As the Fall season hits full-swing, tiredness and burnout can appear more swiftly than we think. It is vital remember that in this state your ministry will probably suffer. It is very difficult to give out of a place of spiritual, physical, or emotional emptiness, much less have inner peace.
A fairly recent discovery for me has been the realization that stress is simply a form a fear. Stress comes when we wonder “what will happen if?” What will happen if I get sick, if my vacation doesn’t go how I planned, what if I have family conflict, what if I can’t accomplish everything I would like to accomplish at work and at home today, or tomorrow, or this week, or this month.
The thing is, Christians aren’t meant to be living in fear of what could happen. Jesus says,
“Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness… do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. ” (Matthew 6:33-34 ESV)
Peter said that it is okay for us to cast all of our cares on God, because he cares for us (1 Peter 5:7). It is interesting that at the start of this verse Peter tells us part of doing this is humbling ourselves. It isn’t easy to let go and let someone else take the reins, but we have to. We have to realize that God is one doing the work through us. Our job is to be really, truly, submitting to him.
One of my favorite passages of all time is from Paul’s letter to the Philippians. The Apostle wrote,
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7 ESV).
A vital part of how we find peace in the midst of all the stress (which remember is really fear) is–unquestionably–prayer to God. This is where we worship God, where we ask him for the desires of our hearts, and most of all where we request to know and follow his will, not ours. God is faithful to meet us in prayer, and it is in him we find peace.
I encourage you to stay grounded in prayer to God each day as the foundation not only for your ministry (whether it be vocational or otherwise), but for your walk with Christ in general.
Less fear is nothing other than more trust in Christ to be all that you need.