There’s No Simple Formula
Look, I’m sorry if the title offended you. Of course, the feeling of being overwhelmed can be caused by many complex factors. There is simply no simple formula to relieve it. Being overwhelmed can stem from legitimately having too many things going on at any time in your life. These things can be things you brought into your own life by a bad choice, or they can be good things that are simply…overwhelming.
For example, if you wasted precious time playing video games or scrolling on Instagram instead of completing important projects at work or home, you may feel overwhelmed by the remaining work you need to do in the limited time that you have left. Or maybe you are an efficient worker and you just helped a family member in an emergency and several hours of sleep were taken from you that way. In either case, you are currently overwhelmed, regardless of who is to blame!
So I am going to start by saying that if you are overwhelmed, be honest with yourself and if your own sinful behavior is a contributing factor, repent and pray for forgiveness. A nagging, guilty conscience will only make your tasks seem more insurmountable. Let the peace of God rule your heart. But I want to be clear, being overwhelmed is a human condition, not a sinful condition. It is a result of the curse, not necessarily sinful in and of itself all the time. Feeling overwhelmed is often nothing more than a simple reminder that we are weak and that we live in a cursed creation.
Having said that, here are five practical tips for dealing with being overwhelmed. Today we will look at rejoicing!
Rejoice & Give Thanks
Paul tells the Thessalonian church to rejoice always (1 Thess 5:16). Now I’m willing to be corrected by a Greek grammarian, but I see the clause in 1 Thess 5:18, “for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus,” as applying to the rejoice always command and the pray without ceasing command as much as to the being thankful command which immediately precedes it. In Ph 4:4, Paul tells us to “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!” right before he addresses anxiety. Anxiety is closely related to feeling overwhelmed. Take time to rejoice in the Lord.
Coupled with rejoicing is giving thanks. While you are praising God and rejoicing in His blessings, remember to be thankful. Feeling overwhelmed can quickly lead to grumbling or complaining. Expressing thankfulness through prayer will be a good preventative measure for a complaining spirit.
Next Wednesday, I will explain prioritization.