Turn Overwhelmed into Overjoyed – Pastors Corner
A few weeks ago, I made a very important decision. I disconnected from my cell phone, shut down everything, and disappeared into God’s office which most people call simply… the woods.
I was there for a meeting with our most wonderful Lord Jesus and He did not disappoint.
Even before I showed up, that still small Voice in my heart began to point out some things that I needed to change. I believe now that these “life pointers” are not just for my benefit but for yours as well.
So, let me share two strategies that can help you go from being an overwhelmed Christian to an overjoyed one.
Each of us has a million things screaming at us each day. Tasks that need to be done, homework deadlines etc. And—sinner or saint—we all struggle with the constant daily grind. But God’s Word shows us that Jesus came so the Christian can have “life and have it more abundantly” (John 10:10b).
So how do we get rid of the anxiety and despair that sometimes stems from simply having a “to-do” list that’s just too much?
First, remember that, while God will never give us more than we can bear, we can take on more than He meant for us to carry.
Simply put, ask yourself if the responsibilities on your shoulders are all part of God’s plan…or yours? This is where many of us make a critical mistake.
If we take too much upon ourselves—or allow others to push us into a situation where we’re trying to do God’s will PLUS their will—we run the risk of burning ourselves out and increasing our anxiety levels.
Remember, God is all about peace. Simplicity. Focusing on one major task that He has given us to accomplish.
This can be quite challenging, especially if you are a gifted person. Realize that every gift of God is also a burden. As the Scripture writes,
A man’s gift makes room for him and brings him before the great.Proverbs 18:16
In other words, your talents and gifts will manifest themselves in ways that will connect you to others. Depending upon your gifts, this can easily translate into a spiritual or mental burden.
For example, Moses was gifted with leadership abilities and faith. While God had a purpose for these talents, they quickly became bogged in day-to-day decisions, and Moses became overwhelmed. Jethro wisely advised Moses not let his gifts control him and to let others shoulder that responsibility.
The point is, Moses was quickly becoming overwhelmed because he didn’t step back and focus his talents on the calling of God in his life. Like many of us, he had a heart for people and this streak in his nature would drive him to ruin if left unchecked.
The same is true for you. Control your gifts; don’t let them control you.
You might be gifted with a nature of compassion. If you’re not careful, you can take responsibilities onto your shoulders that God did not direct you to take. If that’s the case you will become overwhelmed.
Even though your desire is good and your motive may be pure, as Christians we must be wise stewards of our time and stress loads—especially now.
So, what do we do?
Warren Buffett is a billionaire and, one of the top ten wealthiest people in the world in 2020. He made a statement that I believe is a sound lesson for Christians to apply to their lives.
“The difference between successful people and really successful people, is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”Warren Buffett
Why do I believe we can learn something here? Because, although I don’t equate success with money, the truth is, that effective Christians live very focused lives. They live in ways that are centered around the calling God has placed within them.
Now, this doesn’t just mean the ministry. Your calling might be your career, it might be your role as a housewife, or a work in society, such as an orphanage etc. Whatever God has called you to do will bring its own share of burdens—burdens that God has promised will not overwhelm you.
Don’t go beyond the scope of that calling unless the Spirit specifically directs you to do so.
We sometimes feel guilty for turning down requests for help, especially from fellow believers. I’m not advocating for selfish living. I think we need to be willing to help one another even if it’s a sacrifice. But that has to be kept in balance.
If your sacrifice to help someone will hinder you from fulfilling other roles for which God has placed you on earth, then you need to say no.
The Lord Jesus lived an extremely focused life. And He did say “no.” Critics might consider Him myopic but not once did He go beyond the scope of the ministry that He had been given, although He had the power, the wisdom, and the talents necessary to do so.
For example, the zealots knew He was the perfect man for their cause. Jesus had the people in the palm of His hand. Just one word from Him and every Israelite who believed in Him would rally against the power of Rome. The Sadducees and Pharisees also recognized the potential political influence that Jesus could wield.
But the Scripture is clear:
But Jesus did not commit Himself unto them, because He knew all men,John 2:24
Focusing exclusively on the calling of His life caused Jesus to turn down many opportunities–including opportunities to serve. But in doing so, He was able to successfully accomplish the mission that had been entrusted to His care. As a result, the world would never be the same.
God does not want you to be overwelmed. He does not want you to be stressed. His plan is that you rejoice continuously throughout this life, realizing His power and His presence more with each day. So don’t complicate you life by falling into the trap of equating success with productivity.
Don’t fill up each moment. Leave many empty spots in your day so that Christ can fill them with His goodness. In so doing, you will find that life is richer. Sweeter.
And, instead of being overwhelmed, you will be overjoyed at what God is doing in and through you.
This week, enrich your time with God by listening to:
Letting off the Pressure, 05.18.1962
Meditate on Psalm 103 (the whole chapter).