OVERWHELMED Andy Hollifield 2-21-17
As I sat in Monday night prayer meeting last night at Morning View Baptist Church in Weaverville, I listened as Rays Chapel Freewill Baptist Church Choir was singing. I don’t know how many times it was said but one word caught my attention; overwhelmed. Two songs in a row talked about when we get overwhelmed. The funny thing was that one song mentioned our rock. I immediately thought of the verse in Psalms “Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” I didn’t know the chapter and verse so I looked it up in the concordance of my bible. Psalms 61:2 “From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” A special blessing to me when I looked it up in my bible was a note I had written with a date beside it in 2015. It simply said that Tyler (my son) said “I like this” when he was reading it as part of his schoolwork. He didn’t usually comment on the scripture he read but he did that day. This is a psalm of David. The boy king anointed by the prophet Samuel long before he took the throne. The giant killer that took a long, winding, unconventional road from the pasture to the palace. This psalm was written no doubt when he was on the run from Saul. Did you catch what he said in his prayer? When, not if but when, my heart is overwhelmed. David, a God-fearing man, at times felt like he was at the end of the earth and his heart got overwhelmed. As much as God had blessed him and all the promises God had made him, his heart still got overwhelmed. If a man like David could get overwhelmed in his heart, as weak as I sometimes am in my faith, surely I also get overwhelmed. To load, heap, treat, or address with an overpowering or excessive amount of anything; to cover or bury beneath a mass of something, to overpower or overcome. Those are just a few of the definitions of overwhelm. Have you ever been there? Buried under a load of anything? The word “overwhelmed” is in the bible 8 times, all of them in Psalms. In chapter 55:5 “Fearfulness and trembling are come upon me, and horror hath overwhelmed me.” Keep in mind that these verse tell us how “a man after God’s own heart” felt at times. In 77:3 his spirit was overwhelmed. Again in 143:4 it says “Therefore is my spirit overwhelmed within me; my heart within me is desolate.” Desolate here means to be put to silence or astonished. Check out these next three or four verses and see if they sound familiar. Psalms 142:1 [[Maschi of David; a prayer when he was in the cave.]] I cried unto the Lord with my voice; with my voice unto the Lord did I make supplication. (2) I poured out my complaint before him; I shewed before him my trouble. (3) When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, thou knewest my path. In the way wherein I walked have they privily laid a snare for me. (4) I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was no man that would know me: refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul.” I have been there many times where I just can’t make sense out of what God is doing and to be real honest about it, sometimes I just want it to be over. It is in those times when I have just emptied myself to him that the bible says in Romans 8:26 “likewise the spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. (27) And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” I am glad that even when I am overwhelmed that the Holy Ghost can translate for me. When I am so broken that I can’t do anything but sob before the Lord, he can speak directly to the Lord all that is in my heart that I can’t put into words. Hebrews 7:25 says “Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.” When I am so overwhelmed I can’t even pray, God has me covered. Intercession is in the bible only 9 times. Overwhelmed, as I mentioned earlier, is in the bible 8 times. You know what that means don’t you? We have more than enough intercession for the times when we get overwhelmed. Our spirit and our heart at times can get overwhelmed with the cares of this life. It isn’t always a sign of weak faith but quite often an abundance of compassion. As I sat there as the Lord dealt with me on this, I saw a man singing and his heard his wife testifying that for about a year have been overwhelmed by health concerns. I heard a woman testify that was obviously overwhelmed by the unresponsiveness of her family to God’s love. I heard another lady let out a Holy Ghost squall because evidently she had been overwhelmed and God sent her some relief. Another lady was there that had spent a lot of nights with a military husband that had spent a lot of time deployed in a combat zone that no doubt had often gotten overwhelmed. Others that had suffered sickness while away from home that had likely felt overwhelmed. Even a family with some health issues and even a loss of a child that are still in recovery from being overwhelmed and another family that had walked that road years ago. A man that is often overwhelmed by the destruction that follows when a family member gets hooked on drugs. The one thing I didn’t find that got overwhelmed was the soul. I wondered why that was but it dawned on me that God breathed into man the breath of life and he became a living soul. The cares of life or the fiery darts of the wicked cannot possibly overwhelm the soul because they can’t overwhelm God. All of these families still trusting in God and still giving him praise because when they have been overwhelmed that the spirit of God has made intercession for them. Even myself, with my own health issues in recent years and all the drama that accompanies autism in a family member, still just as Pilate declared; “I find no fault in Him.” Never have I been overwhelmed that he didn’t help me to overcome. Jesus said in John 16:33 “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: BUT be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” Romans 12:21 “Be not overcome of evil, BUT overcome evil with good.” God didn’t save us to be undergoers but overcomers! The word “failure isn’t in the bible but the word “overcome” is in there 22 times with twelve of them in the New Testament”.
If you want to read something that will bless you, read Psalms 124. It is eight verses of remembrance to remind us what would have happened but didn’t if it hadn’t been for the Lord. If it had not been the Lord who was on our side (fill in the blank here). There were a lot of folks in that Monday night service that had been overwhelmed in the past but had overcome their trials by the grace of God. Even the apostle Paul asked the lord three times to remove what he termed as “a thorn in his flesh” and God finally answered his prayer with this statement: “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness…” “Sufficient” is in the bible 13 times. Exodus 36:7 is the first time “For the stuff they had was sufficient for all the work to make it, and too much. This was the way things turned out as the Israelites brought their offerings to construct the Tabernacle. The last time “sufficient” is used is God’s answer to Paul that I mentioned in 2 Corinthians 12:9. Correct me if I am wrong but doesn’t both of those scriptures say we have more than enough?
When you get overwhelmed just remember that God will give you grace to overcome and regardless of your circumstances; he will give you more than enough. Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!