How To Overcome Exhaustion

I want to begin by saying that feeling tired after a day's work is a common experience. If you haven't experienced tiredness, then you probably haven't been putting in much effort.

June 5, 2023

I want to begin by saying that feeling tired after a day’s work is a common experience. If you haven’t experienced tiredness, then you probably haven’t been putting in much effort. I want to emphasize that tiredness is not inherently negative. In our current society, there’s a tendency to avoid getting tired altogether. However, tiredness is actually a positive indicator that you have been active and productive. In fact, even Jesus in the Bible experienced tiredness. So if you find yourself feeling tired, don’t view it as a bad thing. The real issue lies in getting burnt out, which is different from regular tiredness. Tiredness is a natural outcome of work, whereas burnout is a result of excessive and draining toil. It’s crucial to understand the distinction between the two to avoid falling into either extreme. Instead of toiling or doing nothing, the ideal approach is to engage in meaningful work without crossing the threshold into burnout. This way, tiredness serves as a reminder that it’s time to rest and appreciate what you have accomplished. Remember, tiredness is neither wrong nor evil. It’s simply a part of how God has designed us, signaling when we need to take a break and enjoy the fruits of our labor.

In the current era, many of us strive to avoid exhaustion by conserving our energy. However, I personally choose not to adopt this approach because I tend to get tired easily. While some may argue that intentionally exerting oneself to the point of fatigue can lead to a better night’s sleep, I believe that it’s essential to recognize the distinction between healthy tiredness and detrimental burnout.

Do you understand the difference? Tiredness is not necessarily a negative thing; it can actually indicate that you’re engaging in productive activities. When you feel tired after a day of work, it signifies that you’ve put in a good effort. However, if you’re experiencing burnout, that’s a clear sign that something is amiss, and seeking assistance is crucial. Many of you may relate to this scenario, going to jobs or corporate offices and returning home exhausted. It’s natural to feel tired after a day of hard work, as the Bible teaches us that diligence leads to prosperity. Diligence entails consistent effort towards fulfilling your purpose.

Somewhere, I feel like people outside the ministry understand that tiredness is acceptable, but within the ministry, we often view it as taboo. As a priest, after preaching for four hours, I feel tired, and I see it as a positive sign. It indicates that I have been effective and productive. This week has been particularly fulfilling for me as I preached for four hours every day, and it was an amazing experience. When I hit the bed, I fell asleep immediately without having to engage in any mental exercises. My body was genuinely tired, and I believe that God provides sleep to His beloved. Interestingly, I want to share something with you. When you are tired and sleep, God continues to work, and He can accomplish a great deal while you rest. However, this doesn’t imply that you should neglect work and only sleep. Both work and sleep are blessings given to humanity by God. Even before the fall, God granted both work and sleep to humans. Therefore, they are not part of our fallen nature; they are inherently good things. Work is a blessing. Once, I was conversing with young people, and I asked them, “What do you envision doing when you reach heaven?”

Most of their answers revolved around either worshiping or simply relaxing, as they believed they had worked enough on Earth. However, what if I told you that in heaven, God might surprise you by saying, “Hey, come and learn. Let me give you responsibility. Can you take care of this?” How would you respond then? Some may argue, “But God, I’m in heaven. I’m supposed to rest.” However, receiving responsibility is also a blessing. It signifies your maturity and shows that God trusts you with something valuable. Work itself is a blessing.

2 Thessalonians 3:10 – The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.

Therefore, if you’re not working, you should not expect to receive sustenance.For the students, I would say your work is your studies. So if you’re a student, if you’re not working and if you’re not studying, then don’t eat The Bible indeed states that “he who does not work should not eat.” It emphasizes the importance of engaging in some form of purposeful activity. When I mention work, I am referring to finding and fulfilling your purpose, being a blessing to others through your endeavors. Work itself is a blessing; it is not a curse. Toiling, on the other hand, is associated with hardship and laborious struggles. You were not created for constant toil or trivial pursuits. Let’s consider the story of Peter, an expert fisherman, who toiled all night long but caught nothing. Toiling is not your destiny. Today, I declare freedom for anyone who has been toiling. From this week onwards, your life is going to change. God will not only give you favor but make you the favor in your workplace or company.

