Together in Christ: 'Resting in the Lord' — Psalm 4:7-8

Sunday, September 24, 2023

You have given me greater joy than those who have abundant harvests of grain and new wine. In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, O Lord, will keep me safe.
— Psalm 4:7-8 NLT

Key Thought

I was never a very good sleeper. I quit taking naps at an early age. Once I was in my teenage years, I rarely slept for more than four or five hours a night. College wasn't any better. Getting married and spending my life in ministry, preaching, and pastoring people only made sleep harder. Granted, the Lord often used my few hours of sleep to prompt me with ideas for sermons, connections between people who were dealing with sin in their lives, things I had forgotten to finish, and bringing people to my heart that needed a touch of grace. Sleep, unfortunately, was short. I knew it wasn't healthy or good. I know there are several emotional and physical issues behind my not sleeping.

As I've gotten older, I enjoy a restful sleep. The Spirit blesses me with rest and ministers to me in my sleep. The Lord still prompts me while I sleep and occasionally directs me where I should go and what to decide. I experience sleep as a time when the Lord is present with me through the night. He blesses and comforts me through the presence of the Holy Spirit.

This change didn't begin with old age but with a new blessing. My wife Donna began to pray for the Holy Spirit to minister to me during the night as I slept. The more she prayed this for me, the more I anticipated being with the Lord in my night's rest. The more I would wake up in the night and arise in the morning after a good night of rest with a Scripture or Christian song still playing as the background track in my heart. I rejoice that I can say with David, the psalmist, "In peace, I will lie down and sleep, for You alone, O Lord, will keep me safe." In addition to Donna praying this for me, I also pray to meet the Lord in my sleep and moments of rest. Praise God; He does!

So, dear friend in Christ, for whom do you need to pray to ask the Holy Spirit to bless while they sleep? Who can you ask to do that for you? Don't discount it. There is "greater joy" the Lord longs to give you. Don't wait!

Today's Prayer

O, Lord, the God Almighty who is also my Abba Father, I ask You to come and join me as I sleep and rest in Your gracious presence. Along with Isaiah, I trust:

You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you. *

I thank You, Father, for the assurances of Your presence and peace as I sleep. I thank You, in the name of Jesus Christ my Lord. Amen.

* Isaiah 26:3.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Isaiah 26:3-9
  • Romans 15:13


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Illustration of Psalm 4:7-8 NLT — You have given me greater joy than those who have abundant harvests of grain and new wine. In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, O Lord, will keep me safe.

About This Devotional

Together in Christ is a daily devotional that focuses on what Scripture teaches about godly living in relationships.

'Together in Christ' is written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.