Leon Fontaine - Emotional Exhaustion - Part 1
Today, I want to talk to you about emotional exhaustion. Emotional exhaustion. As I look around, and I see the organizations that Sal and I lead. And there's four of them, and then I look at the other things that we're doing around the world, and I look at what's taking place in this last year. And the responses of governments and healthcare, to a virus. And I, and I watch the pounding of what they think is needed to scare people, to make people do what they want. Some people have become so exhausted emotionally. And as a pastor, and a pastor who's got pastors and counsellors and many great men and women underneath me. Who are working, with me. It's like, you can see the toll on them, and then they begin to bring back the toll they see on people in everyday life.
And so, a number of years ago, I did a series, and I used a Bible word, and so I was just thinking, as I was preparing, and I want to do a two part series. We're going to start with part number one today. Peter said it this way. He says, I often need to put You in remembrance. Often in my life, I'll be at a conference or something and I'll hear someone preach on something that I know the content. But just hearing them remind me kind of going, ah. I remember playing basketball. One of the things our coach would often do when you started missing your shots, when you started missing your passes. When you were started getting injured more often. There was some basic skill that you had forgotten or moved away from. And he would bring us back to training and he would make us do the basics.
And it would be amazing how that basic foundation of shooting, the basic foundation of passing, moving down the court properly just brought us all back together because you could start doing all these new-fangled jumps and passes and shots and think you're hot stuff. And when you move away from the basics, you get lousy at it.
So I want to move you to one of the most powerful basics of God's Word. And we need to become aware. Because if you don't, it can cost you dearly. All through the Bible, and all down through my life. I mean, I have been involved in pastoring now for about 40 years. Raised in a pastor's home, so my whole life I've been around pastors and leaders who work with people nonstop from a spiritual perspective, but yet most of what they deal with on a regular basis, is relational issues, and you're going to deal with these emotional exhaustion issues. And God's Word has stunning answers. Now, there's a word used in the Bible that I'm going to grab, because you need to be aware of it. And it doesn't use the word emotional exhaustion, and, it uses the word 'weariness', and then it uses the word 'tired'.
Now, as I go through this, we'll be talking, we're going to dive in a little deeper today. Tired always refers to a physical tiredness. And, that can be fixed with a good sleep. But, when we talk about weariness, it includes tiredness, but it goes beyond where the tiredness or whatever's going on, causes you to become weary emotionally. And when people get weary emotionally, that is when things can get very scary. That's when things can go wrong really quick. That's when entire battles have been lost, is when people aren't aware of this thing called weariness. Now, in the Bible it teaches us there are two kingdoms, the kingdom of darkness, and the kingdom of light. And the kingdom of darkness is always trying to, to stop the kingdom of God from advancing, because advancing means we're winning the lost. We're telling them how special they are, et cetera.
And so, when you look at this in Daniel 7:21-25, it's talking here about this onslaught of the kingdom of darkness that pushes against God's people. And it uses the word in Daniel 7:25, and it says here, that in the King James, that he's going to try to persecute the saints. And in Daniel 7:25 in the Amplified, the great translators who are looking at language today and language then and what is it meaning, they put in the word, he's trying to wear out the saints. Trying to wear them out. And so you need to know, that something is trying to wear you out life. And we're going to dive into this because there's a ton of nuances that deal with this. Tired people could just have a good sleep or have a rest. But weary people will take their own lives, they'll quit their marriages, they'll quit their jobs. They'll stop being creative. They'll just begin to continue to do what they've already done. They get into this robotic, way of living. And no one wants a robotic spouse, that they're married to who's just going through the paces. No one wants to hang around with somebody who just robotically is just going through the motions of existing.