Toiling is not your destiny. Work, on the other hand, is meaningful and fulfilling. Therefore, it is important not to work solely for the sake of money, but rather to work towards fulfilling your purpose. Let me share something with you. Relying solely on your salary can become a significant limitation. It can define the extent of your efforts and restrict what you can achieve. Instead of working for your salary, focus on working for your purpose. When you work with a sense of purpose, you naturally strive for excellence, and you will be rewarded for your dedication. Many people find themselves trapped in the same cycle of limitations, moving from one salary level to another, while still experiencing the same complaints. This is often because they are solely motivated by money. Remember, your salary is not your ultimate source. God is your ultimate source. If God desires to provide you with financial abundance, He can transform anything, even a simple chair, into money. Nothing is impossible for our supernatural God.

What I’m trying to convey is the importance of working for a purpose rather than solely for money. When you align your work with a sense of purpose, strive for absolute excellence in everything you do. By doing so, you increase your chances of being rewarded for your outstanding performance. When young people join my team and their work falls short of fulfilling our purpose, they often become upset, assuming that I don’t appreciate the amount of effort they’ve invested. However, when I present that work to my clients, I can’t simply explain that my employees spent 40 hours on it. What truly matters to everyone, including clients, is whether the work has successfully achieved its intended purpose or not. Hours worked hold little significance; it is the purpose that truly matters.

The crucial question to ask is whether your work is fulfilling the vision or not. We often take pride in the number of hours we put in, but that is irrelevant. What truly matters is whether you have achieved the purpose and fulfilled the vision. Break free from the limited mindset of focusing solely on money. Strive for excellence and surpass that limitation. As an employer, nothing brings me greater joy than witnessing someone working in my company with a focus on value rather than money. It fills me with delight and inspires me to reward them not only for their efforts but also from the profits we generate. They have grasped the vision and become truly valuable. I encourage you all to become valuable and productive individuals, deriving your worth from the vision you have achieved, not merely from your salary. Rather than fixating on moving to the next salary package, shift your focus from one level of vision to another. Your salary will naturally be the result and reward for your exceptional work and dedication.

Work is a blessing, while toiling is considered a curse. Therefore, it is advisable to engage in meaningful work rather than mindless toil. Furthermore, if you find yourself in a state of toil, I encourage you to place your trust in God’s provision for your needs. Believing in God’s power becomes crucial. It is essential to emphasize that regardless of your circumstances, you possess the absolute right to have faith in God and proclaim that open heavens are your portion, as stated in the Bible. God challenges you to test His promises, assuring that He will open the windows of heaven and ensure you lack no good thing. This is an opportunity to witness and experience firsthand.

Mathew 11:28 – Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Jesus calls upon those who are weary and burdened to come to Him. His invitation is extended to individuals who are diligently engaged in labor and carrying heavy loads. It is important to understand that the criterion for approaching Jesus is not laziness but rather hard work. Jesus welcomes those who are tired, as their weariness grants them the credibility and eligibility to seek His rest. This opportunity is not extended to lazy individuals, as they do not possess the same need and qualification.

Mathew 11:29-30 – Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

Jesus says, “Come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Initially, it may seem counterintuitive that Jesus asks us to take his yoke upon ourselves when we are already tired and in need of relief. However, there is deeper meaning behind his words. By taking his yoke, Jesus is inviting us to partner with him and learn from him. Although we may feel resistant to learning in our state of exhaustion, Jesus assures us that his yoke is easy to bear and his burden is light.

