Journey 5- The Weariness

We’ve been studying the Exodus, and relating it to the journey of life. I was going to look at murmuring, whining and complaining, but after the week I’ve had it might be a little too raw. So I want to talk about another aspect of the journey: weariness. 40 years is a long time to wander aimlessly in the wilderness, but many of us do this for years in our lives too!

Some of you here are weary. Feeling small. When tears are in your eyes, I’ll dry them all. I’m on your side, when times get rough . And friends just can’t be found, like a bridge over troubled waters.

1.      THE JOURNEY IS LONG

 

Most journeys seem long, like a long and winding road, usually longer than you want. The Israelites wandered for 40 years in the wilderness, which is around 39 years 11 months longer than they should have.

 

In our family, our long journeys started with a familiar refrain… “are we nearly there yet” before we reached the top of the driveway.

 

We are impatient to arrive, all of us. The length of a journey is entirely subjective. Kaileigh considers a drive to Buderim too long, and going to Sydney seems like a long journey until you go to Europe. Life is long, the journey is long, and so along the way we get weary, but remember compared to eternity this life is actually short.

 

James 4:14 (ESV Strong’s)

What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.

 

Psalms 90:10 (ESV Strong’s)

The years of our life are seventy, or even by reason of strength eighty;

yet their span is but toil and trouble; they are soon gone, and we fly away.

 

2.      THE JOURNEY HAS CHALLENGES

 

Every journey has challenges. There are highs and lows, mountain tops and valleys, sunny days and stormy. Some here are going fine, but many I feel are facing dark, difficult times.

 

Psalms 23:4 (ESV Strong’s)

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

 

If you are facing challenges, even big challenges, remember that the Lord goes with you, leads you, guides you, upholds you and will ultimately bring you through, even if you are getting weariness.

 

3.      THE JOURNEY HAS SETBACKS

 

Kira and I were in Munich, and it snowed. Our flight was so delayed, we missed our connecting flight in London, and had to overnight there. They could not get us a flight to Brisbane, but they said they could fly us to Tokyo. We’ll take it! In Tokyo they could get us to Brisbane, but could get us to Cairns. We’ll take it! There were no seats to Brisbane, but if we went to Melbourne we might get some. We’ll take it! Finally in Melbourne we got a flight to home!

 

Many times we face setback in our journeys. Sometimes these setback are of our own doing, or someone close to you! That’s what the Israelites discovered. They sent spies into the Promised Land, but then chose to believe the 10 who brought a bad report. So they decided to form a coup against Moses, stone him and go back to slavery in Egypt. Had they believed Joshua and Caleb, they could have taken the land right then and there, but they refused, and rebelled. God said,

 

Numbers 14:32-34 (ESV Strong’s)

But as for you, your dead bodies shall fall in this wilderness. And your children shall be shepherds in the wilderness forty years and shall suffer for your faithlessness, until the last of your dead bodies lies in the wilderness. According to the number of the days in which you spied out the land, forty days, a year for each day, you shall bear your iniquity forty years, and you shall know my displeasure.’

 

Some of you have suffered setbacks in your journey because of someone else. It’s not fair, but it is life. Maybe you had a rough start in life, abused by parents, or maybe you married someone and it didn’t work out. Some have sinned, ignored God, or walked away.

 

If you’ve had setbacks in life, either because of circumstances, someone you loved and trusted or your own foolish, sinful decisions, then I have great news this morning. You can get those wasted years back, even the weariness!

 

Joel 2:25 (ESV Strong’s)

I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten,

 

A set back is just a set up for a come back if you trust Jesus!

 

4.      THE JOURNEY HAS PROVISION

 

A long journey requires provision. On any journey need food, water, fuel. You need sleep. Today as your travel you need other essentials, like masks, gloves and toilet paper. You need a phone to get GPS and updates on the corona virus, which has killed 0.005% as many people as the common flu last year, so you can panic and fret like everyone else.

 

In the Exodus, they had no phone. No GPS. No toilet paper. But when the people were thirsty, God gave them water from the rock. When they were hungry, God gave them manna. When they got sick of that, God gave them quail. They didn’t say thank you, they complained and whinged and  whined while they dined.

 

Numbers 11:5-6 (ESV Strong’s)

We remember the fish we ate in Egypt that cost nothing, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic. But now our strength is dried up, and there is nothing at all but this manna to look at.”

 

They said, Slavery wasn’t that bad… We use to eat leeks and onions and meat. Now all we have is manna breakfast, lunch and dinner. It’s coming our of my ears. I have manna toast for breakfast, with manna mite spread, manna hotcakes, manna burgers, manna curry, pad manna, fillé  of manna, and with my Chai latte I have bamanna bread.  Hey man-na am I sick of manna.

