Do You Feel Exhausted by Your Faith?

Do You Feel Exhausted by Your Faith?

Does your faith exhaust you?

Instead of sensing joy and God’s presence, do you feel heavy or full of despair?

When our faith in Jesus starts to feel like it weighs a million pounds, it could be we don’t fully understand one very important truth about our relationship with Him. Right now the enemy is doing everything he can to shut down God’s people. We are experiencing Daniel 7:25: “He shall speak words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High” (ESV).

In this season, it is vital we understand what is real about Jesus and what He did for us.

His Strength, Our Strength

It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. (John 6:63 NKJV)

All of us go through seasons when we need to be reminded that the flesh profits nothing. This means that nothing we do in our own strength—none of our human efforts, our good works, our personal determination, our sheer force of will—can earn “points” for us in the kingdom of God. The only thing we have going for us is Jesus. 

What an awesome, mind-bending thing—that we can’t do anything to add to Jesus’ work in our life. He has already done everything. Our only job now is to believe in Him (John 6:29). 

Our Need for God’s Grace

I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. (John 15:5 NKJV)

Jesus is all we have. Apart from Him, we can do literally nothing. The work of salvation is complete. Many of us understand that truth in our head, but it contradicts what we believe in our heart. 

“I can’t mess up, or God will reject me.”

“I have to be good enough for Him.”

“I can’t make any mistakes. I can’t be less than perfect.”

“I must do everything right.”

But according to Scripture, everything about our salvation and our acceptance with the Father depends on what Jesus already did. After we receive Jesus, we set out with Him on a lifelong journey of sanctification. The work of the cross—which is the work of forgiveness—begins, and He will be faithful to complete it (Phil. 1:6). Through His work of ongoing sanctification, we are transformed into His likeness.

Because that is true, maturing as a Christian does not mean the following:

  • Working harder
  • Striving
  • Using fear or shame as a motivator
  • Forcing ourselves to “be like Jesus”

Instead, real spiritual maturity looks like coming to believe Jesus’ death and resurrection at a deeper level. That’s it. When the Holy Spirit shows us an area in our heart where we don’t yet believe His death and resurrection—where we are trapped by lies, judgments, negative expectations, and so forth—we repent and agree with what He is saying.

If we feel exhausted in our faith, it could be a sign we are relying on our own strength instead of on Jesus, who already did everything that needed to be done. We don’t need to force ourselves to be more like Him, because our own efforts will never get us anywhere. To live like Jesus, we need the grace of God. His strength becomes our strength through His grace.

It is impossible to live like Him in our own strength. In fact, the harder we try to live like Him without His grace, the more we rely on the efforts and ambitions of our flesh, and the sooner we fail.

We Can’t Add to His Grace

Throughout the New Testament, the apostles referred to Jesus by His full name and title: The Lord Jesus Christ. The realization of Jesus’ true identity is vital to each of us and every aspect of our life.

He’s not just the Savior who did a wonderful thing for us way back in the past, but He is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning, the blueprint, the finished product of all we are. To live as healthy, relaxed, peace-filled children of God, we need to know and recognize Jesus for who He is.

This is the simple, beautiful truth we get to live with every day: We cannot add anything to what Jesus has already done. Our human efforts are like filthy rags in heaven (Isa. 64:6). We can’t do anything to “earn” more of God or to prove ourselves to Him. Those efforts will just exhaust us.

The world is filled with exhausting things right now, and the enemy will try again and again to point out to us how we’re failing or not doing enough. But because of Jesus and His strength, we don’t need to pick up the weight of the fear of failure. It doesn’t apply to us.

Relying on Jesus in Daily Life

Many Christian families struggle because they believe they should be able to treat each other well in their own strength. So when things go wrong or somebody says or does the wrong thing, it’s easy for the injured party to become angry, insistent, jealous, blaming, condemning, etc., because they think the other person should have done better. 

“Why aren’t you more like Jesus? You didn’t even try!”

But that’s not how it works. We could not have done better—because we need Jesus. Absolutely no one can express the fruit of the Spirit on their own. Only the Holy Spirit working inside a person can express the fruit of the Spirit (see Gal. 5:22–23). 

Compassion begins as we realize deep in our heart that we all need Jesus. No one is better than any other. All of us are dependent moment to moment upon the flow of Jesus’ love through us to bring forth anything good at all. 

If you feel exhausted today, is it because you are relying on your own strength to “be a good person”?

Do you know, all the way through to your bones, that His strength is your strength?

May your heart be refreshed as you realize at a deeper level that He is the One who carries you. It isn’t up to you! It is up to Him. You get to rest in His strength, which is His grace. Your responsibility is simply to believe Him and follow as He leads you.

 

Want to learn more? This devotional is based on Restoring the Christian Family by John and Paula Sandford. This biblical guide to marriage and parenting will help restore functionality to your family—even if you are single, divorced, or widowed. Click here.

 

 

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