So, what exactly is this yoke that Jesus refers to? It represents the purpose of God upon our lives. Jesus encourages us to embrace and share in his mission in the Kingdom. Despite our weariness, Jesus promises that joining him in this yoke will bring us rest and fulfillment.

Yes, Jesus said, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.'” When we receive Jesus, we are filled with the well of eternal life. This well can nourish and satisfy us and our families. It is important to understand that this well of eternal life is none other than the person of the Holy Spirit. As soon as we receive Jesus, we are sealed with the Holy Spirit, as mentioned in Ephesians 1:13. The Holy Spirit is sufficient to sustain our lives and the lives of those around us.

However, Jesus also emphasizes in John 7 that those who believe in him will have streams of living water flowing from within them. The well is meant for our personal sustenance, while the streams are intended to bless nations and reach the ends of the world. God’s heart is not limited to individuals; it encompasses the entire world. The Spirit within us can sustain us, but it is the Spirit upon us that overflows and becomes a blessing to everything and everyone around us.

Therefore, Jesus invites us to come to him when we are weary and burdened, offering us his yoke so that we can operate in the streams of living water and flow with his purposes. Through this connection with Jesus, we not only find personal refreshment but also become channels of blessing to impact the world around us.

According to Paul, it is through dying that we can experience resurrection. Paul speaks of pouring himself out as a drink offering, symbolizing the act of giving everything he has, knowing that once he has emptied himself, God will refill him so that he can move into overflow. The concept of overflow can only occur when we have poured ourselves out completely, as the Holy Spirit within us has the ability to move into overflow. However, it is essential to note that overflow cannot happen unless we have emptied ourselves entirely. You may wonder about the potential exhaustion or burnout that could result from this process. That’s why Jesus invites us to come to him when we are tired, so that he can realign our purpose. Through this realignment, we learn from him and begin to overflow with streams of living water. It is important to highlight that the term “streams” is used, indicating multiple streams flowing out from within us, enabling us to be a blessing to many.

It is crucial to understand that our calling extends beyond our own families. If we limit our blessings to our family alone, we are acting selfishly within the Kingdom. Instead, we are called to be a blessing to nations. Jesus instructs us to go to the ends of the earth and make disciples of all nations. By taking Jesus’ yoke upon ourselves, even in our weariness, we witness the Kingdom of God supporting us and backing us in this mission.

When a police officer stops a person driving a truck, regardless of the truck’s size or the driver’s stature, the truck must come to a halt. It will stop. Why? Because the authority vested in the police officer commands obedience. The power of the government supports that authority, albeit invisibly. Similarly, when you align yourself with the purposes of the kingdom, you experience the full support of God’s kingdom in your life—an unwavering and comprehensive backing.

Whenever you find yourself feeling tired, it serves as a valuable indicator that you need to seek solace in Jesus. Take the time to separate yourself from the busyness of life and spend quality moments with the Lord. Allow Him to rejuvenate and refresh you. However, it’s important to understand that His rejuvenation isn’t solely for the purpose of going on vacation, only to return and need another vacation. While vacations are delightful and can rejuvenate us, there are times when we may find ourselves becoming exhausted even during a vacation, yearning for yet another break. It’s a relatable experience. That’s why when Jesus speaks of granting us rest, it’s not just a one-time event—it’s meant to be a lifestyle. Rest should be ingrained as an integral part of your way of life.

Reflecting on the Israelites’ journey from Egypt to the promised land, God instructed them to honor the Sabbath, to set apart the seventh day as a day of rest dedicated to the Lord. The reasoning behind this commandment was to remind them of their previous bondage as slaves in Egypt and the importance of finding rest and freedom in Him.

The reason for keeping a Sabbath day and resting with the Lord is to allow Him to transform your identity from that of a slave to that of a beloved child. Slaves do not have the luxury of taking breaks or resting; they toil tirelessly every day. So when God asks us to honor and trust Him by observing a day of rest, it’s not a deception. Instead, it’s an invitation to experience a profound shift in our identity and relationship with Him.

