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Watch 2022 online sermons » Joel Osteen » Joel Osteen — Overcoming Weariness

Joel Osteen — Overcoming Weariness


TOPICS: Weariness

I wanna talk to you today about overcoming weariness. Challenge we all have to face is with weariness. It's easy to get tired. Weary means to lose your sense of pleasure, to not feel the enjoyment that you should. Sometimes, because the battle is taking longer than we thought, we become weary.

I talked to a lady recently, she was in town at M.D. Anderson, the cancer hospital, hoping that this would be her last round of treatment, but she found out she has to take it for six more months. She was very disappointed. She said, "I don't think I can deal with this anymore". And when the difficulty is lasting longer than expected, we're working hard but not seeing increase, we're believing for the baby, but year after year goes by, we're still not pregnant, weariness will come. If the enemy can't take you out all at once, his next strategy is to try to wear you down.

Many people are suffering from battle fatigue. They've been standing a long time, trying to break the addiction, believing for the promotion, praying for that family member, but they never dreamed they'd still be single, still be dealing with the illness, still be trying to get the loan, now they're tired. Paul said in Galatians, "Don't get weary in well doing". God knew weariness would come or he wouldn't tell he said, "Don't be weary in well doing". That means you're doing the right thing but not seeing right results. It doesn't seem like it's making a difference.

Let me encourage you, your time is coming. Your due season is on the way. Don't let time talk you out of it, don't let discouragement cause you to give up. Don't let negative thoughts convince you to settle where you are. Your mind will give you good excuses, things like, "I'm too tired to fight this addiction," "I'm too tired to believe for my marriage," "Too tired to stretch to the next level, I've been doing it so long". If you dwell on those thoughts, you will allow weariness in. You'll become more tired, more weary, more discouraged, more negative.

Weariness cannot automatically come, you have to open the door. When thoughts tell you it's never going to work out, it's been too long, just say, "No thanks, I know my time is coming. I know God is still on the throne. I am strong in the Lord. I've been armed with strength for this battle". The psalmist tells us to take hold of God's strength.

This is what David did. He was doing the right thing, but the wrong thing kept happening to him year after year. His family looked down on him and treated him like he was second class. He could have been sour, upset, care of his father's sheep, doing it with a good attitude, being a person of excellence. How could he keep standing strong? All through the day, I can hear David under his breath reminding himself, "Don't get weary in well doing".

When he was being good to king Saul, playing the harp for him, trying to make him feel better, Saul threw a spear and tried to kill David. David could have been frustrated, thought, "God, what's the use? I'm doing the right thing, this man tries to take my life". Instead, he kept telling himself, "David, don't get weary in well doing". He understood this principle.

When you give into weariness, you lose your strength. When you start thinking it's not fair, it's been so long, it's never going to work out, the energy you need to move into your destiny is being drained out. I'm not asking you to never feel weariness, it will come, I'm asking you to not allow it in. When you're weary, you won't have the passion, the determination, the courage to fight the good fight of faith. Don't let battle fatigue keep you from your victory. Don't let weariness stop your dream from coming to pass. You are closer than you think. When it's the most difficult, you face the greatest temptation to settle, that means the victory is near, the promotion, the healing, the breakthrough is about to show up.

See, the prophet Samuel had anointed David to be the next king when he was a teenager. Thirteen years had gone by, there was no sign of it happening. And one day, David and 600 of his men returned from a battle and found their city had been attacked and destroyed. All their possessions were burned, their families were kidnapped, it was the worst defeat of David's life, his darkest hour. The scripture says they wept until they could not weep anymore.

David was depressed, discouraged, I'm sure he was tempted to think, "God, this is the final straw. I've been doing the right thing for years. I can't take it anymore. I'm done". He could have given up, and end of his story. He would have never taken the throne. But when David was tired, when he felt like throwing in the towel, he did something that we all must do. He dug his heels in and said, "I've come too far to stop now". The scripture says David encouraged himself in the Lord his God. He made this decision, "I'm not allowing this weariness in. I'm gonna stir my faith back up".

