Worn Out

Bible Book: Psalms  6 : 1-10
Subject: Exhaustion; Weariness; Stress; Peace

Psalm 6: 1-10

 By spring 1812, Napoleon controlled most of Europe, from Spain to Russia.  England, however, controlled the seas.  Napoleon wanted to control India, which was then a British colony.  But, because of Britain's superior naval strength throughout the world, his only hope was to take India by land, which meant gaining control of Russia.  

More than 600,000 men marched towards Russia under the command of the diminutive Corsican, but only about 30,000 survived.  The fate of Napoleon's Grand Army was sealed long before the first shot was fired.  On the route to Moscow, the army passed through Poland and found the region filthy beyond belief.  The peasants were unwashed, with matted hair and ridden with lice and fleas, and most of their wells were fouled.  

Soon thereafter, men began staggering out of the ranks and collapsing at the side of the road.  Typhus had struck and his army was suffering from severe headaches, high fever, rash, and delirium.  The problem?  His army was infected with lice!  In the end, Napoleon’s Waterloo came not so much by the Russian army nor the merciless Russian winter, but rather the fatigue and death from battling with lice.

And, that’s the subject I want to talk to you about this morning: Worn Out 

Lead In:

In this passage of Scripture, we find David in a sleepless night.  The first seven verses of this psalm are one great cry of anguish.  Three times (vv. 2, 3, 10) he used the word “vexed.”  It’s literally in the Hebrew a word which means "troubled, terrified, faint, and weak."  He was simply trying to say that he was worn out from groaning, tossing and turning, and weeping through the night. 

You can feel his agony in the painful question he asks in (vs. 3) that is asked at least sixteen times in The Psalms, “How long?”  It is the cry of a man who has hung on, and held out, but he’s growing tired.  He’s about ready to raise the white flag of surrender.  He’s about ready to give up.  He’s simply worn out.  

Now, let me ask you a question:  Am I speaking to anyone that is tired?  You may say, “Pastor, I’m not tired; I’m sick and tired!”  Others of you may say, “I’m sick of being tired!”  Truth is, you’re just worn out.

For so many of us, this whole COVID-19 issue has just been so very exhausting. Mentally, we’ve tried to get our arms around this new normal.  Emotionally, we’re dealing with constant stress and pressure.  Spiritually, we’re trying hard to live life, juggle our responsibilities, and be faithful to God.  

And, so now, into the 12th week, some are starting to crumble.  We are worn to a frazzle.  And, as the pieces fall, so do we, and we’re not even sure what happened.  We just know we’re spent, dry, weary, and totally exhausted in every way we can be.  What do you do when you find yourself simply worn out?

Mark 6: 31-32, Jesus said to His disciples, “Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat. And they departed into a desert place by ship privately.”

Vance Havner,

[This] “is a must for every Christian.  If you don’t come apart, you will come apart!”

If you are worn out today, I want you to step into this passage of Scripture with me, and let’s find wisdom and strength in the Word of God.

I. The Sources Of Reduced Strength   (vs. 3) 

Well, what was bothering David?  Well, David was run down mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually.  David was just like you and like me.  His body was simply tired.  As we would say today, he was slap dab worn out. 

You talk about being tired.  I heard of a woman who said, “I’m so tired I feel as though I’ve been standing in high heels, ironing on a low board with a cold iron all day long.” 

Well, that’s the way David was.  He was just tired; he was worn out.  In another psalm, David said it like this:

Psalm 22: 15, “My strength is dried up like a potsherd...” – That is like a piece of pottery that’s been fired, I’ve been in the kiln so long I’m hard and dry.  Now, what causes this problem of reduced strength?  I want to mention five of them that will take the wind out of your sails.

A. The Demands Of Service   

This psalm begins by telling us in the title it is “A Psalm of David.” David was a hymn writer.  David was a king of God’s people.  When you serve the Lord it will take strength of you.  

In Exodus 17, we find the Israelites facing a fierce enemy; the Amakelites.  They killed for sport and were on the attack against God’s people.  As Joshua led the people in battle, Moses went up to the top of the hill and held out the staff of the Lord over them. And God’s Word tells us in

Exodus 17: 11-12, “And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed.  But Moses hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun.”

We’re reminded from this powerful story that some days, even the best of leaders, of warriors, of faith-filled believers, can grow weary and exhausted.  Somebody said, “Mary had a little lamb, it grew to be a sheep; it then became a pastor, and died from lack of sleep.”  

