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Persevering in Weakness: How to Find Strength in Scripture and Community

Weakness: A Personal Confession

Lately, I’ve been feeling weak—physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Everything seems to wear me out, and I find myself just going through the motions of life. I’m tired of the physical struggles and health issues, weary of the parenting challenges that seem unending, and frustrated with the sin in my life, longing for substantial change in me. These feelings of weakness ebb and flow in my life. There are times, I feel strong in Christ, and there are times, I feel weak, allowing my fears and insecurities hinder my walk with Him.



 

Running with Perseverance

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.” -Hebrews 12:1-2

Let’s consider what it means to run with perseverance when we feel weary. Perhaps, you feel strong today. Or maybe, you feel strong in some areas and weak in others.

 

What is making you weary today? Is it a sin struggle, a relational issue, a physical ailment, a burdensome responsibility, or an unanswered prayer?

 

From my own personal experience and through God’s Word, I believe God provides strength to persevere when we are weary.

 

Surrendering to God

In my book, Dear One, I share many journal entries from my teen years, but I also share prayers from a period of time when I was experiencing postpartum depression. In 2016, I was a mama with three boys under the age of four, and this is what I prayed:


Dear Father,

I can’t do this. I want to run. I want to die. I want to leave. I am ruining these precious souls., and I can’t control myself. The task is too hard.


Please just let them sleep. Please just let them sleep. Please just let them sleep. I need time alone in the morning. I need naptime without fighting. I am so desperate, angry. I am a horrible mom. I just can’t deal anymore. I want to give up. I want to give up. I am done trying. I am so exhausted from trying. I have no strength left.


There’s my lament, and here is where it switches... where I fix my eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith…


Remind me of who YOU are. You are the God who sees me. You are the God who heals. You sanctify me in this trial. You are God with me. You are my Shepherd leading me to green pastures to rest. I shall not want. I lack nothing. You make me lie down. You restore my soul. Surely, goodness and mercy shall follow me. You fill my cup. You are with me. Your rod and Your staff comfort me. (Psalm 23)


You know every bird and insect. Surely, You know me. (Psalm 50:11)


I sacrifice thanks to You, God. Thank You for this life, even in my complaining, thank You! Forgive me. I call on You in my day of trouble. Deliver me. I will honor You. (Psalm 50:14-15)


Why my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God! (Psalm 42:5)

 

I desire to do Your will. Your law is within my heart. I will speak of Your faithfulness and Your saving help. (Psalm 40:8, 10)


My sins have overtaken me and I cannot see. They are more than the hairs on my head and my heart fails within me. (Psalm 40:12)


BE PLEASED TO SAVE ME, LORD; COME QUICKLY, LORD, TO HELP ME!!! (Psalm 40:13)


I seek You. I will rejoice and be glad in You. I long for Your saving help. The LORD is great! (Psalm 40:16)


You are my help and my deliverer. You are my God. Do not delay. (Psalm 40:17)

 

Save me from this despair and anger. Act quickly before I do any more damage. My sins are so numerous and horrendous. I am desperate for Your saving help.

 

Thank You for Your faithfulness. You are here, and You keep Your promises. Thank You for Your saving help. Thank You for Your Word speaking to me. Thank You for this love and encouragement.


Be my Shepherd. Provide for me today. Protect my heart.


In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


In the beginning of this prayer, did you hear the despair and the hopelessness I felt? Did you hear my sorrow and deep shame, my lament and self-hatred?


And then, amid those dark emotions, as I pray, as I speak God’s truth, as I reflect on who He is, did you hear my hope, my praise? Did you hear my peace, my gratitude and freedom?


This is what can happen, as we walk in relationship with God. We pour out our heart to Him and receive His wonderful gifts of truth, forgiveness, mercy, and love.

 

This is how we persevere.

 

A More Recent Example

A month ago, I wrote in my prayer journal:

 

Dear Father, I am weary—physically, mentally, and emotionally. But You never grow weary. You are always working with all Your power. You don’t need anything—sleep, food, vitamins! My weakness helps me rely on You, for Your power is made perfect in weakness. What does that mean?

 

And then God led me to His Word and I jotted down some of the truth He shared with me:

  • Romans 8:26 reminded me that His Spirit helps me in my weakness.

  • 1 Corinthians 15:58 led me to pray for motivation to do His work.

  • 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 challenged me to delight in my weaknesses, because when I am weak, then I am strong, for His power is made perfect in my weakness.

  • Isaiah 40:28-31 told me that God gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.

 

After this honest prayer of surrender, my day did not go perfectly. It was a hard day, but I was approaching it with a different perspective. I walked through it in close relationship with God, relying on His strength throughout the day.


There is truth to how we feel. I am feeling weary. That is true. But the greater truth found in Scripture, the greater reality,  is what God says about us.

 

Life is hard… what are we going to do when we become weary?

Life is not meant to be easy.  It’s not supposed to be comfortable. This world is not our home. So when life is especially difficult, what are we going to do?