And while the other men were weeping, discouraged, complaining, I can hear David saying, "I'm strong I'm well able. The forces that are for me are greater than the forces that are against me".

You can talk yourself into defeat, or you can talk yourself into victory. You can talk yourself into weakness, or you can talk yourself into strength. The right way, courage comes, determination comes, vision comes. Every time you say, "This is too hard", strength is leaving. "I can't do this anymore," you're getting weaker. "I'm so disappointed, I can't believe this happened," you're inviting discouragement. When you say, "I am well able," you're inviting strength. "I can do all things through Christ," you're inviting favor. You may feel tired, but don't verbalize it, don't give life to it by speaking it out.

The scripture says, "Let the weak say I am strong". It doesn't say, "Let the weak talk about the weakness, let the sick talk about the sickness, let the disappointed talk about the bad break". No, turn it around. Yes, this is tough, but I am strong in the Lord. I know God is fighting my battles. He always causes me to triumph. That's what it means to take hold of his strength. "If you'll wait on the Lord, God will renew your strength. You will mount up with wings like eagles, you will run and not be weary, you will walk and not faint".

Now, wait on the Lord doesn't mean to sit back passive, idle, "Okay God, I'm tired. I'm worn out. Do your thing. Renew my strength". That word, "Wait," in one translation says those who look for God's goodness, who expect his favor, who long for his blessing. Waiting is supposed to be active. "Lord, thank you that you're turning this situation around. Thank you that you're bigger than this cancer, stronger than these opponents. Lord, thank you for bringing my dreams to pass".

Nothing that's happened to you has stopped God's plan for your life. Like David, it may be taking a long time, you may have had some setbacks, but God is still on the throne, he knows how to get you to your destiny. David not only stirred himself up, he got his men stirred back up, they went out and attacked the enemy and recovered everything that had been stolen. Three days later, king Saul was killed in a battle and David took the throne. That was some 13 years after he had been anointed to be the next king.

My point is, David was closest to seeing the promise come to pass when he faced his greatest challenge. And when it seems like everything's coming against you, it's taking a long time, now you have this new problem. The medical report wasn't good, business went down, the situation at work intensified, stay encouraged. That's a sign that the victory is near, things are about to turn around, the breakthrough is on the way. Don't get weary in well doing. For the promise, he had to deal with battle fatigue, but you know thoughts told him, "David, it's never going to happen. You wouldn't have these challenges if you were going to take the throne".

Weariness came knocking at the door again and again, and the reason he saw the promise fulfilled was not because he never felt weary, not because he was super-human, he was never tempted to be tired and discouraged, it was because he didn't allow the weariness in. When you've been in a battle a long time, you have to especially be on guard. It's easy to get discouraged and think, "I'm tired of standing strong. I'm tired of fighting this illness. I'm tired of believing for my dreams".

When you feel that weariness, instead of giving in, learn to look up and say, "God, I'm asking you to renew my strength". When you do, you'll feel strength coming to you. God will breathe new life back into your spirit. You may be tired today, you've been dealing with a challenge in your health, a relationship, in your finances for years. You used to believe that you would overcome, but now you're worn down. You don't think it's ever going to happen. Let me encourage you, what God promised, he's still going to bring to pass.

You may have given up, but God has not given up. He has your healing, your breakthrough, your promotion, the right people, now do your part. Get your passion back. Start taking hold of his strength. Don't allow that weariness in. The enemy wouldn't be fighting you so hard unless he knew you were close to your victory. He couldn't take you out, so he's trying to wear you out, get you weary, discouraged. Don't fall into that trap. All through the day, "Lord, thank you that you're renewing my strength. Thank you that I will soar like the eagles. Thank you that I am strong in the Lord". That battle may be taking a long time, but I believe right now strength is coming into you, hope is coming into you, God is filling you with fresh courage, determination, vision. You will run and not be weary, you will walk and not faint.