Moreover, it wasn’t just the seventh day that the Israelites set apart for the Lord. They also observed a Sabbath year, every seventh year, during which they refrained from planting crops. God assured them that in the sixth year, He would provide a bountiful harvest that would sustain them not only for the sixth year but also for the seventh and eighth years. This reveals the importance of having provisions and reserves. Living in the wilderness and relying solely on daily manna is a backup plan (plan B). Your true calling is to live in the promised land where God abundantly blesses you in the sixth year, allowing you to rest and take a break in the seventh year while still having enough for the eighth year, where you sow seeds for future harvests.

God desires something more than just financial security. It is important to cultivate meaningful relationships and connections. That’s why I urge you to avoid merely living from one paycheck to another. There should be an abundance that surpasses your immediate needs. If there isn’t, allow me to pray for you, asking for God’s provision. There should be an overflow in your life, enabling you to break free from the cycle of living paycheck to paycheck. Remember, you are called to be a source of blessing to others. Furthermore, God promises that on the sixth day, He will bless you abundantly, to the point where the abundance will sustain you until the eighth year. God encourages you to do this so that you can develop a deeper trust in Him.

If God were to ask you to take a break from your work and instruct you to separate yourself, specifically to engage in missionary work in the poker community in Nepal, how many of you would be able to commit to a whole year without worrying about personal concerns? This scenario highlights the importance of having the freedom to respond to God’s call. I aim to illustrate that your primary identity is not that of an employee, but rather, you are a child of God with a divine mandate to establish His kingdom. Once you grasp this truth, being an employee of a company becomes a secondary role, serving as a means to fulfill the greater mandate of discipling nations. If you find yourself lacking financial resources for missions, it begs the question: what are you currently allocating your finances towards?

I want to emphasize the importance of not living from one paycheck to another. It is my challenge to you. May God bless your relationships and connections, allowing abundance to flow into your life. This way, when God calls upon you, you can be a constant source of provision, like an ATM machine. I pray that you become a reliable and accessible channel through which God’s resources can be withdrawn for the advancement of His kingdom. There is no greater privilege than living for the kingdom.

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.

These words were not exclusively intended for pastors, but for all believers. They serve as a powerful reminder that if you follow Jesus Christ, you possess a divine commission from heaven. That remarkable message from heaven is not limited to pastors; it is meant for you as well. Paul emphasizes the importance of flourishing in the work of the Lord, understanding that the labor you undertake for Him is not in vain. It carries eternal significance and rewards. Your efforts within your company may not have eternal implications, but what you do for the kingdom of God holds everlasting value. In Hebrews 11:3, we read about Abel, who by faith offered his best to God. The word “offers” reveals that God still perceives Abel’s offering as ongoing. Similarly, what you do for the Lord has the potential to become eternal, continuously impacting lives and ushering in God’s kingdom.

It is crucial to partner with the kingdom of God. When you align yourself with the purposes of the kingdom, you will experience the power of resurrection. Be diligent and intentional in your partnership with the kingdom. When the kingdom starts backing you up, you will witness an overflow in every aspect of your life. Consider this: if the government of India can provide good salaries to its employees, how much more will the kingdom reward you? The kingdom cares about your children’s education, your daily needs, and all your activities. Devote your life to the kingdom, for there is no greater purpose. As Jesus taught, do not worry about what you will eat or wear. Instead, seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Money, influence, and material possessions are not meant to be pursued as ultimate goals. Rather, they are meant to be added to your life as you pursue God’s dream and the advancement of His kingdom.

We have been fervently praying for a revival to come to India, but it is essential to realize that God is seeking individuals who are willing to become the catalysts of that revival. Instead of solely asking for revival, someone needs to step forward and declare, “Lord, I am willing to be the vessel through which revival can manifest.” In India, there are people already present who can serve as agents of revival, but we must rise up and take our place. This is our land, and we need to stand up and partner with God to become the revival He dreams of for our nation.

