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Vital signs- Sunday, October 23rd, 2022

Redirect Your Thoughts 

Did you know there is an account of insomnia in the Bible? In this final Psalm of Lament, the writer shares the struggles of sleepless nights and tormenting sorrow. If you have ever struggled with insomnia, you will likely be able to make a connection between personal anxiety and restlessness. In this passage, we find the Psalmist crying out to God in the night, seeking Him and finding no relief from their torment. He describes the physical anguish of a body that will not tire and a heart that refuses to be comforted.

As the Psalmist tries to seek God, it seems futile. He describes becoming weak in Spirit, being unable to speak, and unable to find rest. With eyes wide awake, it appears the Psalmist, imprisoned in memories of the past, is disappointed with God.

However, the Psalmist seems to break free of the downward spiral when he chooses to meditate on a different memory.  Rather than focusing on his current anguish, the writer focuses on stories of God's faithfulness. He focuses on the victories of Jacob, Moses, and the Israelite community. The Psalmist discovered that his problems became smaller when he directed his thoughts to stories of God's faithfulness. 

Do you find yourself restless at night because of anxious thoughts? When anxious thoughts are taking control, choose to redirect your thoughts to stories of God's goodness in your life or the lives of others. 

“My voice rises to God, and I will cry aloud; My voice rises to God, and He will hear me. In the day of my trouble I [desperately] sought the Lord; In the night my hand was stretched out [in prayer] without weariness; My soul refused to be comforted. I remember God; then I am disquieted and I groan; I sigh [in prayer], and my spirit grows faint. Selah. You have held my eyelids open; I am so troubled that I cannot speak. I have considered the ancient days, The years [of prosperity] of long, long ago. I will remember my song in the night; I will meditate with my heart, And my spirit searches: Will the Lord reject forever? And will He never be favorable again? Has His lovingkindness ceased forever? Have His promises ended for all time? Has God forgotten to be gracious? Or has He in anger withdrawn His compassion? Selah. And I said, “This is my grief, That the right hand of the Most High has changed [and His lovingkindness is withheld].” I will [solemnly] remember the deeds of the Lord; Yes, I will [wholeheartedly] remember Your wonders of old. I will meditate on all Your works And thoughtfully consider all Your [great and wondrous] deeds. Your way, O God, is holy [far from sin and guilt]. What god is great like our God? You are the [awesome] God who works [powerful] wonders; You have demonstrated Your power among the people. You have with Your [great] arm redeemed Your people, The sons of Jacob and Joseph. Selah. The waters [of the Red Sea] saw You, O God; The waters saw You, they were in anguish; The deeps also trembled. The clouds poured down water; The skies sent out a sound [of rumbling thunder]; Your arrows (lightning) flashed here and there. The voice of Your thunder was in the whirlwind; The lightnings illumined the world; The earth trembled and shook. Your way [of escape for Your people] was through the sea, And Your paths through the great waters, And Your footprints were not traceable. You led Your people like a flock By the hand of Moses and Aaron [to the promised goal].”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭77‬:‭1‬-‭20‬ ‭AMP‬‬

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