Remember, Repent, Renew—The Remedy for a Burned-Out Believer

By   •   January 18, 2018   •   Topics:

Will Graham will preach in Johnson City, Tennessee, April 27-29.

If you take a real assessment of your life and ministry today, how does it look?

Perhaps you haven’t seen the fruits of your labor that you’d hoped for or expected. Maybe you’re resentful of others around you who don’t seem to be carrying their own weight in the ministry. It could be that your team is great and you’re seeing a harvest, but you’ve been going nonstop as far back as you can remember and you’re just burned out.

>> Looking to grow your faith? Here are some ways to get started.

If you’re struggling, you can probably empathize a bit with the church in Ephesus, to whom God speaks in Revelation 2:1-7. The early believers there worked hard in the ministry, and they were good at it. They were tireless, discerning and persevering. Even in the face of hardships and persecution the church continued to serve those in need.

The problem was that they labored so hard in ministry that they lost their focus and the source of their motivation. The church had forsaken its first love. They were too wrapped up in the process of doing God’s work to make time for God Himself.

>> Read more on replenishing a burned-out soul.

We’re called to so much more, however, than just “staying busy for Jesus.” If this struggle is all too familiar in your life and ministry, look specifically at the first half of verse 5, which gives us three key steps to return to the correct path:

First, believers in the church at Ephesus are commanded to remember back to when they had first encountered the Living God and were bursting with excitement. Just as marriages can become mundane if we forget that original passion and don’t make an effort to keep it burning, so it can be with God. We can go through the motions and do the work but not remember the desire we once had for Him.

Second, repent. It feels odd to say we need to repent for doing ministry, but according to the passage, it had reached the point where the people of the church were ministering with the wrong spirit and motivation. The issue was bad enough that God called them to repentance.

Finally, “do the things you did at first.” Or, as I would put it, renew your relationship with Him. Spend time in prayer and in the Bible. If we give God the best of our time, and focus that time on building , I believe we will quickly remember and reconnect with our “first love.”

My friends, if you’re feeling burned out, it doesn’t have to be this way. Remember, repent, and renew. God will lead you and your ministry from there and use you in ways you cannot even begin to imagine.


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  1. Richard Holt says:

    Thanks be to God for those who continue to teach and preach the Gospel according to Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.

  2. Ann marie tayor says:

    Praise our Lord and Savior. He keeps us strong and moving on in this evil world.

  3. Margie Johns says:

    Good message to help you pray, but most importantly, worship and praise our Great God!

  4. Michael McVay says:

    I know I was burned out for a time and was off in the distance, but I still maintained a relationship with the Lord. The Lord called me back to Himself completely. I’ve had to repent of things. Jesus didn’t let me wander off too far away. I have a closer walk with Him now. To God be all the glory.

  5. Glenn Marshall says:

    Keep plugging.

  6. Christian Easton says:

    Thanks Will. This was a sound and refreshing reminder to many of us who sometimes tire of not growing weary in well doing. I appreciate your family’s ministry and I am especially glad to see a new generation picking up the mantle of evangelism. Thank you.

  7. Jeffrey Hill says:

    That is so true. I was guilty of it myself—getting burned out. I went to church and had a religionship with him instead of having a intimate relationship with him. Out of the 30 years I have been saved, 20 years of it was religionship, playing church but not having a intimate relationship with Jesus with quiet time, reading the Bible and devotions. Thank you, Will, for the message. God bless you!

  8. Elsie Slade says:

    Praise God. Reverend Will, I thank you for those encouraging words for the people. God bless you and how He is using you in these days.

  9. Douglas Sluss says:

    Thank you for publishing this very timely and powerful Word!!

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