Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. [Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT)]
Be still, and know that I am God! [Psalm 46:10a (NLT)]
“What can keep you up at night?” she asked. The questioner, however, wasn’t interested in my reaction to caffeine or spicy foods—she wondered what things weigh heavy on my heart that keep me from peaceful sleep. While a venti latte in the late afternoon might keep me awake, not much else robs me of a night’s sleep. It wasn’t always that way, but resting in God’s word has a way of calming me better than any lullaby ever could.
I’ve learned that worry simply pushes God out of His rightful place. Unfortunately, it took me way too many years to understand that simple fact. Even though I knew better, I felt responsible for the happiness and success of everyone I loved, I thought I had to be perfect (or as near to perfect as possible) to be loved by God or man, and I worried because perfection was unachievable. It took a few crises to knock me to my knees where I belonged—praying instead of worrying and surrendering to God instead of trying to be Him. I resigned as ruler of the universe and found much longed for peace. Fortunately, God does a much better job of running lives than I ever could! The words of Philippians and Psalms reassure me that God is firmly in control. My job is to do the praying; the rest is up to Him!
I also used to carry a bag of remorse, guilt and grief that would weigh heavy on my heart nightly. While lying in bed, instead of counting sheep, I would count regrets, hurts, and sorrows. Words found in Matthew 6 and 1 John reassure me of God’s loving forgiveness. If He can forgive me, I can graciously accept his forgiveness and forgive myself. If He can say “over, done with and gone” about my offenses, I can do the same for others. That heavy bag of bad no longer exists and, instead of sheep or faults, I now count my blessings!
What keeps you awake at night? Is there a Bible verse that might help you sleep better? Resting in His word is probably more effective than many of those sleep medications on the market and there are no undesirable side effects! There is, however, a warning—you can get dependent upon God’s word. Indeed, the peace that passes understanding is addictive!
If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. [Matthew 6:14 (NLT)]
If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. [1 John 1:8-9 (NLT)]
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