March 20, 2019
From the writings of the
Rev. Billy Graham
Q: I dread nighttime because going to sleep is not pleasant—it is a chore. Why can’t I turn my mind off and rest?
A: Many people have trouble falling asleep at night. Some take over-the-counter drugs or sleeping pills; others require prescription medication to sleep.
Often sleeplessness is a restless spirit and not a chemical imbalance that keeps us from what our bodies and minds need. It is good for us to remember that the Bible instructs us to lay down in sleep and dwell in safety (Psalm 4:8). One of the best ways we can help ourselves at the close of day is to direct our thoughts toward God who gives rest in our weariness.
The Psalms are perhaps the most soothing place in Scripture for one to turn to shut out the stresses and troubles of the day. Some of the psalms have been set to music and listening to them can help soothe the cares of the world. King David, who wrote many of the psalms, soothed the mind and heart of the king, and no doubt his own troubled soul.
God desires that we rest in Him. He knows that we need it in order to work effectively while we’re awake. So when sleep is difficult, read from the book of Psalms. There is joy in its message and peace in its instruction. We can pray and ask God to give body, mind, and soul restoration. He gives us quiet confidence to live by and rest in.
“I will not give sleep to my eyes or slumber to my eyelids, until I find a place for the Lord, a dwelling place for the Mighty One” (Psalm 132:4-5). Take solace in the fact that the Lord will be with us when we are resting in Him.
Q: In my youthful days couples living together outside of marriage was taboo. Is it right that we as a society have disregarded the old morality?
A: There is a growing rebellion against marriage throughout the world. Living together without sacred marriage is not only accepted, explained away, filmed, and glamorized; some church leaders are diluting the Scriptural guidelines for marriage in an attempt to be non-judgmental. There is also great pressure in our culture to establish same-sex “marriages” as normal.
But God’s truth and God’s laws never change. This is not because God is some rigid tyrant but rather He is a loving Father who knows how we best function, physically and spiritually. After all, one who manufactures a product knows more about it than anyone else. That is why a manual comes with most products that tells us how to assemble the item and how to keep it functioning properly.
No wonder God gave us His “manual,” the Bible. God says marriage is holy and sacred and is not to be entered into lightly. Many marriage ceremonies have removed God completely with couples getting married anywhere except the church. This is not to say that weddings must be held inside of a church building, but the holiness of the wedding vows are greatly overwhelmed by more prominent factors.
For marriage to be right before God, the relationship must consist of three people: the husband, the wife, and God at the center. When the husband and wife are focused on the things of God, they will likely form a united bond around the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, for He is the Bridegroom who will someday call His church out of this world to spend eternity with Him. This is the hope that all Christians set their hearts on.