Feeling overwhelmed is a natural part of life. Even Jesus felt overwhelmed at times. Expectations, responsibilities, relationships, work, family — it can be debilitating when it all seems to be going poorly. It can bring overwhelming anxiety, frustration, anger, and even depression. But dwelling on those feelings is dangerous.
Five Things to Remember
If you’re feeling overwhelmed or stuck with more than you can handle, here are 5 things to keep in mind to help you get through it.
1. Problems have always been a part of life.
My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death,” he said to them. “Stay here and keep watch” (Mark 14:34).
You’re not alone. Human history is the story of overcoming adversity and pain. Every day millions of people are experiencing feelings similar to yours. Every day millions of people are finding ways to overcome.
The Bible is full of examples of very good and faithful people dealing with being overwhelmed. The entire book of Job is dedicated to this issue. Even Jesus felt overwhelmed (Mark 14:34).
The Apostle Paul told us that in the face of life’s struggles we are those who overcome (Rom. 8:37). Feeling overwhelmed is a natural part of life, but dwelling on that feeling is dangerous. You have to believe you can overcome.
2. Things change quickly when you start doing something.
He pleaded earnestly with him, ‘My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live.’ So Jesus went with him” (Mark 5:23-24a).
Jairus’ daughter was deathly ill. He was desperate. The well-respected synagogue ruler was overwhelmed with fear. He shamelessly threw himself at Jesus’ feet and begged him to help.
The Scripture reports simply, “So Jesus went with him …”
What a difference those five words made! Finally, someone was going to do something.
When you feel overwhelmed the temptation is to crawl into bed and escape. DON’T DO IT!
Sitting on the couch, dwelling on negative thoughts isn’t going to make anything better. In fact, it usually makes things worse.
Get up and get started. Do something. Even if it’s a small thing. It will make a big difference and give you the momentum you need to do the next small thing. Pretty soon you’ll be doing more and more.
3. You’ve felt this way before.
Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you endured in a great conflict full of suffering” (Heb. 10:32).
The Bible is big on remembering. It has a way of putting things in perspective and attaching you to a long line of experiences and people.
Jesus asked his disciples to remember his sacrifice. Remembering gives you a community to support you.
It’s important to remember life’s lessons and learn from them.
Think about the last time you felt overwhelmed. How did you overcome it? Was it really as bad as you thought?
If you don’t learn from past experiences, you’ll find yourself suffering from the same problems over and over.
4. Be grateful for what you have.
Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?” (Luke 17:18).
Jesus was astonished that only one of ten lepers he healed was grateful. And the one who was grateful wasn’t even a child of Abraham.
The Apostle Paul said it this way — “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (Phil. 4:6).
In an on-demand, social-media driven world full of people obsessed with making themselves look happy — it’s easy to feel like everyone has more than you. STOP!
Get that thought out of your head and remember what you do have. Don’t let a desire for more, blind you from seeing and appreciating everything you have right now. Be grateful.
5. People want you to be happy.
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing” (1 Thess. 5:11).
The Christians were worried about the darkness they saw in the world and the possible end of the world. The Apostle Paul told them that God was in control of all things and he had given them a spirit of encouragement.
Even when the forces of the world are against you, there are people who are for you and want you to do well. They are cheering you from the sidelines. It’s easy to forget they are there and they are rooting for you!