 

If you’re tired on life’s journey, stop wasting your time complaining about what you don’t have and start rejoicing in what you do have. We have more stuff than ever before, yet we are the most ungrateful people ever.

 

Colossians 4:2 (ESV Strong’s)

Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.

 

WEARINESS MAKES YOU…

 

The Israelites faced a long, wearying journey, made longer and wearier by their constant whining and complaining and by their own foolish decisions.

 

When you get weary you open yourself to a variety of emotions. When you get weary and tired you get stressed, overwhelmed and depressed. Weariness opens you to making bad decisions, and changes how you see things. You look back with rose coloured glasses and don’t see things properly.

 

Numbers 14:2 (ESV Strong’s)

And all the people of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron. The whole congregation said to them, “Would that we had died in the land of Egypt! Or would that we had died in this wilderness!

 

When you get tired and in weariness, sometimes death looks like a better deal than your life. Listen, it never is… Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.  40 years was a long time to wander because of sin, but they did eventually make it through to the Promised Land. The Bible says, and it came to pass, it didn’t come to stay.

 

PERCEPTION AFFECTS EVERYTHING

 

Perception affects everything. How you see life, the journey, the troubles, the challenges, the highs and the lows, all are primarily affected by your perception.

 

They did an experiment one time… 2 boys, one an optimist, one a pessimist. The pessimist was locked in a room with ice cream, a TV and playstation. After an hour, he cried about ice cream melting, the game is too hard and TV just has news about the corona virus.

 

The optimist was locked alone in a room with a huge pile of horse poo. After an hour he was throwing poo a lover the room. With all this poo, there must be a pony in here somewhere.

 

Perception. That’s why Paul says,

 

Philippians 4:8 (ESV Strong’s)

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

 

You  can choose how you see things. You can choose to see the good or the bad. You can choose whether to

 

Colossians 3:2 (ESV Strong’s)

Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.

 

As you journey, you can choose to see the lack of food, water, or see the blessings…

 

Deuteronomy 29:5 (ESV Strong’s)

I have led you forty years in the wilderness. Your clothes have not worn out on you, and your sandals have not worn off your feet.

 

40 years without a new pair of shoes might sound awful for some women, by God provides.

 

In your troubles, in your weariness, God provides for you. Stop doing your own thing, stop pulling away from God, draw near to Him and see, perceive the blessings and goodness you have already.

 

Hebrews 4:16 (ESV Strong’s)

Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

 

YOU HAVE CHOICES

 

One of the most pivotal parts of the Exodus occurred in the wilderness of Paran, where 12 spies were selected to check out the Promised Land. When they returned, they all agreed it was beautiful, productive, everything God had promised, but 2 said let’s go, but 10 chose to bring a bad report.

 

Now, when you hear a bad report, you face a choice… believe it, or not!

 

Numbers 13:32-33 (ESV Strong’s)

So they brought to the people of Israel a bad report of the land that they had spied out, saying, “The land, through which we have gone to spy it out, is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people that we saw in it are of great height. And there we saw the Nephilim (the sons of Anak, who come from the Nephilim), and we seemed to ourselves like grasshoppers, and so we seemed to them.”

 

See what they are focussed on… Not the Lord, not His promise, but their own observations and fears. We seemed like grasshoppers, tiny, easy to stomp on, we predict disaster, the world falling in, corona virus, quick, buy up all the toilet paper!

 

But the people had a choice. Who to believe?

 

Numbers 14:2 (ESV Strong’s)

And all the people of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron. The whole congregation said to them, “Would that we had died in the land of Egypt! Or would that we had died in this wilderness!

 

CHOICES HAVE CONSEQUENCES

 

Be aware that every choice you make, good or bad, has a consequence. You can choose to believe the lies, believe the worst, give up, say you can’t take this any more. You can leave the marriage, the church, the job, but there are consequences. The right choices bring life, they bring blessing. That’s God’s preference for you. The wrong choice brings curses and death.

 

Going into the Promised Land a generation later, Moses said this…

 

Deuteronomy 30:19 (ESV Strong’s)

I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live,

 

HOW TO OVERCOME WEARINESS

 

So here’s the bottom line… Obey God, seek God, make the right changes and you can overcome weariness.

 

You can overcome weariness and make it. Even if the road is long, with many a winding turn.

 

Psalms 55:6 (ESV Strong’s)

And I say, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest;

 

So let’s look at some practical steps to overcoming weariness, and many of you here are weary and flat and over stressed. So how do you beat weariness?

