20 Ways We Can Refresh Our Souls When We Are Weary
Have you ever been “crying tired?” Crying tired is deep weariness and is not from physical exhaustion; instead, it comes when a person experiences mental and/or spiritual fatigue. Sleeping it off is not an option, because weariness is a soul issue. But a weary spirit can cause physical lethargy.
Webster’s 1828 Dictionary partly defines weary as “Having the patience exhausted, or the mind yielding to discouragement.” If we’re not careful, weariness can lead to depression. While weariness is also used to describe physical fatigue, we will concentrate on its spiritual side.
Christians, we can rejoice because we have a Savior who knows our trials. Jesus said, “I have said these things to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). When you’re hit with a weariness that threatens to dishearten you, lean into the Lord.
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What Causes Christians to Become Weary?
Christians are not promised a pain-free life. Weariness is soul pain and it comes because of a number of things, including but not limited to:
Impatience: We have been raised in a culture of “I want it all and I want it now.” We get impatient for what we are supposed to have and be. This is ungodly and that’s why it wearies us. There exists, however, a holy impatience, and that’s what we feel as we wait for Christ (Titus 2:13). This impatience results in hope, which is never put to shame (Romans 5:3-5).
Social media: This deserves a place on our list of things that weary us. Social media promotes self, and lots of people suffer from FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). How much time do we waste scrolling through peoples’ perfectly depicted lives, wondering why ours isn’t as “perfect?”
Unsaved loved ones: Unsaved people are against Christ — there is no grey area. This is wearying to our souls because we know the end for the unsaved — a life in hell enduring the wrath of God forever. That thought burdens us if they continue to refuse His kindness.
Gossips: The sin of pride leads people to be “tale bearers” (Proverbs 18:8), spreading unsubstantiated rumors so they can feel better about themselves (or more in control, powerful, etc.). Even if the truth is whispered to others, if it’s private, it has no business being spread. Gossips wear people out.
Long-term illness: We weary of being sick because we feel it’s a burden on others and because we feel useless.
Grief: Grief wearies the griever and those who are in proximity to the one who is grieving. A period of grief is natural. Lingering grief which goes on for years, however, tires everyone because we have hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13), and we are to bring all our burdens to Christ (Matthew 11:30; 1 Peter 5:7). Extended grief by Christians displays a lack of faith.
Betrayal: A husband’s infidelity, a family member’s or friend’s disloyalty, or deceitfulness by a fellow church member brings a weariness to our souls.
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5 Scriptures about Weariness, and Their Solution
God’s Word is replete with passages which address the weariness of our souls, and what we can do when we find ourselves in that state.
1. The Problem
Psalm 6:6 - “I am weary with my moaning; every night I flood my bed with tears; I drench my couch with my weeping.”
Psalm 6:9 - “The LORD has heard my plea; the LORD accepts my prayer.”
2. The Problem
Proverbs 3:11 - “My son, do not despise the LORD’s discipline or be weary of His reproof.”
Proverbs 3:12 - “For the LORD reproves him whom He loves, as a father the son in whom he delights.”
3. The Problem
Isaiah 38:14 - “Like a swallow or a crane I chirp; I moan like a dove. My eyes are weary with looking upward. O Lord, I am oppressed; be my pledge of safety!”
Isaiah 38:20 - “The LORD will save me, and we will play my music on stringed instruments all the days of our lives, at the house of the LORD.”
4. The Problem
Jeremiah 30:12-13 - “For thus says the LORD: Your hurt is incurable, and your wound is grievous. There is none to uphold your cause, no medicine for your wound, no healing for you.”
Jeremiah 31:25 - “For I will satisfy the weary soul, and every languishing soul I will replenish.”
5. The Problem
Matthew 11:28a-29, “All who labor and are heavy laden…”
The Ultimate Solution
Matthew 11:328b-30 - Jesus said, “Come to Me…and I will give you rest. 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. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.”
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20 Things to Do When You Are Weary
What do you do for weariness therapy? By that I mean, what do you do that helps you think and pray through issues that weary you? Following are twenty ideas (with a bonus) you may find helpful when you are weary. Each will help you focus on others and more importantly, on our God who never leaves us or forsakes us“ (Deuteronomy 31:6; Hebrews 13:5).
1. Pray. Isn’t this the best course for any of life’s issues? It is!
2. Share the Gospel with a lost friend or family member. How good it is to share the living hope we each have in Christ.
3. Rest. This is more than just sleep, for sleep alone doesn’t assuage our soul from its weariness. If you can, “shut down” for at least a half day and longer. Try to disengage from stress-inducing things (or people).