There's something about life that is creative, it's passionate, it's fun, it's exciting. And people who can stay that way, are absolutely attractive. I watched, you know, singles when they're trying to date with somebody. And I've taught singles groups often on hey. You want to find a spouse? Listen to me. You've got to be great material for someone to marry. And you don't want to put on something you're not, so you need to change. Become exciting. Have a good life. Don't expect your spouse to do that for you. And, it's amazing how what are guys attracted to? Men are attracted to that lady who is laughing and giggling and has fun and camping? Absolutely you guys, I'd love to. Canoeing, yeah.
Then she gets married goes oh, I hate canoeing. I hate camping, I hate football. And everything she was putting out as a front. And the guys can be the same way. We need to literally understand this emotional exhaustion. That the Bible's got incredible answers for. So let's dive into this, and let's figure some of this out for you. In the Hebrew, when it talks about wearing someone down, it literally means, this word that I'm using for weariness, mental exhaustion, it makes you old. It literally in the Hebrew means you become old before your time. I have met 30-year-olds who look old. And I've met 70-year-olds that I could hardly keep up to, they're so filled with passion and excitement. But inside, they grow old before their time.
The battle is to make you weary. I had a lady come to me one time, and she said would you pray for me, pretty please pray for me? And I said, what do you want prayer for? She goes, I want you to pray that the devil will stop attacking me. And I said, you don't want me to pray that. She goes, why not? I said, that's praying that you'll die. That's what heaven is. Heaven is a place where there's no more attacks. Oh, no, I don't want to die. Well then, all you've got to do, and I just begin to instruct her on a couple of the things that I want to share with you today. And we're going to dive into a whole lot more. And you'll see as you go through the Word, certain things.
Now here's an interesting key on this topic. In 2 Samuel 16:13, it says David and his men, were walking. Now this is the story, little verse I'm going to read you is buried in the entire story of Absalom, who is attacking king David's kingdom, and he's trying to kill king David. So David, rather than fighting Absalom who was his son, begins to move off to a place where he could protect his kingdom, and he was trying hard not to kill his own son, it's a whole 'nother story. There's only one little piece that I've noticed here, that as David and his mighty men and his powerful troops and all that he loves, is moving in this big caravan. It says, that Shimei went along on the hillside over against him. And he cursed as he went, and he threw stones at David, and he threw dust at him. Big deal.
David's got mighty men that when you read, one guy will take out a thousand men. I mean, three men just to get him a glass of water from the well fought off an entire country's army. I mean, these were incredible men. This guy is cursing, throwing stones, and he's throwing dust. And the king, and all the people that were with him, became weary. This guy is of no threat, it's one man with no armor, no sword, no arrows, he's just angry and mad. He's emotionally upset, and he's throwing rocks, and he's cursing. Now in those days, cursing wasn't just use a, an expletive word. It was, you know, I hope you die. You are this. And it's cursing, or saying negative things they hope will happen to them. And as he cursed the king, and as he cursed the king, it says he became weary. And the people around him became weary.
I want you to know something. That in the last year or so, when the government and all these leaders and news people and reporters are the same. If you want to be recognized as a reporter, reporting good news is not what helps your career. It's finding anything you can, exaggerate it, make it worse than it is. As I talk with people, most people today no longer trust what the news is reporting. No longer trust what leaders, as we poll people. We've noticed the trust in leadership has gone down brutally, as leaders will give a piece of truth, and won't tell you the whole truth, because that might stop you from doing what they think you should do. A very socialistic thing. And so, they won't give you that whole truth, and they think that if they pound away with the negative news, they can cause you to be afraid and then, this fear that pounds away imprint on YouTube, on the news, from our leaders, of provinces, mayors, cities, healthcare. Just take your pick.
When leaders pound away, rather than just show to brilliant people which is Canadians, what is the problem. And, the whole truth, and then help us make decisions, that's where you've got people who are strong, courageous, excited, let's solve this together. But if you pound away with fear, even if it's just words. Even if it's just throwing a rock like we're going to fine you for doing this. Or however you're doing this, you people can become emotionally exhausted, or what the Bible calls, weary. In 2 Samuel 17:2, it says, it's just a little phrase again I've noticed. The talking about how to attack someone. And it says, and I'm going to come against them while he is weary and weak-handed. And I'm going to make him afraid. Alright. These people understood psychological warfare. They were going to attack the other army when they were physically tired, because when they're physically tired, it's easier to become afraid and then you'll begin to make decisions to cause you to run from your strongholds.
