“They who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31).
Our healthy connection to God will cause us to live with energy and endurance. Part of this connection is heart-to-heart intimacy with Him, but another aspect is to have our minds renewed with truth and not lies (Romans 12:2). It is these beliefs I want to talk about today.
Tiredness is usually more of a mindset problem than a problem connected to a lack of rest. We might think our tiredness is a purely physical problem (not enough rest, being too busy, etc.), but our lack of energy can also have spiritual roots resulting from faulty beliefs and damaging spiritual habits.
Here are four spiritual reasons we might be tired. As we respond to these, our energy will increase in dramatic ways.
- We Have a Religious or Perfectionistic Mindset – “The joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10). Many are tired because they do not value joy, and one root of this lack of joy is the religious mindset. This way of thinking always believes we are not measuring up and that God is mad at us. Feeling like a failure wears us out quickly, sapping our joy. Religion only celebrates and becomes joyful with perfection, while families celebrate and become joyful with progress. When we see incremental growth, we become encouraged and have the strength to try again. Each failure is an indication that we made an effort to grow. We can reframe our mindsets to see this progress instead of our mistakes—let’s be encouraged by what’s going right! This will be a key to renew our strength.
- We Talk Frequently About How Tired We Are – “Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also the tongue is a small member . . . “ (James 3:4-5). Our words greatly set the course of our lives. If we only use our words to describe our lives instead of to change our lives, then we most likely will not change. “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits” (Proverbs 18:21). The quality of our lives today is largely determined by what we spoke in the past. While we don’t deny our experiences, we cannot get our beliefs from our experiences or feelings. Many are tired because they regularly prophesy over themselves, “I am so tired.” Certainly, we can express we are tired at times but regularly proclaiming it is foolish as our lives repeat what our mouths declare.
- We Do Not Apply Faith to our Actions and Decisions – Many think they are tired because of the many things they have to do. The truth for them is this: It is not what we are doing that is causing us to be tired, but what we believe while doing it. “Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7). I recently emphasized this verse in a blog called “God Loves a Cheerful Decider.” Cheerfulness is the fruit of attaching faith to the decisions and commitments we make. Faith always increases energy but acting reluctantly or under obligation weighs us down.
- We Are Isolated from a Culture of Encouragement – “Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees. Say to those who are fearful-hearted, ‘Be strong, do not fear!’ . . . Then the lame shall leap like a deer” (Isaiah 35:3-6). One key to strengthening and energizing ourselves is to give and receive encouragement. I visit many church leadership teams. When I encounter a tired team, I almost always discover a lack of encouragement happening on the team. I encourage them to make it a regular habit to take time in meetings to encourage individuals with what the team appreciates about them. If you are not in a culture of encouragement, then ministries like Igniting Hope can speak words into your life to strengthen you. We can help you move past the disappointments of life and rise up to new levels of victory and influence.
As we become people who celebrate progress, speak life to ourselves, apply faith to our actions and decisions, and create and perpetuate cultures of encouragement around us, we will begin to see our energy levels rise accordingly. Our Father is the God of all hope; He never grows weary and He increases the power of the weak (Isaiah 40:28). Receive His strength today, as we remember that He gives us everything we need. We bless you with rest and joy to strengthen your spirit and see new life rise up wherever you speak to it!
ABOUT STEVE BACKLUND
Steve Backlund was a senior pastor for seventeen years before joining the team at Bethel Church in Redding, CA in 2008. Steve is a leader developer, joy activist, a revivalist teacher, and as Senior Associate Director, is a key part of the Global Legacy (a ministry of Bethel Church) leadership team. He travels extensively throughout the world encouraging churches and leaders and has authored a number of books.