4. Bible study. This is a no-brainer, really. But more than your daily reading, add a deep word study of the word weary and/or weariness. Follow it up with a study of the words joy, contentment, and hope. Consider how each author expressed his thoughts.
5. Take a walk in God’s natural setting (weather and health permitting). Go to a nearby park, walking trail, or even around your neighborhood. Fill your senses with the sights, sounds, smells, and touch of the greens of spring, sounds of summer, colors of fall, and coolness of winter. Turn it up by turning your walk into one of prayer and praise.
6. Pop your earbuds in and listen to some relaxing or worship music. Both may lead you to worship the Lord.
7. Do some planting. Sowing vegetable or flower seeds gives us the promise of watching a tiny seed grow into a plant which brings us food or colorful and fragrant flowers. Some flowers are edible, too.
8. Read The Valley of Vision. This puritan prayer book is inspiring with its prayers whose fragrance reaches to heaven.
9. Visit with a close friend. Whether it’s for a fun outing or you decide to engage in deep conversation (or no conversation at all), time with one who knows you best allows you a release from weariness.
10. Take a restorative weekend trip. Close by or farther away, a change in scenery often gives you a new perspective on wearisome issues.
11. Count your blessings. Reflect on where you’ve been, where you are, and what you have, by God’s grace.
12. Star gaze. Go somewhere (safe) on a clear night and look at the magnitude of the stars and planets. If you own a telescope or live near an observatory, enjoy an outing to get a close-up view.
13. Practice your culinary skills. Some people “therapy bake.” The act of stirring, mixing, sautéing, etc. gives you an occupation to change your mindset. Share your finished products with your family or with a needy church member or neighbor.
14. Make some greeting cards and send them to people in need (shut-ins, missionaries, prisoners, discouraged or ill people, etc.). Helping them helps you.
15. Work on a puzzle with a picture of God’s creation. The act of piecing it together will give you a sense of accomplishment and even wonder as you consider the beauty of what God has created.
16. Attend an online biblical conference. There are many free streaming conferences.
17. Visit a housebound church member and seek to encourage them. Don’t miss the opportunity to encourage a church member who needs what you need.
18. Grab a group of friends for an afternoon or evening of games. These gatherings often bring great laughter (Luke 6:21).
19. Read to the blind. Offer to read a meaningful book (the Bible, perhaps?) to sight-impaired people in your area.20. Visit your local library. You don’t even have to check out a book. Browse the children’s section and have fun re-visiting your youth as you sit in a short chair and giggle along with a comedic character.
21. Get off social media. Take a short break or a long one. Or cut it completely out. You know the wise choice.
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A Prayer for When We’re Weary
(This is a prayer modeled after David’s cry to the Lord God in Psalm 69.)
Save me, O God!
For my weariness has encompassed me as waters cover a drowning man.
Lord, You know my failings. You know my sins and You know the sins others have committed against me.
Father, don’t let my weakness cause another to fall or bring shame to Your great name.
Let my life be one of praise and prayer to You, that I may magnify Your wonderful name.
I am weepy and humbled.
Yet I lift my prayers to You and I know in the abundance of Your steadfast love and faithfulness, you will save me from my weariness.
“Answer me, O LORD, for your steadfast love is good;
according to Your abundant mercy, turn to me.”
I haven’t found pity or comfort from man.
Instead, I come to You, my God, for comfort and rest from my weariness.
I will praise You for Your goodness and mercy, and when others see it, they will praise You.
In the matchless name of Jesus, I pray. Amen
A true Christian walks in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16). But many may wonder how. At the moment we surrender our lives to Jesus as Savior and Lord, thus begins our process of becoming more like our Lord. While in one sense we are sanctified in Christ the moment we become believers, God has instituted a process of sanctification, whereby we progressively become more like Him (Hebrews 10:10). Everyone matures at a different pace, and God uses each person’s past and present as He teaches them about Himself through His Word (from personal and group Bible study, and from their pastor’s proclamation of the Word). As we mature, we learn more and more how to walk in the Spirit, because we are becoming more like Christ.
All that being said, God prepares us for this sometimes wearisome life we live here on earth. In essence, it’s preparation for the best that’s to come (eternal life with Christ in heaven!) As we live this life the Lord has given us, God knows exactly what we need, even when we are weary from life’s burdens. Rest in Him — in His peace — for Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid” (John 14:27). What a wonderful thing it is to be a Christian!
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Lisa Loraine Baker is the multiple award-winning author of Someplace to be Somebody. She writes fiction and nonfiction. In addition to writing for the Salem Web Network, Lisa serves as a Word Weavers’ mentor and is part of a critique group. She also is a member of BRRC. Lisa and her husband, Stephen, a pastor, live in a small Ohio village with their crazy cat, Lewis.