Why Your Insomnia May Be Good For You

According to recent studies, one in three people suffer from insomnia. In fact, an astounding 40-60% of all people over 60 can’t sleep at night. This malady leads to weight gain, obesity, and depression.

But you may be surprised to learn that insomnia may be good for you.

Please join us in our daily Bible conversation to discover why.

TODAY’S READING

Isaiah 25:1-28:13
Galatians 3:10-22
Psalm 61:1-8
Proverbs 23:17-18

INSIGHTS AND EXPLANATIONS

Isaiah 25:1-28:13. Isaiah take’s an interesting turn here. While prophesying destruction, he breaks into an interlude that offers praise to God for their future deliverance.

The phrase “in that day” is used 43 times in Isaiah—and seven times in today’s reading. The phrase usually foretells the day of judgment when God dispenses his justice to the nations. Usually it points to the end of all time. The end of chapter 27 prophesies the day when people will come from the Gentile nations to worship God on the holy mountain. Initially, the Jews believed that it was referring to them. But the movement of God in the world is to draw everyone to his heart. Jesus said, “But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself” (John 12:32 italics included).

Isaiah 27:1 refers to the Leviathan, a mythic snake-like sea monster. In this context, the prophecy foretells the end of time when God will vanquish his enemy Satan. God is not an equal foe to the devil, he is the victor over all his enemies. His kingdom will come and his will done on earth as it is in heaven.

Galatians 3:10-22. The people in the church at Galatia believed that they were saved by God’s grace plus their good works. They needed to adhere to certain rituals in order to be in good standing with God. But in today’s reading, Paul writes that placing our trust in living by the rules places us under a curse. No one can live the perfect life—so if we want to take that path, we’re all doomed. He quotes Deuteronomy 27:26, “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law” (Galatians 3:10).

The purpose of the Book of the Law (Genesis through Deuteronomy) was to show us our inability to live perfect lives—and our need for Jesus. We simply cannot be good enough to save ourselves. “So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith” (Galatians 3:24).

Only the grace of God through Jesus can save us! Not baptism, communion, confirmation, church attendance, avoiding pornography, abstaining from alcohol, feeding the poor, or anything else. The only thing that can save us is placing our trust in Jesus to forgive our sins and give us eternal life.

Psalm 61:1-8. Scholars believe David wrote this while fleeing from his son Absalom, who was attempting to overthrow his father’s throne.

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THE WORD MADE FRESH

The most astounding fact about insomnia is that 51% of Americans lose sleep due to stress or anxiety. I’m sure similar statistics exist regarding other countries…

David was on the run from his son Absalom. His life was in danger. In the midst of his turmoil, he wrote a phrase in Psalm 61 that reveals an important truth and perhaps the key to our insomnia:

“Lead me to the rock that is higher than I” (verse 2).

David understood that his capacity to save himself was limited. He was positioned on a rock in the middle of a river that was rising. What he needed was a rock that was higher than him. A rock that would save him from the rising flood water.

Then today’s reading led us to Isaiah 26:3-4: “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord, is the Rock eternal” (italics added). Jumping from one rock to the higher rock means trusting in the Lord.

Derivatives of the words “trust” and “faith” appear in Scripture 588 times. The foundation—the rock—of our faith and one of the recurring themes of Scripture is trust in God.

A few days ago, we looked at the fact that we’re not the messiah. We cannot save people. In the same way, we cannot save ourselves. We need a rock that is higher than us. But the tendency of the human heart is resist jumping to that higher rock until the rising river reveals our incapacity to make it on our own. We wait until the water is neck-high before we move.

But what if God allows the water to rise so we’ll be motivated to make the jump? What if he loves us so much and desires communion with us so much that he causes the flood to consume us?

You see, the rising flood isn’t necessarily our enemy. Oftentimes it is our blessing in disguise because it leads us to a more intimate knowledge of God, a deeper communion with the Almighty.

When we trust in the Lord and make him our rock, those worries that whisper in our ears in the middle of the night suddenly become silent. We don’t hear them because they don’t exist. The problems may exist but not the worries because we trust that we’re situated on the Rock that is higher than us.

And then we can get that good night’s sleep.

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Michael co-pastors The Neighborhood Church with Eugene Scott in Littleton, Colorado.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Why Your Insomnia May Be Good For You

  1. elna

    I once talked to a pastor that said that he asked God to give him more time to pray and then he became an insomniac. ;)) In my own life I have found that when I lie awake I need to start praying and somewhere along the line I will pray for the right person and immediately feel at peace and fall asleep. (the fastest way to fall asleep is to stop wasting time praying for myself and just focus on others ) God has called me to an intercessory ministry. With this in mind, I stand amazed at, especially women, telling me they use sleeping pills because they can’t sleep…and yet when I share with these fellow Christians my experiences with God they refuse to believe me. God says in Job that He speaks in several ways and also through dreams. One of the major problems with sleeping pills is that it keeps the user from dreaming. Dreaming is a God given way for humans to work through the problems in your life. If you are stressed out from life and that keeps you from falling asleep, surely it is better to spend time in front of the throne of God, the only One who is actually capable of solving your problems, instead of laying awake worrying or taking sleeping pills.

  2. That makes perfect sense, Elna. When I was a kid, my mom used to tell me, “If you can’t sleep at night, pray. That way, you’ll either get something accomplished or Satan will try to get you to stop by making you sleepy.”

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