An open Bible and a cup of coffee.

It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep.”
(Psalm 127:2)

Like many people living in these uncertain and perilous times (1 Timothy 3:1), I have a good deal of trouble shutting my mind off and falling into a deep sleep at night. There is always something of significance occupying my thoughts. Often I will rise in the middle of the night to pray and give these things to God. That does seem to help. Today’s verse passage is one of many that encourage us not to worry (Matthew 6:25-34; Philippians 4:6-7), fret (Psalm 37:1-8; Proverbs 24:19), or become disheartened (Luke 18:1; Hebrews 12:3). The Bible does not multiply references to these things for no reason; our human tendency is to slip into autonomous modes of thinking, especially when faced with trials and challenges. That is, we often interpret our circumstances through the lens of unaided human reason rather than consciously take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). This kind of thinking not only necessarily places ourselves as the center of our world, becoming our own ultimate reference points, it also causes us to look to ourselves for direction on what ought to be done and how it may be achieved. Today’s passage reminds us that this kind of thinking is completely wrong-headed. A man operating under the dictates of autonomous human reason may be compelled to expend an enormous amount of time and energy in pursuit of his goals but in the end he will wind up disappointed and dissatisfied, eating “the bread of sorrows.” How much better it is to cast our cares upon Christ, knowing for certain that He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7). The greatest of man’s cares, arguably, is his fear of death and of what lies beyond his earthly life. To this worry the Lord has spoken directly and decisively. Jesus Christ tasted death for every man (Hebrews 2:9) in order to destroy our adversary, the Devil (Hebrews 2:14), and to “deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage” (Hebrews 2:15). Our Lord’s resurrection from the dead is proof positive that death does not get the last word. Just as the pangs of death could not prevent Jesus from re-entering the land of the living (Acts 2:24), it will not prevent our resurrection to glory either (1 Corinthians 15:12-58; 1 Thessalonians 4:15-18). “Because I live,” promised the Savior, “ye shall live also” (John 14:19). How merciful, gracious, and kind our Lord is. He has not only done all that was necessary to secure our redemption, but, knowing our human frailty and our fear of death, he has multiplied references in the Bible to the blessed state of Christians who pass on (2 Corinthians 5:8; Philippians 1:23). Moreover, He gently, tenderly, and continually prepares us for the future every time we lie down to sleep and when we arise. Each cycle is a “dress rehearsal” reminding us that we will arise one day, satisfied and in His likeness (Psalm 17:15). Praise the Lord!

God bless,

pastor john