Run from the places of victory, to run from the places of strength. To, you know, leave your city, move, get out of your job. People make the worst decisions when they're weary. When they're emotionally exhausted. In 2 Samuel 23:9, it's talking about the mighty men, and it says here that they all ran. All these people ran from the battle. They were protecting their own homes, their own kingdom. But this mighty man who was underneath king David. It says, Eleazar, the son of Dodo the Ahohite, one of the three mighty men with David. When they defied the Philistines that were there gathered for battle the men of Israel were gone away. Well what does that mean? Were 'gone way'. They left. They were frightened. But this one man arose, and he smote the Philistines. He fought with them, until his hand was weary, tired. But when your hand is tired, it's not a weariness that we talk about. It says and his hand cramped onto the sword, and the Lord wrought a great victory that day.
And the people returned after him, only to spoil. Leaders are to be men and women who refuse to be weary. Or emotionally exhausted. When you have the leader of a family, a mom and a dad, who are emotionally exhausted, you're going to make bad decisions, you're going to act bad, you're going to have emotions that are going to train your kids in the wrong way. They will learn to oh, I'm so sick and tired. Oh I'm done. I am so one. I'm just finished. And this language of weariness, this language of emotional exhaustion, it just creeps through people. And people, feel like they're justified in saying it. And, this man refused for the weariness in his hand, he refused for the weariness to get into his head, his heart, his mind. And his hand just cramped around that sword, and he just kept going.
You know what? Sometimes, we look at what we're going through and we think it's so impossible, it never going to stop, and. We need to look at history and remember what it was like for years of going through World War I. Or years of World War II. Or what the Christians went through in Russia, or in China years ago, and many cases still going through. Years and years and the horrible things that happened. And then we start talking about some little thing as though we're really going through it. We need to recognize that we don't have to live our life emotionally exhausted. But the presence of God can touch us in that area. Galatians 6:9 says it this way. Don't be weary. Or don't be emotionally exhausted when you're doing good. It says because there's a reward coming if you don't faint. If you don't quit. If you don't just, ugh. And you pass out, and everybody goes oh the poor thing. I've got news for you.
Some people are, and they need help. But did you know even according to the leading experts today, even most of the disease that goes on in the First Word, it's not bacterial infection, it starts first as emotional exhaustion. And when people emotionally, and by that I mean they go negative. There's not positive emotional, like joy, peace, laughter. No. It's like, all the negative emotions. And so, the Bible is teaching us that if we can understand. Once you understand, are you physically tired? Okay, then sleep. Give your hand a break if you've been raking all day and you're getting cramps in your muscles, the muscles are saying you can't use me anymore, you're going to damage me. Put the rake down if you're raking a quarter section or whatever it is, and rest that thing and it will come back. But weariness of the mind, weariness of the emotions, that emotional exhaustion.
These are actually choices. These are choices. Jesus made a comment, He said according to your faith, so be it done unto you. According to what you believe. If you believe you can't handle any more, you won't. But if you believe that my strength comes from God, that I'm surrounded by the angels of God. Man, things can change, and you can go on and people will look at you and go, man. Or like, what is going on? Nothing, I'm just refusing to give in to the lie of, of weariness. Of emotional exhaustion. So Hebrews, in the Hebrew in the Old Testament, it means old before your time. Now listen to what the Greek word, whenever it starts talking about this kind of tiredness. This weariness. This emotional exhaustion. It says, that it's like becoming like a boat that is broken loose from its anchor, and it's drifting aimlessly.
