Rest (Hebrews 4:9)

So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God.

Hebrews 4:9

This verse is situated in a larger thought about rest and who can give it. There are verses preceding that talk about God swearing that some people will not enter into His rest and other verses that talk about how neither Moses nor Joshua was able to give the people of Israel rest. The divider between those who enter into God’s rest and those who do not is given in verses 1-2. That divider is belief; firm conviction that He Who promised rest is able to provide it.

I needed to hear this. Things have been chaotic in many ways. My kids just keep getting bigger and able to do more and I find myself more and more stressed about how to be a good father. God has promised rest. Our living situation is sometimes stressful and it weighs heavily on my mind. God has promised rest for those with heavy burdens. I find that trying to do the right thing and the good thing is exhausting and wearies me. Jesus invites the weary to come to Him and He will given them rest. I sometimes find myself sitting and my mind is awhirl with things that trouble me about politics and economics and so on. I find myself frustrated with the very presence of sin and its affect on people and the world in which we live. God has promised rest.

Some rest — like the rest I need to be able to stand back up and get back to doing good and trying to be a good father to my children and a good husband to my wife and a good … well, everything to everyone, really — God has promised for the here and now. Jesus was not promising some future rest when He invited the weary and heavy-laden to come to Him. He was offering rest for our souls now.

Other rest, like the rest that can only come when sin has been obliterated, God has promised in the future.

The application is this: I need simply believe that God is able to fulfill His promise of rest. I will paraphrase a quote from Shanghai Noon, “That which He has promised, He will perform.” Let me only put my full trust and confidence in God’s promise of rest and I will find that He has given it to me.

Jesus, You promise rest to those who come to You heavy-laden and weary. I am weary and I am weighed down. I come to You now and ask for the rest You have promised, knowing that You will give it to me freely and without rebuke. You know my capabilities and that life exceeds them. Please give me rest for my soul and take my burdens as Your own.

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