 

Let’s go to the One who made life, who understands us perfectly, who loves us immensely, who can provide for all of our needs.

 

Let’s acknowledge and process our emotions. Let’s take those emotions to the God who created them, and allow Him to work through them with us.

 

Let’s reflect on our worship. Our feelings can often indicate our object of worship. Ask yourself: Am I feeling weary because my worship is misdirected? Am I chasing perfection, striving for control, obsessed with pleasing people? Is my heart surrendered to the one true and worthy King?

 

Let’s not forget the practical side. Our bodies, minds, and spirits are intricately connected. We have physical needs. Consider your sleep, nutrition, and relationship connections.

 

Encouragement in Weariness from Galatians

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” -Galatians 5:1

Jesus said, in Matthew 11:28,

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”


This is the yoke we receive in Jesus, not one of slavery, but of freedom.

We come to Him, weary and burdened, and we find rest for our souls.

 

This is the rest I’m desperate for. This is the rest I have in my gentle and humble Savior.

 

In Galatians 5:13, Paul writes,

“You were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh. Rather, serve one another humbly in love.”


In verses 19-21, he lists acts of the flesh, as opposed to the fruit of the Spirit that he lists starting in verse 22... love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control

 

Then, in chapter 6, verses 7-10, Paul encourages the Galatian church with these words:

“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh will reap destruction..."

Think back to those acts of flesh in the previous chapter.

"...whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life..."

Remember the fruit of the Spirit.


And then, he addresses weariness:

"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good for all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.”

 

Paul has already made it very clear to the Galatians that salvation is not based on works. However, because we are free in Christ, because we live in awe and gratitude for what He has done for us, because He has commissioned us to be His ambassadors on this earth, we no longer desire to please our flesh which will just be destroyed in due time; we desire to sow to please the Spirit and our eternal life is never destroyed.

 

What we will reap from the Spirit will last forever. So let us not become weary in doing good.

 

What is the good you are doing right now in your life? How are you sowing to please the Spirit?

 

Are you a mom, grandma, mentor? You are doing good to the next generation.

 

Are you in service or ministry? You are doing good to these people who need it most.

 

Are you a friend who shows up in times of trouble, who takes others to God in prayer? You are doing good to others.

 

Sometimes, our “good” looks big to us and others, and sometimes, it looks small to us and is unseen by others, but every act of good matters in the kingdom of God, no matter how big or small, how seen or unseen.

 

In fact, it’s often the small and unseen that are the most impactful.

 

Perseverance in Community

It is so easy to become weary in doing good. I admit that I am weary in doing the good, hard work of parenting.

 

But what do I do with that weariness? Well, so far, I have prayed. I have turned to Scripture. I am going to sleep earlier.

 

What has helped me the most, though, has been reaching out to my sisters in Christ.

 

My mentor came over and prayed with me, and continues to support me in it.

 

I shared honestly in Sunday school, and a friend stayed and prayed with me afterwards.

 

I’ve been more intentional about getting together and sharing my heart and my struggles with other believers.

 

We really need each other.

 

In the beginning of chapter 6 of Galatians, in verse 2, Paul writes,

“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way, you will fulfill the law of Christ.”

 

How can we help each other carry our burdens, so that we won’t become weary in life?

So we won’t give up, but we will run with perseverance?

 

We have a great cloud of witnesses, and we have each other. God created us for relationship with Him, and He put us in relationship with one another as His family. We are united in Him.

 

We garner strength from each other, and often, this strength comes just from knowing we are not alone in our struggles. That someone else has been there, and someone cares enough to walk with us through it.

 

So when we are feeling weary, let us be honest with each other. Guaranteed when I am weak in an area, someone else is strong.

 

Let us pray with and for each other.


Let us help each other carry those burdens.

 

Let us stir one another on to the good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.


Let us not become weary in doing good.

 

The Promise

Galatians 6:9 comes with a promise... for at the proper time, we will reap a harvest if we do not give up!

 

God doesn’t promise this harvest will be in our timing or will be the results for which we are hoping.

 

We may not see the results of doing good. But God is in control of the harvest. He knows the proper time for it, and He knows what it will look like. If we are sowing to please the Spirit, I believe the harvest will look a lot like the fruit of the Spirit springing up from within us.

 

If I sow to please the Spirit, not my own fleshly desires, in my parenting, I may not see the harvest of obedient children... or a peaceful home... or children who get along with each other, who love the Lord more than anything else…

 

I may see these things, but the true harvest I believe is what is happening inside of me.

 

If I don’t give up, I will reap a harvest of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

 

And I believe this harvest will extend to others, as we do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.


Let's fix our eyes on Jesus together. He provides rest for our souls in the middle of our chaos. He knows the outcome and the timing of the harvest. He is always at work in us.


How have you been feeling weary lately?

 

What are you challenged, or encouraged, to do with your weariness?                                   

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