does what no one else could and sets the little boy free. Trust in God.
For Paul and his companions who were certain they would die God who can raise the dead delivers them from death. Trust in God.
For us when we come to the place where we don’t know if we can finish the race, if we will win the battle, if we can stand, God helps us to trust not in ourselves but to, Trust in God.
Weariness, doubt, discouragement, even despair will come from time to time. In his sermon this week my pastor said ” There are times we when we have to focus on the good and not allow ourselves to be distracted by the bad. We have to get a hold of ourselves and focus on what God has done.”
There are four things he suggested that will help us
Remember God is in control-Romans 8:28
Remember God has promised us victory-2 Corinthians 2:14
Remember our responsibilty-2 Corinthians 2:15
Remember God has equipped us-2 Corinthians 3:5-6
These are additional scriptures for avoiding weariness. A little encouragement for the journey!
I look up at the vast size of the mountains—
from where will my help come in times of trouble?
The Eternal Creator of heaven and earth and these mountains
will send the help I need.*
- *copyright-The Voice Bible
- **copyright-J.B. Phillips “The New Testament in Modern English”