Faith when Overwhelmed

Phone calls, text messages, Facebook
posts, emails and even cards and letters can bring good news or more
challenging news.  Sometimes the bad news
seems to roll in like a flood.  How do we
walk in faith when we feel overwhelmed?

 

Fortunately we can learn from the
Bible processes to use when feeling overwhelmed.  I am so thankful for David’s transparency and
honesty about his emotions and feelings.  It is not a sin to feel overwhelmed.    Psalm 61:1-2  O God, listen to
my cry! Hear my prayer! From the ends of the earth, I cry to you for help when
my heart is overwhelmed.  Lead me to the towering rock of safety, for you
are my safe refuge.
Step one: we
are not alone in feeling overwhelmed.  It
is part of life.  Step two:  Go to God—cry out to him, ask for his help,
and believe he will answer.  Step three:
move to the safety of understanding his care and presence. Step four: Look for
his solutions and tokens for his good. 
Remind yourself of his loving care. 
Step five: Start by handling something you can do.

 

I
actually looked up the word "overwhelmed".  It means to bury or
drown beneath a huge mass, or be too strong for, overpower!   I admit I
have walked through some of those days where you feel you are drowning with
myriad of troubles.   Remember Job, and all the bad news he received
in one day?  I imagine he was feeling
overwhelmed.  I have had days where I
felt like I couldn’t take a deep breath as the concerns of life flooded my
soul.  They were not as bad as Job’s, but
it felt like it!  .

 

King
David wrote this Psalm.  If you are not familiar with his life’s
struggles, take time to read the book of 1 and 2 Samuel.  This was a man
who loved God, but did not have it easy in following him.  David's example
of crying out to the Lord when we are overwhelmed is something to follow.
We need to run to him, not sit in our distress, but know that he is a
safe refuge even when we are feeling overwhelmed by life and its demands.

 

 David
was overwhelmed by his circumstances in this Psalm, but we find that we can be
overwhelmed by guilt (Psalm 38:4) and sin (Psalm 65:3)  If you find
yourself overwhelmed by guilt you must take the time to discover whether it is
real guilt or false guilt.  False guilt and condemnation can follow us
around like a dirty cloud until we take authority over it in Jesus Name,
applying the blood of Jesus to the situation.  The same with sin, if we
are dealing with unconfessed sin, we need to get it right through repentance
and trust in our salvation.  There is no need to be barraged by our past,
it is under the blood.

 

There
is another description of being overwhelmed described in Isaiah 61:10I
am overwhelmed with joy in the Lord my God!  For he has dressed me with he
clothing of salvation and draped me in a robe of righteousness. 
 This
is the walking in the knowledge of exactly what our salvation has purchased us.
Taking time to focus on God's great grace and mercy does produce an
overwhelming joy and understanding that truly everything will be ok. The more
we are overwhelmed by his goodness, the less we will be overwhelmed by our
circumstances.

The
Apostle Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 1:8 about being overwhelmed as well. We
think you ought to now, dear brothers and sisters, about the trouble we went
through in the province of Asia.  We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond
our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it. In fact
we expected to die.  But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and
learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead.  And he did rescue us
from mortal danger, and he will rescue us again.  We have placed our
confidence in him and he will continue to rescue us.

I
can't imagine what all they went through. When things are too big for us to
handle, it forces us to turn to the Lord with his wisdom, resources and
supply.  This is not a bad thing.  Most of the time when we feel overwhelmed we
also feel out of control when this happens remind yourself that God is never
out of control, but has it in hand.  But Paul's perspective is something
we should strive for--the knowledge that God will rescue us in and through
whatever would come and try to overwhelm us.  The truth is they learned to
stop relying on themselves and learned to rely only on God.  This is the
key to walking through overwhelming circumstances with faith--relying on the
Lord.  Whether your "huge mass" is financial, emotional,
physical or relational--God is with you. Marriage issues, parenting struggles,
job problems etc. can all seem overwhelming at the time.  Cry out to Him,
find His safe refuge, take a breath and discover the solutions you need.