It’s a phenomenon how Christians take on responsibility and seem to find joy in serving the Lord, no matter how menial the task, then out of the blue they find what they are doing a weariness. It happens in all levels of Christian service, from those who help clean up to those who lead. It’s almost a disease that spreads as people talk of feeling so tired and weary with others, or worse, they notice how few people are involved, or so they think, and they get bitter. Whoa!
Expressions of weariness in serving God, no matter what we are doing, goes much deeper than just feeling tired.
Micah 6:3–5 (ESV) — 3 “O my people, what have I done to you? How have I wearied you? Answer me! 4 For I brought you up from the land of Egypt and redeemed you from the house of slavery, and I sent before you Moses, Aaron, and Miriam. 5 O my people, remember what Balak king of Moab devised, and what Balaam the son of Beor answered him, and what happened from Shittim to Gilgal, that you may know the righteous acts of the Lord.”
Revelation 2:1–5 (ESV) — 1 “To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: ‘The words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks among the seven golden lampstands. 2 “‘I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. 3 I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name’s sake, and you have not grown weary. 4 But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. 5 Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.
When we get weary, we are really saying we have forgotten what God has done for us. Forgetting what God has done for us is forgetting the Gospel and forgetting the Gospel is leaving our “first love.” When a sinner who has been touched by the hand of God to see and feel his/her need of a Savior, hears the Gospel of Jesus Christ dying for sinners and not only brings us into the family of God but gives us victory over sin, Satan, and even death, they are ready to serve the Lord with gladness. That is a motivating factor of being all in when it comes to serving the Lord Jesus Christ, as Paul in his concluding remarks concerning the resurrection said:
1 Corinthians 15:57–58 (ESV) — 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 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.
Notice the words, “always abounding” in the work of the Lord. That’s acting out the first love, a love above all other loves, and a love that draws us into serving the Lord with a whole heart, just as was the feeling throughout the children of Israel as they crossed the Red Sea and saw their enemy defeated by God. That is what Jesus said was lacking in the church at Ephesus. This is also lacking in our own lives whenever we feel a weariness toward the work of the Lord, when we neglect to participate in serving God, or when we grow bitter because we do not see others doing the work.
Galatians 6:9 (ESV) — 9 And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.
Let’s remember we are involved in the work of the Lord and He is the one responsible to bring about the results. So, remember that He has promised that those who do the work will reap if they do not give up. What shall they reap?
2 Corinthians 9:8–11 (ESV) — 8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. 9 As it is written, “He has distributed freely, he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.” 10 He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God.
We shall reap what we need to keep going. We shall reap enrichment toward generosity and we shall reap an attitude of gratitude. All of which will keep us from growing weary.
So, the bottom line is when you feel weary and feel like serving God is a drudgery, don’t give into those feelings! Go back to your first love. You need the Gospel. Often those who have grown weary have stopped listening, forsaking the means of grace in the preaching of the Gospel. Oh, they may be present, but too often they have allowed “busy work” to distract them and their weariness to stop the flow of grace to their hearts, just as was the case in Isaiah’s day.
Isaiah 28:11–13 (ESV) — 11 For by people of strange lips and with a foreign tongue the Lord will speak to this people, 12 to whom he has said, “This is rest; give rest to the weary; and this is repose”; yet they would not hear. 13 And the word of the Lord will be to them precept upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, there a little, that they may go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.
Notice it says that God provided rest to the weary, but they would not hear. Maybe the reason you are feeling wearing in doing God’s work is that you are not hearing the clear message from God.
Here’s the message: if you are feeling weary, you don’t have to stay that way. Jesus told the church at Ephesus to remember, repent, and return. Holding on to weariness will turn to bitterness which is sin and will hinder you from enjoying the grace of God.
Hebrews 12:15 (ESV) — 15 See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled.