The Bible’s Cure for a Weary Soul

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Weariness

It affects all of us, no matter what type of denomination, organic church vs. traditional, involved in ministry or not, we all get tired. While we all get tired physically, the weariness that strikes so much harder is the weariness of soul that comes on believers in busy or difficult seasons of life. So often the well-meaning church (like Job’s friends) offers us advice for how we are to handle that weariness:

“Take more time for yourself.”

“You need a retreat to spend more time in prayer.”

“You need to reprioritize your schedule and quit a few things. You’re doing too much.”

“Maybe you just need to take your mind off of things.”

The list can go on.

But, like the advice of Job’s friends, while this may be good advice it doesn’t get to the root of what’s going on. How do I know? I’ve watched friends fall into weariness and try various versions of this advice. I’ve fallen into weariness myself and tried them.  In each case, the person who was weary gets some kind temporary rest, but the long term problem is never dealt with.

The Bible has a solution for the weariness of the soul so many of us go through. It’s called looking at Jesus:

…let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor besides God’s throne. Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up.

Hebrews 12:1-3

Friends, the writer of Hebrews says that if we spend time looking at Jesus and considering His example, it will strengthen us against weariness.  Jesus is the one who initiates and completes our faith. He is responsible for the starting it and He is responsible for getting us to the finish line.

More importantly, I find that when I am truly discouraged and weary of soul, it’s because my life or the service God has called me to hasn’t gone the way I wanted. Whenever I get into that place, instead of lamenting how much better someone else has it or grumbling and complaining, I remind myself that the Son of God left His Father and came down to Earth.  I remind myself that He was persecuted, beaten, mocked, and killed for the same Gospel I’m trying share with others.

When I think about Jesus remaining faithful and steadfast in the midst of such pain and difficulty, it strengthens my heart to keep going. His example of patience and trust in the Father and His love for me in spite of the difficulty around Him refresh my heart and help me keep going. The weariness fades when I see Jesus enduring faithfully in worse situations than I am in.

Depending on your level of weariness you may need to take active, physical steps. You may need to take some time to go on a retreat. You may need some time in prayer away from the things in your life that stress you. But I guarantee at the base of your weariness is letting your issues and problems seem so much larger than Jesus’.  If instead we can take the time and look to Him, we will avoid being weary and giving up.

If you’re weary today, make the time. Look at Him. Remember the hostility he endured. Let His example strengthen you to obey in tough circumstances.

He will do it.

Photo Credit: Christ! by Babak Fakhamzadeh

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About traviskolder

Travis Kolder is a follower of Jesus, a husband, a father of five, an organic church planter, and a writer. He lives in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where he serves as part of the Cedar Rapids House Church Network.

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