 

1.      GET SOME REST

 

My life has been overwhelmingly stressful of late. Finances, holiday, family, work and especially church, have drawn all of my energy, filled my entire headspace and sapped all my joy. I’m tired, I’ve slept 3 hours a night, I was miserable and almost ready to quit being a pastor. Then God reminded me of His call for Ignite, and simply said, GET SOME REST in your weariness!

 

Matthew 11:28 (ESV Strong’s)

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

 

If you need rest, take a day off, take a caravan trip, take a holiday to Coronoville, or maybe just get an early night or two.

 

Sometimes when you are in weariness, the most spiritual and obedient thing you can do is to sleep and rest.

 

2.      GET SOME INSPIRATION

 

Over the last several months, under the most intense pressure and attacks of my ministry career, and greatest weariness, I needed sleep, yes, but even more I needed inspiration. That’s when I turned to the Word of God, the Bible reading plan, I read it, studied it, prayed it and I lived it. As the Lord said to Joshua,

 

Joshua 1:8-9 (ESV Strong’s)

This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

 

3.      GET SOME SUPPORT

 

Get inspired. Listen to sermons, podcasts, read Christian books, speak to strong believers, read God’s Word. What’s kept me going over the last few months of intense weariness is those around me encouraging me, believing in me.

 

My wife, our team here at Ignite, other pastors, friends new and old, are what keeps me going in my weariness. It is their encouragement and support.

 

Proverbs 27:9 (ESV Strong’s)

Oil and perfume make the heart glad, and the sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel.

 

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 (ESV Strong’s)

Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!

 

Friends standing with you, like Aaron and Hur, can support your arms and hold you up when you need it. So reach out in your weariness.

 

4.      GET PRACTICAL, TAKE IT STEP BY STEP, OVERCOME WEARINESS

 

When you feel weariness again and again you get you’re down.

 

Matthew 6:34 (ESV Strong’s)

“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

 

When you are weary and facing overwhelm, take each problem one at a time. Take each day one at a time. Don’t try and do it all at once, seek God and take on one giant at a time.

 

5.      GET FOCUSSED ON JESUS

 

What you focus on determines what you see, and what you see determines where you are going. The spies that gave a bad report only saw troubles, they saw giants, they saw themselves as grasshoppers.

 

Colossians 3:2 (ESV Strong’s)

Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.

 

If you are weary right now, start to take your eyes off the hassles and soul sapping troubles you have and fix your eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of your faith.

 

Welly

 

6.      GET SERIOUS WITH GOD ABOUT YOUR FUTURE

 

God promises you that He has a plan and a future for you. Pray like you believe it! Live like it!

 

Jeremiah 29:11 (ESV Strong’s)

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

 

But people forget the next 2 verses,

 

Jeremiah 29:12-13 (ESV Strong’s)

Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.

 

So in your weariness, in your weakness, seek God with all your heart for your future. He’s on your side when darkness comes!

 

COME TO ME

 

Galatians 6:9 (ESV Strong’s)

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.

 

Some of you here, you love God, you want to serve the Lord, but you’re tired, you’re down, you’re flat, you’re just plain struggling with weariness. And  if you get enough knocks, enough set backs, enough criticisms, you can get tired of doing good. Today I’m like that… I’m tired, and I need a touch from the Lord. Maybe you do too!

 

Jesus knows you feel this way. He says,

 

Matthew 11:28-30 (ESV Strong’s)

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

 

Jesus calls you today… If you are feeling the weariness , sad, tired, fading, discouraged, down, then that’s the promise of Jesus right now.

 

Maybe you’ve been believing for a loved one to come to Christ, for a breakthrough, or a healing or a job. You still love God, you still believe, you’re just tired and weary. Jesus says,   Come, come and be refreshed.

 

Acts 3:19-20 (ESV Strong’s)

Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord,

 

When you come to Christ, it’s not all peaches and cream, unicorns and rainbows. There are still burdens, still trials, still attacks that can cripple you and depress you and make you tired and weary and just about ready to give up. Many give up on their dreams just before their big breakthrough.

 

But when you come to Jesus, your burden, your yoke, which once was ill fitting, rubbing, scaring, hurting, tiring, He now fits for you. His yoke is made for you. It’s still a yoke, there are still burdens, but they no longer rub or hurt or drain you. His burden is easy and light, and allows you rest for your soul.

 

So today, I know some of you, myself included, are weary. You’re not in sin, you’re not far away from the Lord, you’re just tired and weary.

About Darin

Pastor Darin Browne is the Senior Pastor of Coast Church in Woombye, Queensland. He is an international speaker and worship leader and has toured all over the world, produced 8 albums and authored several books.