North Santa Rosa

Living With Purpose

It’s quite possible that the musical group, the Eagles, knew an essential secret to lifetime health and happiness when they sang the song “Take It Easy”. If I had a dollar for each time I’ve said that to someone, I might be looking at early retirement. Taking it easy is an act that seems safe and certainly one that sounds easy enough to achieve, but that’s not the case for many people. Every night, people across the country toss and turn and are unable to find a peaceful slumber to cap the day. Too many people don’t know how to take it easy and too many people are reaching for pills to find a way to relax and fall asleep. Sometimes pills don’t even work. What’s going on here? What are we missing? Better yet, what does this have to do with our spirituality?

First, let me say, I understand that some medical conditions make it difficult to experience a peaceful night’s sleep. Then there’s the night feedings of the little ones, or a spouse that snores or talks in their sleep. There are many exceptions I could list. But generally speaking, the essence of a peaceful mind and peaceful sleep lies in the positive changes in our mental state and the proper alignment of life priorities.

The life of strain is difficult. Worries easily consume us. Bad news is broadcasted 24/7 and we fill our minds with it often times right before going to bed at night. When we go to bed with an “ear full of trouble”, it’s no wonder we have problems sleeping. However, peace is possible. God’s peace would not be possible if He had not promised it. The Bible says, “God will keep in perfect peace, those who trust in Him” (Isaiah 26:3). In the New Testament, Jesus says, “My peace I give to you…” (John 14:27). Do you have Jesus? Do you know him as your Savior? This is the first step to a lifetime of peace. We have been told by God Himself if we will humble ourselves, He will lift us up (James 4:10). In other words, He will give us all we need to do what needs to be done—like a good night’s sleep to be at our best for His good work.

A prominent Christian physician once said that many of his patients have nothing wrong with them except their thoughts. The prescription he gives them is Romans 12:2, “Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.” To be healthier and happier the mind needs to be renewed. A mind full of peace becomes possible and this produces health, well-being, and restful sleep.

Lack of inner peace is due in a large part to all the noise and busyness that affects the nervous systems of all of us. I cannot tell you I know the answer to every sleeping problem, nor do I know why you are restless. But I do know there are a few things that can work and a peaceful sleep is something I consistently enjoy. My routine, especially in the evening hours, is to practice a mental game of emptying my mind of all negative thoughts, worries, and sinister concerns right before I go to bed; then filling it back up with Bible reading.  I accomplish this through a period of silence, quietness, and sincere prayer. Sometimes during my trail runs in the isolated peacefulness of the woods, I’ll stop, stand still, and enjoy the silence. Silence is healing, soothing, and promotes health. The practice of silence and isolated prayer is something Scripture tells us Jesus practiced regularly (Mark 1:35, Luke 4:42, Mark 6:46, Luke 6:12).

Many so called Christians are troubled today about things because they have allowed their priorities to shift. A once church-attender has all of a sudden quit going, stays at home or fills their Sunday with something else. The pursuit of holiness and God are no longer their top priority. Materialism, distractions, trying to keep up with others, a love of pleasure more than a love for God are things we let consume our minds and time. Every Christian, including myself, battles one or more of these. However, it is those who give themselves over to these things that find “peace in their life” to be an often absent bedfellow. When you have Christ, there is peace available to you unlike any other you can obtain. If you’ve never experienced it you just can’t comprehend it. Once you know Him and experience the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, His peace will guard your heart and your mind in Christ (Phil. 4:7). In this coming week, decide to make positive changes to your routine, practice getting rid of all negative thoughts about yourself and others, concentrate on what God wants for you, find a church for worship and fellowship, attend church faithfully, and follow God in all your ways.

  • This weekly column is written by Matthew Dobson. A graduate of Florida State University, University of West Florida, and Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, he is Pastor of New Bethel Baptist Church in Jay, Florida. Matthew can be reached by email: He welcomes your thoughts and questions concerning faith, belief, and Christian living.
Posted by on Jan 22 2012. Filed under Living With Purpose, Local, Top News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *