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God’s Remedy for Your Emotional Exhaustion
By Rick Warren

“He makes me lie down in green pastures.” Psalm 23:2 (NIV)

What should you do when you’re emotionally exhausted?

When the Prophet Elijah faced emotional exhaustion, God led him to do three things that helped him recover—and they’re things that can help you recover, too, when you’re at the end of your rope.

1. Rest your body. In the world’s most famous psalm, the Bible says of God, “He makes me lie down in green pastures” (Psalm 23:2 NIV). Sometimes God has to make you lie down because you’re unwilling to do it on your own. You can’t be spiritually and emotionally strong while you’re physically depleted.

That’s what happened to Elijah. God did not scold Elijah. God didn’t say, “Come on, man. You’re just having a pity party.” He simply let Elijah sleep. The Bible says about Elijah: “Then he lay down under the bush and fell asleep” (1 Kings 19:5 NIV).

Sometimes the most spiritual thing you can do when you’re emotionally exhausted is to take a nap.

2. Release your frustrations. Revealing your feeling is the beginning of healing. In 1 Kings 19:10, Elijah says this to God: “I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too” (NIV).

Elijah didn’t hold anything back. He didn’t filter his feelings. Instead, he told God his frustrations.

Here’s the point you can’t miss about this verse: God isn’t shocked when you complain to him; he’ll listen to you until you run out of words. Let them all out. God can handle anything you throw at him.

3. Remember and refocus on God. When you’re emotionally exhausted and approaching burnout, you need to remember what God says and who he is. When you do that, you shift your eyes away from your problem and toward Jesus. You get a fresh awareness of God’s power, God’s presence, and God’s personality. You need to see God far more than you need to see your problems.

If you read 1 Kings 19:11-13, you’ll see how God demonstrated his power firsthand to Elijah. The Lord showed him who was in control. When you’re struggling through burnout, it’s often because you’re trying to play God and control everything. When you refocus on God, you realize he is in control—and you stop trying to exert your own control.

If you’re feeling burned out and emotionally exhausted, God hasn’t forgotten you. Just like God did with Elijah, God stands ready and willing to help you.

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This devotional © 2018 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

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