Before you read this third and final post on the subject of being overwhelmed, take a second and go back and read the first two posts if you haven’t already.
In the first post, we identified what causes us to feel overwhelmed.
- Busyness of Life
- Battles with Sin
- Bitterness with People
- Burdens of Life
I defined overwhelmed as “the feeling of being buried or drowning beneath a huge mass called–LIFE.”
In the second post, we began to find hope by examining 5 actions to help us overcome the feeling of being overwhelmed.
- Repent of any Sin in your life.
- Review your priorities.
- Reflect on God’s Work in your life.
- Read God’s Word.
- Revive your prayer life.
Now let’s discover 5 more actions we can take to free us from the feeling of being overwhelmed!
Rely on God’s Strength
On July 18, 2008 and the weeks to follow, this truth became a reality to me when my 5 month old son took a nap and never woke up.
Before that day I would say I typically tried to handle what little trials I had on my own strength. On that day I realized…I couldn’t. I had no strength. I had no answer. I was scared, angry, confused and just plain weak.
That is when God shed new light on these familiar verses.
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong. ~ 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
Paul was weakened by a thorn in his flesh and He cried out to God to remove it, only to learn that in his weakness he could discover a strength beyond anything he has ever experienced in his life.
His weakness made him a candidate for God’s grace and strength. He simply needed to trust, depend, and rely on God and not his own strength.
So often we become overwhelmed because we are doing everything in our own power and our own strength instead of depending on God’s strength and God’s power!
No matter what trial or difficulty you face, cling to God. Weakness isn’t a handicap, it’s a prime position to watch God be glorified through your life.
Why are we so afraid to ask for help?
I really believe this is a problem in many of our churches today. We refuse to get help because we want people to think we have it all together.
This pride causes our marriages to suffer, our children to suffer and our walk with God to suffer.
Sometimes we just need help, and it’s not unbiblical to ask for it. As a matter of fact the Bible commands us to bear one another’s burdens and tells us that there is safety in a multitude of counsellors.
Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. ~ Galatians 6:1-2
Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety. ~ Proverbs 11:14
Find 3-5 godly people and make them your “spiritual advisors.” When you have a big decision to make or when you are struggling–call them, text them, have lunch with them and recruit their help.
Don’t fear not having it all together. Nobody does.
Life can get crazy! We live in a fast pace society and rarely do we slow down.
That is why I think it is important to stop and rest. Take a vacation. Have a weekend getaway. Pick up a hobby that is relaxing to you and schedule it weekly.
Too often we become overwhelmed because we don’t schedule in time to rest. Unfortunately, some feel guilty if they rest as if they are being lazy.
Elijah, in 1 Kings 19 was overwhelmed to the point where he wanted to die. God let Elijah rest and provided him food before He gave him his next instructions.
Each of us are wired differently. Some can go full throttle for weeks without burning out and for others of us (myself included) it feels like we need to schedule daily rest.
No matter how you are wired, schedule times of rest and relaxation. You will be a better worker, spouse, and parent if you do and you will find that when you use your rest wisely, it deepens your relationship with God as well.
Refocus your purpose
Why did God put you on this earth?
I know that is a big question that could be it’s own blog post, but notice what God’s Word says.
Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him. ~ 2 Corinthians 5:9
Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created. ~ Revelation 4:11
Our purpose in life is to glorify God. To glorify has the idea of magnifying God. One way we glorify God is to point others to Christ. God also wants us to edify and encourage other believers in their walk with God.
Here’s the problem. When life becomes overwhelming we take our focus off of our purpose and become selfish. Suddenly, we become more worried about our own desires and forget or ignore God’s purpose for our life.
As a Christian, living a life outside of your purpose is a recipe for feeling overwhelmed.
Refuse to Quit
Determine in your mind today–I won’t quit. Difficult days will come. The huge mass known as life will press us to the brink, but you can’t quit.
God challenges us in His Word to be “steadfast” and “unmovable.”
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord. ~ 1 Corinthians 15:58
Sadly, today people are quick to quit. We want the path of least difficulties.
Can I challenge your thinking for a second? What if your trial could bring God more glory? Would you yield to God’s plan and endure the trial?
The choice is yours…
I was sitting in a cabin up at Camp CoBeac during a winter snow camp 9 years ago when I first wrote out these 10 actions. I was feeling overwhelmed with life and I had just got off the phone with a close friend who had shared with me how overwhelmed he was as well.
I knew this was not the feeling God wanted me to continue in. I knew that in Christ I was victorious, but I felt like I was living in defeat.
I cried out to God and asked Him to simply help me. It wasn’t a deep or super spiritual prayer, it was simply a cry for help.
Are you overwhelmed?
Choose to act on these 10 principles from God’s Word today and watch God deliver you from that feeling of being overwhelmed.