“My heart also instructs me in the night seasons” (Psalm 16:8).
The middle of the night is a great time to have a worry-fest. You wake up for some reason, and then you don’t go immediately back to sleep, so your mind wanders. Before you know it, you are fretting over any number of things.
Often these things come in the form of self-examination. “I am too lazy. I am a bad mom. I should exercise more. I am a terrible wife. No body likes me. I will probably die of a heart attack if I don’t start dieting.”
I learned long ago that I am always a better mom in the morning than I am in the middle of the night. What I am getting at here is the tendency some of us might have of getting very negative in the middle of the night. (Or in the middle of the day…it doesn’t much matter when this happens.)
But the Bible says that our heart should instruct us in the night. We ought not to be listening to a bunch of false accusations about ourselves. Rather we ought to be instructing ourselves.
Let’s look at the context of verses 7-8: “I will bless the Lord who has given me counsel; my heart also instructs me in the night seasons. I have set the Lord always before me; because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved.”
God has given us counsel, so we can instruct ourselves late at night. What might we remind ourselves in the middle of the night? The Lord is always near….at my right hand. So I shall not be shaken.
The Holy Spirit is the Comforter, not the accuser. We must learn to distinguish these two. If you are accusing yourself, you are talking like the devil. That’s the language he speaks. The Holy Spirit counsels us, instructs us so we can instruct ourselves.
The result that follows is found in verse 9: “Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices; my flesh also will rest in hope.” That means sweet sleep.