Now, here’s the truth:  I get tired IN the work, but I never get tired OF the work.  And, you might as well admit it:  You’re a human being, and you’re going to get tired.  Jesus Christ Himself got so tired He sat on the side of a well when His disciples went out to get food.  Jesus even went to sleep in the back of a ship in the midst of a storm.  You can get tired no matter who you are. 

B. The Disability Of Sickness   (vs. 2)

The word “weak” literally is “sick.” It seems quite evident that David wrote this psalm after he had recovered from an illness which threatened to prove fatal.  

You know, sometimes, you just get sick. Living here in the south, we are all subject to the thick pollen in the spring and ragweed in the fall. Have you noticed how a simple sinus infection can shut down your entire body? When you get sick, you don’t feel like doing anything.  

Psalm 102: 4, “My heart is smitten, and withered like grass; so that I forget to eat my bread.”

You don’t even feel like eating. You are just there and you don’t want to move. You don’t feel spiritual. Your strength has gone of you.  Sickness has taken that from you.

C. The Damage Of Sin  (vs. 4) 

No doubt, David is consumed in thought with his pay day for a half an hour’s worth of sin when he had committed adultery, and tried to cover it up with murder.  

Psalm 31: 10, “For my life is spent with grief, and my years with sighing: my strength faileth because of mine iniquity, and my bones are consumed.”

That is, it has shut itself up in his physical frame. His body runs to escape the shadows of his guilt, but he cannot outrun his own mind.  I’ll tell you, many people cannot sleep just because they don’t have a good conscience. A clear conscience, many times, will do far more good than a sleeping pill.  

Unresolved guilt will sap strength out of your life. There is nothing that will cause you to sleep better than to know there’s nothing between my soul and the Savior. 

Ephesians 4: 26, “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath.”

Here’s what he’s saying, “Keep short accounts with God.” Whenever we sin, we ought to be quick to confess our sins and to get right with God, because, if we don’t, the devil finds a crack in our breastplate of righteousness, and then little sins have a way of becoming bigger and worse sins. 

D. The Devastation Of Sorrow (vs. 6)

What a moving description of a broken and contrite heart!  Not only was David broken by conviction gripping his soul, but he was tearful at the many loses in his life.  He had lost his best friend Jonathan, a new born baby son, two other sons, and a daughter that had been molested by her brother.  If you have ever had a loved one to fall deathly sick or to pass away, and most of us have, you know that been in great anguish and sorrow just absolutely pulls the strength out of you. 
1 Samuel 30: 4, “Then David and the people that were with him lifted up their voice and wept, until they had no more power to weep.” 

E. The Devices Of Satan (vs. 7)

Daniel’s vision of the 4 beasts (Daniel 7: 21, 25a), “I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them...And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High...”

The devil is a master strategist, and the devil knows exactly when to move in on you and to attack you.  You see, the devil doesn’t fight fair. 

Deuteronomy 25: 17-18, Amalek was a wicked, Canaanite king and here is what God said to Moses, “Remember what Amalek did unto thee by the way, when ye were come forth out of Egypt; how he met thee by the way, and smote the hindmost of thee, even all that were feeble behind thee, when thou wast faint and weary; and he feared not God.” 

This satanically inspired enemy said, “I’m not going to attack the strong ones; I’m going to find those who are hobbling and weak; some older man, some older woman, some little child.  Those are the ones I’m going to attack.”  Friends, when you are physically and emotionally worn out, then Satan sees the advantage over you. 

But, again, Satan is no respecter of moments.  He may move in during low tide spiritually, or he may move in after a great spiritual victory.

II. The Signs Of Receding Strength (vs. 5)

David has gone from despair in his circumstances to despairing for his life.  He is not only losing sleep, but he’s losing interest in life.  Satan’s method is to use small, daily irritations of people, pressures, and problems to tap against our soul like Chinese water torture until we give in or give up.  The classic example of this truth came from the life of Peter.  During the Last Supper, Jesus told Peter in:

Luke 22: 31, “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat.”

Peter’s responses in this sifting reveal a similar pattern in our lives. What are the warning signs of a life being worn out?

A. Our Praying Becomes Silenced

Perhaps an hour later, Jesus is in Gethsemane praying with His most intimate disciples; Peter, James, and John. As Jesus paused from praying, Luke 22:45 notes He came to them and “he found them sleeping for sorrow.” The storm of worry and fear had done its job and Peter, along with the others, had cried himself to sleep.  