That's what happened to a friend of mine. He was diagnosed with cancer of the brain. The doctors only gave him 6 months to live. It was the worst kind of brain cancer you can have. He had surgery to remove the tumor. That was successful, but another one came back. He's been taking all the treatment, he's changed his diet, and he's very disciplined about what he eats. He made it past 6 months, and another, and another, every time I see him, he's upbeat, still has his sense of humor, he's full of faith, full of resolve. You wouldn't know anything is wrong.

He's coming up on 3 years since the diagnosis. The other day, they took a new brain scan and could not find any sign of a tumor he has. A very prestigious doctor, one of the leaders in that field in all of the world. This doctor asked my friend if he would go to a support group for people that have brain cancer. My friend said, "Doctor, I don't really feel like I need to go, I'm fine". The doctor said, "I'm not asking you to go for your sake, I'm asking you to go they can see someone who's beaten the odds".

He wanted him to go as an example, to be a source of encouragement to others. But over these last 3 years, he's had plenty of times where he's tempted to get weary. The initial devastating. Never thought he'd be dealing with brain cancer. It went away once, but came back a second time. Had to have another operation. He could have thought, "I can't deal with this anymore. It just wasn't meant to be". But he didn't allow the weariness in. He kept praying, believing, doing what he could, and because he didn't get weary in well doing, God caused him to mount up with wings like eagles. He became an exception.

That's what happens when you don't give in to battle fatigue. And you may be in a situation like my friend that looks impossible, you could easily let that overwhelm you, but God has given you strength for that battle. He said you would never face something you couldn't handle. Quit telling yourself it's too much, and start taking hold of his strength. That cancer is no match for you. That legal problem, that situation in your finances may look like it's permanent, but it's just a matter of time before God turns it around. Don't let weariness talk you out of it. It may be taking a long time, but like David, the promise is on the way. And if you'll stay in faith, God will not only renew your strength, he'll renew your health, renew your marriage, renew your business. He'll make a way where you don't see your way.

1 Kings chapter 18, the prophet Elijah had just called down fire from heaven and defeated 450 of the false prophets that worshiped the god Baal, they were all killed. It was a great victory in Elijah's life, but there was a lady that lived there by the name of Jezebel. When she heard what happened to her 450 false prophets, she was furious. She sent word to Elijah saying, "If I don't kill you by this time tomorrow, I'm going to take my own life".

Elijah was so afraid, he took off running. He ran for a full day into the desert. He ended up sitting under a juniper tree. He was so depressed, he prayed that he would die. He said, "God, I'm done. I've had enough. Take my life". Here's this incredible man of faith, one of the great heroes in the Bible. He's seen God bring a child back to life. A few days earlier, he outran a chariot. He just called down fire from heaven, a great miracle, but now, because one angry woman is after him, he doesn't wanna live.

There's a deeper message there, but I'm smart enough to leave it alone. He's laying under this tree, depressed, discouraged, doesn't want to go on. An angel appears unto him and wakes him up. Usually, when an angel shows up in the scripture, it's to do something supernatural, to open prison doors, to close the mouths of hungry lions, to part Red Seas, but this angel did something interesting. He said, Elijah wake up and eat, he looked over, there was bread cooking on hot coals and a jar of water. Elijah ate the bread and drank the water, went back to sleep.

A few hours later, the angel woke him up again and said the same thing, "Get up and eat". He ate and drank some more. The scripture says being strengthened by that food, next assignment. His whole attitude had changed.

Why was Elijah discouraged, depressed, not wanting to go on? Because he was tired, he was worn out, he was hungry, he didn't need a miracle, he just needed some sleep. And sometimes, when we're weary, it's not a spiritual problem, it's a physical problem. He had just ran 24 hours to try to get away from Jezebel. He just needed some rest, just needed a good meal. In other words, the angel didn't wake him up and say, "Be free from your weariness. Be healed from this depression," he said, "Eat this food. Drink this water". He was saying, "Elijah, take care of yourself. Get back in balance".