One important lesson I have learned is that effortless living lies in observing what the Lord is already doing and aligning ourselves accordingly. If we position ourselves in the direction of God’s work, we will experience a natural flow. It’s like being at the beach: if you try to go against the waves, you will face resistance and pressure. However, if you align yourself with the waves and go in their direction, it becomes effortless and enjoyable. Likewise, if we position ourselves in the flow of where the kingdom of God is moving, we will experience a life of ease and purpose—effortless living becomes our portion.

Instead of asking ourselves, we should inquire of the Lord, “What are You doing?” Even before we arrived at a particular place or situation, God was already at work. It is essential to align our hearts with what God is already doing so that we can flow in His direction. Sometimes, we may mistakenly take credit for the things that happen, thinking that nothing was happening until we arrived. However, God was already at work before our involvement. We may come to church at 10 o’clock, but God was present long before that. He initiated a movement, a stirring, and we simply aligned ourselves with what He was already doing. We do not initiate anything; it is God who initiates, and our role is to respond. True worship is a response to God, while self-righteousness involves attempting to initiate things on our own accord.

At the very least, we should consider initiating. I took the initiative to start the ministry, to begin this endeavor. I have engaged in worship, prayer, and reading of the Word. Everything we do in worship is a response to what God is already doing. We are simply responding. Lord, what is it that you are doing? I am unsure, but I am confident that you are actively working. According to the Bible, you have completed everything since the foundation of the earth. It is finished. What is it that you are currently working on? What have you already accomplished in this place? I desire to align myself with the direction of your completed work.

And that’s how you operate from a place of rest. Instead of toiling and trying to figure out what you should do, you operate from a place of rest, knowing that God has already completed everything. Every ministry that you may consider starting, God has already finished it before the foundation of the earth. So rather than attempting to figure it out on your own, becoming overly analytical and logical, ask the Lord. He will reveal to you that He has already finished this, my child. Stand where you are, for you are God’s masterpiece, created for good works which He prepared in advance. God created everything that you are. We are merely walking in His plans, saying yes to what the Lord has done, and sometimes mistakenly attributing it to our own merit.

No, everything is indeed God’s grace. However, our responsibility lies in understanding and positioning ourselves in the direction where God is leading us, where He has already completed His work. We need to grasp the fact that God has finished it, so we don’t have to strive for it. Instead, we can rest assured that God is in control and walk from a place of absolute rest, placing our trust in the Lord.

Psalm 127:2 – It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep.

It emphasizes the importance of not rising early and staying up late in anxious toil, but rather experiencing restful sleep, a gift from God. If you struggle with sleeplessness or restlessness, declare these words over your life. It is vain, it is futile to work tirelessly without sleep because God provides peaceful rest. However, I urge you to also consider the preceding words. They state that unless the Lord builds the house, those who attempt to build it do so in vain. If the Lord hasn’t built your ministry, whatever you are building will be in vain. Similarly, if the Lord hasn’t built your business, whatever you are constructing will be in vain.

Just recognizing that you’re engaged in a task and witnessing its successful outcome, while also acknowledging God’s involvement, indicates that the Lord has already completed the work. It is finished. Therefore, take a moment to pause, rest, and be still, knowing that He is God. Acknowledge that it is God who has accomplished it and trust in His guidance. Instead of attempting to figure everything out on your own and becoming overwhelmed with stress and worry, choose to rest.

Practical points to avoid exhaustion

The first point is to pause. Take intentional breaks in the midst of your work and responsibilities. Allow yourself a brief pause, whether it’s for five, ten, or fifteen minutes – whatever suits you. Just pause. Take a momentary break from whatever you’re engaged in.

