Many of us have been there. Middle of the night. Darkness surrounds. Stars shining brightly. All is quiet. All should be at peace.
Except for one problem.
We can’t sleep.
Thoughts are swirling, anxieties pressing hard. Peace feels far away. Fear seems to be bigger in the dark. It’s hard to see or think with clarity. Too many things can keep us awake. Wide awake. If you’ve lived long enough, you may have found yourself there.
Maybe the kids woke you up, or the new pet. Maybe it’s just a bad dream. Or something you ate. Yet often it goes much deeper than that. Worry or stress, money problems, deep loss or grief can steal away precious hours of sleep. Illness, disease, or pain that we or our loved ones might be facing, can cause true rest to be a constant battle.
Sometimes even the pain of broken relationships brings great heaviness to the soul. Unforgiveness, resentment, and anger, make it difficult to turn off our thoughts and rehearsed scripts, to find rest again.
For whatever reason, sleep and deep peace feel far away.
Recently when our family walked through a very difficult trial, I found myself there. Night after night, I was awakened by the deep hurt and pain in my heart. I prayed, I cried, I longed just to sleep again. But often, the only thing I found that could bring peace and comfort to my spirit was God’s Word.
I would say out loud every verse that came to my mind, praying His powerful reminders back to Him. Sometimes I would read chapter after chapter, until sleep came again. I would awaken, the Bible still laying open, right over my heart. It didn’t make all our problems go away. It wasn’t a magical, instant solution. When I woke up, the pain was still there. But through time, I realized this: my mind, heart, and spirit were being renewed day by day, night by night. His peace, healing, and comfort were washing over me every time I spoke his words, believing them to be true.
I was desperate for help.
And God was there.
He still is.
His words are living, active, and powerful. They are the only thing that can bring us true peace in this life, whether it be through the brightness of day, or in the darkest of night.
If you find yourself there right now, or have just walked through a difficult hardship and still struggle with fear-filled thoughts or overwhelming feelings in the night, here are some verses that might help to bring life, healing, and peace once again:
21 Verses for When You Can’t Sleep
“Cast all your anxiety on him because He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7)
“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord Himself, is the Rock eternal.” (Isaiah 26:3-4)
“When you lie down, you will not be afraid, when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.” (Proverbs 3:24)
“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27)
‘The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 34:18)
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)
“The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace.” (Psalm 29:11)
“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” (Psalm 56:3)
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble, therefore we will not fear…Be still, and know that I am God…the Lord Almighty is with us.” (Psalm 46:1-2, 10-11)
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things…and the God of peace will be with you.” (Philippians 4:8-9)
“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.” (Romans 8:26)
“In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.” (Psalm 4:8)
“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you…” (James 4:8)
“In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength…” (Isaiah 30:15)
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
“…for he gives to his beloved sleep.” (Psalm 127:2)
“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the LORD, ‘My refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust!’ He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge…” (Psalm 91:1-2, 4)
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow…” (Matthew 6:33-34)
“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” (Psalm 23:1-6)
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)
“I lift up my eyes to the hills – where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip – he who watches over you will not slumber, indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord watches over you…the Lord will keep you from all harm – he will watch over your life…” (Psalm 121:1-8)
Know that He is with you. Close. He will never leave you or fail you. Our God never sleeps or slumbers, He holds all things in His hands, even you. So you can rest, and get some sleep.
Please support us to reach others by sharing this article
Debbie McDaniel is a writer, pastor’s wife, mom to three amazing kids (and a lot of pets). Join her each morning on Fresh Day Ahead’s Facebook Page, for daily encouragement in living strong, free, hope-filled lives. Find her also at debbiemcdaniel.com