Another words, your emotions, if they don't, they will just begin to drift aimlessly. And this is going to hurt you so bad. If you do not handle this weariness, this emotional exhaustion in your life and recognize that it's not real. Now, someone's going to get upset now because of all the new psychology that's out there today, oh I know there's a toll that is to play against people. But you know it's one thing to counsel somebody from the safety of an office. It's another thing to talk with people who have risen up for decades and lead people and groups and organizations and won and done battles. I'm not speaking from a place of, oh I don't know, I'm speaking of a place of a dad, a grandpa, a pastor, a CEO, from people that's had to rally the troops and look after thousands of people and impact them for Christ and keep them moving and going.
I'm not telling you something that I just read in a book somewhere. I'm talking about what works. What's worked in my life. What's kept me on that edge of just no, let's get up and keep going. And so weariness, we've got to recognize it's an emotional exhaustion. How do you know when you're weary? Well, I've noticed a couple of things that I want to talk to you about. People become indifferent. You know, when we counsel people in marriages, a couple will come in and if they're fighting and angry, oh. There's lots of hope. You'll find that who you love the most, you have the ability to hate the most. So, if there's still a hate there, they don't, their anger and oh man you've got to separate them almost. There's probably still hope. But when they come in and they're indifferent. Yeah. Hm. If you say so yeah. Um yeah, whatever. That is scary. Because then people are pretty much close to finished.
And then what I've noticed beside indifference, is when people are sarcastic. When I meet people who come to church for example, and they've been in other churches. When they come in they're just sarcastic about my message. Sarcastic about what we do as a church, the worship and the praise, the things, it's kind of like they're an expert and they're just sarcastic. You know, that they are burnt out. You know they are, they are emotionally exhausted, they've gotten weary, and they have made decisions on the inside. And when you make, we call, I call those your inner judgments. When you make an inner judgment about life, you have burned into your heart, a belief. It's a negative belief. But according to your faith, your beliefs, so be it done unto you.
And so, judgments. We make these judgments. And these judgments can be something that, as simple and I often use this as, you know, all men are jerks. You know, it's one thing to teasingly say it when couples are hanging out together and men are talking. But when a person actually believes it, something has happened. And they've made this inner judgment. And now the rest of their life, no man will be able to touch that woman with any kind of love, because that inner judgment governs her. No wonder in James 5:16 it says, confess to one another therefore your faults, your slips, your false steps, your offenses, your sins. And pray for one another, that you may be healed and restored to a spiritual tone of mind and heart. This is way bigger than oh confess to somebody you stole bubble gum when you were nine. Or, you know, that I was speeding the other day. No, it's actually, not talking about that. It's talking more about the things you're starting to believe, the exhaustion, this feeling of judging things.
And then it says, the earnest heartfelt continued prayer of a righteous man, makes tremendous power available, dynamic in its working. When I pray for people, I know that I can't come against their will. I know that I can't make them give their life for Christ. I can't make them stop sinning. I can't make them, I can't get them healed against their beliefs. You know, sometimes we just forget some of this stuff. But it's saying here, that you're making tremendous power available to them, and it's dynamic in its working. When you pray for someone, and you know they're going though stuff. You need to know that this weariness that pushes against them is what's going on. And, that as you pray, the power of God begins to flow around them, and they begin to kind of reach out and they can sense His strength, His victory, and they can keep going and keep themselves on the straight and narrow. That's why we should be praying for people, so that there's a strengthening on the inside of them that's powerful.
Well, today as we've been talking about this weariness, if that's you, just how much I've touched on it today will give you hope as you realize oh man, this is just an emotional weariness. It's an emotional exhaustion. It's not just a physical tiredness. And I can turn it around in seconds I have changed myself when I begin to, oh Leon, this is just an emotional exhaustion. It's just weariness. Turn it, and I can change on a dime. Flip the switch back on, you can do it right now. And I have found it's so easy when I practice certain principles and develop certain skills that I want to share with you in part number two.