As Peter’s praying ceased, the vulnerability of his life would increase. Jesus then said, “Rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.” No man will ever rise any higher than his prayer life.  The lives that have made the most memorable impacts for God are those who know how to storm heaven with their prayers. Prayer is not a ritual to them, but rather a desperate hunger of the soul for God. It is out of this preoccupation with God that strongholds are pulled down, captives are set free, miracles are wrought, and victories are won.  

Samuel Chadwick wrote, 
“Prayer turns ordinary mortals into men of power. It brings power. It brings fire. It brings rain. It brings life. Itbrings God.”  

B. Our Performance Becomes Spirit-less

Within a matter of minutes of Jesus concluding His prayer in the garden, soldiers came to take Jesus. In an effort to defend Jesus, we are told in

John 18: 10, “Then Simon Peter having a sword drew it, and smote the high priest’s servant...”  

While the motive and intention was honest, Peter was now going to work in the energy of his flesh. Maybe since he had walked briefly on the stormy sea and was a member of the “inner three,” he thought he could take this one by himself. We can expect nothing but frustration and failure when we undertake God’s work without God’s power.  

The world is waiting for a demonstration of Christianity that cannot be explained apart from God, but a skeptical world will never be convinced that our faith is real when it lacks supernatural power. 

Hudson Taylor, 
"Many Christians estimate difficulty in the light of their own resources, and thus they attempt very little and they always fail.  All giants have been weak men who did great things for God because they reckoned on His power and presence to be with them."  

C. Our Profession Becomes Secretive

After the arrest of Jesus, Peter stood around a fire warming himself when one of them recognized him as a disciple. Luke 22:57 records his response, “Woman, I know Him not.” With the fear of persecution ever-present, Peter’s inner worry had shut down his outward profession.  

You see, courageous faithfulness is a quality, I think, that all of us admire. And, if we don’t, we ought to. Ican tell you this; not only does God admire it, but God requires it. 

1 Corinthians 4: 2, “Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful” 

The Barna group released the results of a recent poll. "48% of regular churchgoers say that they have not watched any church online in the last 4 weeks. Only 40% of churchgoers report watching their regular home church online. 23% said they streamed a different church (either in place of their regular church or in addition to their regular church).

What is it all a sign of? People are growing tired; exhausted, worn out. It doesn’t matter how much ability you have, how much personality or intelligence you have, or how hard you work. Are you someone who can be counted on when the bell rings?

III. The Simplicity Of Renewed Strength (vs. 8-9)      

The transition is abrupt, like the flipping of a coin. One moment David was overwhelmed with trouble, the next he was marching forward in triumph. He had come to a place of rest. Now, one of the great truths and promises in the Word of God is found in   

Isaiah 40: 31, “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”

A. The Promise Of Rest   

Matthew 11: 28, “Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

The truth is, you probably don’t need to see a psychiatrist, doctor, or a minister. You probably just need to rest. That may be all there is wrong with you. You just need to rest. A lot of people, that’s true.  I like what one philosopher had to say. He said, “I have so much to do today, I simply must go to bed.” There is nothing wrong with resting. 

Genesis 2: 2, “And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had made; and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made.”

B. The Provision Of Rest (vs. 9)

Hebrews 4: 9, 11, “There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God...Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.”

God doesn’t always give us what we want; He gives us what we need. Listen, friend, God knows that there’s a time to work. But, God also knows that you need rest.  God took Elijah off to a little spiritual retreat up in the caves, and fed him with angel food cake, and He just let him rest. Jesus took His disciples and got away from the crowds into the mountains to rest. 

Psalm 23: 2, “He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters.”

C. The Peace Of Rest   (vs. 10)

Jeremiah 31: 25-26, “For I have satiated [satisfied] the weary soul, and I have replenished every sorrowful soul. Upon this I awaked, and beheld; and my sleep was sweet unto me.”

Psalm 127: 2, “It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep.”

He’s saying that it’s vain to not to get your rest.  And, one of the sure tests of our having been renewed with rest is the peace of mind which follows. Peace does not mean a retreat from the world, but rather a serenity which comes and remains, though the outside world may be in turmoil. And, when you know that God has got the entire universe and your little world under control, you can say with the psalmist in 

Psalm 4: 8, “I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for Thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety.”


A story is told of an exploring party in Africa which had employed a group of native carriers to go with them into the interior. Being in a hurry to reach their objective, the party was pushed relentlessly for several days.  

Finally the natives just sat down and would go no farther. Asked what was the matter, the superstitious natives replied, "We are waiting for our souls to catch up with our bodies." 

A lot of Christians who have run away from God in their hurry and rush for worldly things need to stop and catch up on spiritual things.