Are You Exhausted?

Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation Booklet by David Powlison

Causes for Debilitating Fatigue

  • Physical Problems: allergies, arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome, cancer, hypoglycemia, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, thyroid dysfunction, and many other diseases, medication side effects, sleep problems, old age, and parenting young children.
  • Life Stresses: grief, overwork, broken relationships, difficult circumstances, and a traumatic event.
  • Spiritual Struggles: fear, guilt, worry, hopelessness, and bitterness

Learning to Live with Fatigue
The reason for fatigue might not be listed here. You may never find out exactly why you’re tired. You will have to learn how to think, feel, choose, believe, and love – and not sin – while you feel like a “dimly burning wick.”

How Our World Sees Fatigue

  • Our world despises fatigue.
    It hates weakness, dependency, aging, inability, and weariness.
  • Our world treats fatigue only as a medical problem.
    But weakness and fatigue are normal within a fallen world.

How God Views Fatigue

  • God is in control.
    You live in God’s world. He will deal gently and sympathetically with you as he makes you like himself (Hebrews 4:14-16: 5:2).
  • You are fundamentally weak and dependent.
    We are dust. We clay. We don’t have life in ourselves. He makes us know our vulnerability so that we wil know our need for him.

Your Fatigue is a Door to Knowing God
Jesus lived in weakness. Jesus’ experience of weakness is the door to one of the most marvelous promises of God in Hebrews 4:16.

Fatigue Helps You to See Your Heart’s True Condition
Like any trouble, fatigue exposes what’s really going on in your heart and mind.

  1. Anxiety.
  2. Compulsively seek a cure.
  3. Escapism.
  4. Use it for secondary gains.
  5. Grumble.
  6. Give up.
  7. Denial.
  8. Self-pity.

Your Fatigue Reveals God’s Power
God’s power is perfectly revealed in our weakness. God will use your weakness to show that what drives your life is not you, but the power and mercy of Another. When Christ matters in your life, he shines through your life.

God’s Character Shines through Your Weakness
When others look at you, they will see the evidence of God’s divine power at work in you. God is more interested in who you are in Christ than in what you do for him.

Practical Strategies for Change

  • Depend on Jesus One Day at a Time (Matthew 6:34)
    God doesn’t meet us the way we want, but he does restore us.
  • Think Small
    Scale down the size of your life.
  • Pursue Medical Help without Obsessing
    Our culture is often of little help, because it is obsessed with health. You should seek appropriate medical help while still living your life within the circumstances God has given you.
  • Help Others Deal with Your Fatigue
    You can show your love to your family and friends by helping them deal with your fatigue.
    – Recognize that your fatigue also creates suffering for those around you.
    – You notice that your fatigue causes others to suffer, you can love them by doing something as small as asking, “How are you doing?”
    – Graciously listen to all the advice you get, but don’t feel like you have to follow all of it.
    – Share with them how God is helping you to live in his world within the limitations of your fatigue, and how God is using your fatigue to make you more like him.


2 thoughts on “Are You Exhausted?

  1. Very good blog! Do you have any recommendations for aspiring writers? I’m planning to start my own blog soon but I’m a little lost on everything. Would you suggest starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many choices out there that I’m totally overwhelmed .. Any tips? Bless you!

  2. Chong,

    I appreciate your comment and compliment.
    I would go with a free platform like WordPress to begin with.
    Check out Michael Hyatt who wrote a book “Platform.”

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