Too often, we're fighting battles in our mind, no passion, discouraged, not because of the enemy, but because of how we're taking care of ourselves. You are a three-part being, physical, spiritual, and emotional. You have to take care of all three parts. You can pray 24 hours a day, but you won't feel well physically. Your body needs to be careful. You can go to the gym, workout 5 hours a day, 7 days a week, but if you're not taking time for your spiritual and emotional side, you're not going to be your best.

Living balanced is the key. You can't stay up all night and not get the proper sleep and expect to feel good the next day. You won't have the passion you need, the creativity, you won't make good decisions. And some people are praying for a miracle. They're discouraged, they have no energy, but if the angel showed up, he would say the same thing he said to Elijah, "Get some sleep. Start eating better. Take care of your physical body". You can't drink 25 cups of coffee a day, eat sugar all the time, and expect to feel good.

I read where one of the causes of depression is simply not getting enough sleep. What am I saying? Pay attention to practical against natural laws and expect God to bless you. Your body is the house you live in. The scripture calls it the temple of the Holy Spirit. I'm asking you to take care of your temple. Don't put junk in your temple. Your spirit, the real you, cannot live on this earth without your body. We need you here a long time. Don't have your life cut short because you're not taking care of what God has given you.

And it's easy to work all the time, get up early, stay up late, always thinking about the business, thinking about what we have to do next, but being a workaholic is doing yourself a disservice. Your mind needs a break. Your body needs to relax. That's why, in the old testament, God required them to take a sabbath. They didn't have a choice. One day a week, they couldn't even pick up a stick, they had to rest.

Even when God created the universe, on the seventh day, he rested. He didn't have to, he's God, he was showing us this principle. David said, "God leads me by the still waters. He makes me lay down in green pastures". That wording is interesting. "He makes me lay down". This implies if you don't take care of yourself, if down, stressed out, you don't get enough sleep, you don't eat right, eventually that's going to catch up to you. If you don't take time to lay down in green pastures, God will make you lay down in green pastures. You'll probably come to a point where you have to rest.

What I'm saying, don't wear yourself out to where God has to make you slow down. Too many times, we end up unhealthy, we can't do what we used to do, not because of the enemy, but because we are not taking care of our temple. You need recreation. You need to laugh, you need to have fun. Laughter is like a medicine. Laughter releases stress, causes you to have more energy.

My personality type is, I'm a hard worker, I'm driven, accomplish things. And we have a lot going on here. I could think about the ministry 24 hours a day, but I've learned if I don't exercise during the week, I'm not going to be my best up here on the weekends. If I don't take time for recreation, ride bikes with my family, play basketball, I'm not going to function at my highest level.

You will be your most productive, your most effective, not when you're working all the time, but when you're balanced physically, spiritually, and emotionally. If you neglect one area, it will limit what you can accomplish. And a lot of people are good at taking care of the physical, good at taking care of the emotional, but they don't take care of the spiritual. There's no connection to God. Your life will be more rewarding, more fulfilling with your creator. God breathed his life into you, he knows what your purpose is, he knows what you can accomplish. And when you make him a part of your life, you will go further than you can in just your own ability, your own talent.

The scripture says if you'll put God first, he will crown your efforts with success. His favor on your life will take you where your talent could not take you. If you're going to reach your highest potential, make your spiritual life a priority. Morning, take time to thank God for the day. Don't just rush out of the house all stressed out, start the day off with a grateful attitude. All through the day, meditate on his promises. Keep your mind filled with thoughts of hope, faith, thoughts of victory.

Friends, you don't have to go through life weary. Maybe today you need to make an adjustment, a practical thing like Elijah, taking better care of yourself, or maybe an adjustment in your attitude, in how you're seeing things. You've been dealing with a challenge for a long time, now you're suffering from battle fatigue, you don't think you can go on. This is a new day. God is breathing new life back into your spirit. Dare to take hold of his strength. Get your passion back. When you feel weak, start declaring, "I am strong". If you'll do this, I believe and declare you God is renewing your strength so you can soar like the eagles. Health is coming, courage is coming, freshness is coming in Jesus' name.
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