Summary: This sermon is part of our spiritual first aid series and looks at the problem of spiritual fatigue.
Spiritual First Aid
Ever wanted to just quit? There’s not a person alive that hasn’t felt like that. It’s where the circumstances and situations of life overwhelm us and all we want to do is to back away, check out, and vanish. It’s where we want to quit on everyone, even the Lord.
Vince Lombardi, legendary coach of the Green Bay Packers said, “Fatigue makes cowards of us all.”
And this cannot be more true, not only in the physical sense, but in the spiritual sense as well, because spiritual fatigue tempts us to quit, not only on others, but also upon the one we need most, and that is God.
To understand the causes, symptoms, and remedies of spiritual fatigue, we first need to understand what is fatigue. Only then can we find solutions to this dangerous form of mental, physical, and spiritual exhaustion.
While it’s easy to point to our need for rest and relaxation in order to restore our strength, how does this look spiritually? Spiritually speaking we need to fan back into flame our faith that is about to go out.
The Apostle Paul said, “For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you.” (2 Timothy 1:6a NIV)
So instead of doing what comes most naturally, that is nothing, Paul says we need to get going if we want to combat this deadly malady. This goes along with what Paul also said to the Galatian church.
“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” (Galatians 6:9 NKJV)
What is fatigue?
Being fatigued is a state of being weary and extremely tired, even to the point of complete exhaustion. It is where we are tired most if not all of the time. It has gotten so bad that we now have a medical term describing long-term fatigue and exhaustion. It’s called Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
Someone said that we are all apart of this special fraternity, the fraternity of the fatigued, because all of us have experienced being tired and weary to the point of being worn out and run down. It is a feeling of being lethargic and unmotivated, lacking the energy to accomplish those goals we have set for ourselves. It is also the feeling of being so exhausted that we excuse ourselves from all thought choosing instead to sit in front of the TV set or computer screen so we don’t have to think.
What Causes Fatigue?
Fatigue can affect our bodies in a multitude of ways.
• Psychologically: Where we become fatigued in our minds, that is, in our thought life where we become too tired to think.
• Physiologically: Where fatigue attacks the normal and healthy functioning of the human body to the point of exhaustion and the feeling of being worn out.
• Spiritually: Where fatigue attacks our soul and spirit weakening our emotions where we want to give up on life.
The National Institute on Aging lists things like illness, or emotional problems like anxiety, depression, grief, stress, and even boredom as factors that cause fatigue. They also list several “lifestyle habits” like staying up too late, having too much caffeine, drinking too much alcohol, and eating junk food as causes for fatigue.
Fatigue can also be caused by striving to do those things that are out of our control, or beyond our capabilities. We cannot change other people, yet we are constantly trying to please others so they like us, or in order to like ourselves we play a comparison game, which we never win.
What are Fatigue’s Remedies?
When it comes to curing fatigue, there’s nothing like getting a good night’s sleep. Yet even though we may know this, proper rest and relaxation always seem elusive and tends to take a backseat to work and life in general. Millions of people don’t get enough rest, which is why fatigue is such a malady in today’s world. Therefore, we need to take time to relax and ensure we get adequate rest.
The benefits to exercise are many. Even minor exercise can have major benefits. Exercise will make us look and feel better, not to mention having a healthier outlook on life. It can also help us get to sleep.
Exercise, however, doesn’t happen only in a gym. It can come through recreational activities, like taking walks, sports, or any hobby where physical activity is required. Here’s one that isn’t all that popular, and that is doing chores.
Eating right can do wonders in fighting fatigue. What we eat can affect the amount of energy we have to expend throughout the day. Eating improperly, however, that is junk food, or foods that have been highly processed, can sap our strength. Eating healthy will stop what’s eating at us. So having a healthy diet goes a long way in fighting fatigue.