Let’s face it, life is exhausting. And sometimes, Christianity can be exhausting too. When we think of all the people who need to be helped, encouraged, taught, and ministered to, it’s no wonder so many Christians are tired.
So, here are five things we need to be reminded of from time to time:
1. It’s Not a Sin to Take a Break!
I once bought a book entitled, “When I Relax I Feel Guilty.” The title sounded just like how I felt. I knew I desperately needed that book. Unfortunately, I never relaxed long enough to read it!
Some of us need to be reminded that it isn’t wrong to take a break, smell the roses, and simply enjoy life. By the way, did you know God wants you to enjoy yourself (1 Timothy 6:17)? You might actually find that you do more effective service for God when you take a break – every now and then – to be refreshed. Jesus did it (Luke 5:16) and He was perfect!
2. You Can’t Solve All the Problems!
Sometimes we think that we are the solution to all the world’s problems. But guess what, problems were solved long before you got here and they will be solved long after you’ve gone. And maybe you also need to remember, even Jesus didn’t solve every problem (John 1:11). You won’t be able to convert every person, reconcile every broken relationship, or comfort every upset soul.
So let yourself off the hook a little bit. Realize that someone else is better equipped to solve some problems than you, some people need to solve their own problems, and some problems can only be solved by God.
3. The World Won’t End if You Take a Break!
Some of us seem to think if we stopped for a moment, the world might come to an end. Let me guarantee you that that is not true. The Lord is fully in control and “in him all things hold together” (Colossians 1:17). If you stop and catch your breath for a minute, everything is not going to fall apart.
This is where faith comes in. Some of us are exhausted – and refuse to take a break – because we lack the faith to believe God is in charge and He can handle things without us.
4. Your Salvation Does Not Depend on How Much You Do!
Perhaps there are those who think, “If I don’t do enough, maybe God won’t let me into heaven.” Anyone who thinks this needs to read Ephesians 2:8-9 very carefully, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” You cannot earn your salvation by working yourself to death!
Of course your salvation is dependent upon your faithfulness to God (1 John 1:7), but that does not mean God has given you a quota of good works which you must meet before you are allowed entrance into heaven. Your salvation is dependent upon whether or not you are in Christ, period (Romans 8:1).
5. Even Though You’re Exhausted, Keep Going!
All of these things being said, there will be periods of our lives when we cannot afford to take a break or slow down. In Judges chapter 8, Gideon and his 300 men are pursuing the fleeing Midianite army. Verse 4 says, “And Gideon came to the Jordan and crossed over, he and the 300 men who were with him, exhausted yet pursuing.” What a beautiful phrase, “Exhausted yet pursuing.”
There were times when Jesus took a break and there were also times when Jesus was exhausted but He kept pursuing (see Mark 6:30-34). Likewise, there will be periods when you need to take a break and there will be periods when you need to keep going. Again, not because God can’t handle it without you and not because your salvation depends on it, simply because there is work to be done and God has equipped you to do it.
In those moments, let God give you the strength to carry on (Philippians 4:13). Let Him renew you, revive you, and refresh you (Isaiah 40:31).
Consider these passages:
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10).
“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith” (Galatians 6:9-10).
“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18).
Thank you for the work you are doing. Thank you for exhausting yourself for the glory of God. Take a break if you need it, let God refresh you for a time, and then get back on the battlefield. And always remember what Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 15:58, “Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.”
I love you and God loves you,