The second point is to breathe. Although we all breathe naturally, we often forget to truly breathe deeply as we become consumed by the demands of the corporate rat race. So, pause and take deep breaths. Be still. As the Bible says, “Be still and know that I am God.” Pause and breathe.

The third point is to acknowledge. What should you acknowledge? Acknowledge that you are loved. Acknowledge that God is in control. Acknowledge that Jesus has accomplished everything on the cross.

Pause. Breathe. Acknowledge.

I’m providing you with these points because the more we immerse ourselves in the world, it’s a fact that we are living in this world and interacting with it, the easier it is to forget our spiritual reality and begin to conform to worldly behavior.

As a shepherd, one of the challenges I face is ensuring that I don’t adopt the language of the sheep. What is the language of the sheep? It revolves around my family, my problems, and my personal issues. If I spend too much time immersed in the concerns of my flock, I will inevitably start speaking the same language. Therefore, I need to recognize when I am becoming weary and fatigued, and then turn back to Jesus to be rejuvenated. I must take His yoke upon me and allow His presence to overflow within me.

Similarly, the more we involve ourselves in the world, the more we begin to speak like the world. This transformation often occurs subconsciously, without us even realizing it. We can recite numerous Bible verses, but our speech may still reflect the ways of the world. That’s why it is crucial to pause from time to time. Pause, catch yourself, take a moment to breathe, be still, and acknowledge that God is good.

You have a crucial presentation ahead of you that has the potential to shape the future of your company. However, just before you proceed, I encourage you to take a moment and pray. O Lord, I acknowledge Your goodness and recognize that Your favor rests upon my life. I draw inspiration from Nehemiah in the Bible, who, before responding to the king’s inquiry, paused and prayed, seeking guidance from the Lord. As a result, he received favor from the king, who offered his support in rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem. In the same way, take a moment to seek God’s wisdom and guidance as you prepare to deliver your presentation. Trust in His direction and have faith that He will provide what you need.

Take a moment. Find a pause in your busy schedule. Recognize that simply being busy is not healthy. It is essential to be intentional about creating moments of rest. If your work schedule is from 10 to 5, be deliberate in how you incorporate breaks. It doesn’t need to be a two-hour fasting retreat; that would be counterproductive and a misuse of your time. Instead, take just five minutes to pause and reflect on the Lord. Use that time to realign your mind and heart, affirming that God is good, that He loves you, and that His work is already finished. Overflow with the assurance of His completed work in your life. Take a moment to realign yourself.

By consistently practicing this, you will discover that you are working from a posture of rest. Rest will no longer be an isolated event; it will become your way of life. Rest must become your lifestyle.

I believe this message holds immense significance for me as it has become an integral part of my life. It is deeply ingrained in everything I do, be it ministry or business. Subconsciously, God has guided me in programming my heart and mind to embrace a lifestyle of rest. If you observe closely, the impact of this lifestyle is evident in those around me. If you were to ask my colleagues and employees, they would tell you that we no longer toil. We have found a way to work without excessive labor.

I invite you to visit us on a weekday and witness how smoothly this place operates. We strive for excellence in all that we do, without compromising on quality. Our commitment to excellence remains unwavering, even as we work effortlessly. We complete every task entrusted to us with utmost diligence. I want to impart this grace into your life, so that you can experience a life of effortless achievement, combined with excellence. You won’t find yourself solely focused on work, neglecting your family, your spiritual journey, or your personal well-being. You can have it all. To achieve this, rest must become your lifestyle. Remember, tiredness is not inherently bad; it’s getting burnt out that we should avoid. When you feel tired, take it as a signal to realign yourself with Jesus. Return to Him, realign your reality, and you will experience an overflow. You will become a blessing.

About the author

Samuel Thomas

Samuel is a second-generation pastor with a rich heritage in the Holy Spirit. He has been the pastor of Lighthouse Church since 2017 with a two-word mission statement: transforming lives. Samuel's priority in life has been to know Christ and to grow deeper in His love.

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