Sometimes living in this world can be exhausting! Especially right now, everywhere we turn, it seems there is chaos. It's hard to get through a day without observing things that can make us feel overwhelmed and discouraged. How often have you come to the end of the day and thought to yourself, "I just need some rest!"
Each of us need physical rest - a good night's sleep really does make a difference! But today I'd like to look in the Word of God at another kind of rest. In Hebrews 4:8-12, we see a wonderful picture of a kind of rest that can exist and be present in our lives even when we are surrounded by chaos.
We understand that, as Christians, one type of rest God has offered to us is through salvation. We don't have to try to earn or fight our way to God's love and forgiveness - He offers it to us freely! We can rest in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross. However, there is another type of rest we see in this passage. This is the rest Christians can enjoy in their daily lives because of the relationship with God they have through Jesus. There are two observations from this passage I'd like to draw your attention to that show us how we can have this kind of rest in our lives.
First, resting in God means ceasing from our own works. Verse 10 says, "For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his." It's easy to get so busy doing what we believe is right that we begin to think we're the ones who are doing it! Our God is all-powerful; every change that needs to happen in our world will happen at His will and through His power! That doesn't mean we sit on our hands and do nothing, but we can rest in the fact that our efforts are not the thing that makes the difference in the lives of people - Jesus is. God is pleased when we work hard and strive for excellence in our lives but, ultimately, it's reassuring knowing that everything doesn't rest on our shoulders. The most effective thing we can do when dealing with any issue in life is to take it to God in prayer and rest in Him!
Second, the Word of God exposes our true needs and offers real solutions. There are so many places we can turn to in order to try and find some rest. Whether it's a hobby, watching television, or working out - everyone has a way they try to "unplug." As Christians, we should remember that the place we must always turn to in the midst of our struggles is the Word of God. Verse 12 says, "For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." When we spend time with God through His Word, He can pierce and divide our hearts so that we begin to see the areas where we are not like Jesus. While uncomfortable, growing in those areas will bring tremendous peace in our lives! Allowing the Word of God to expose our hearts and offer real solutions to our problems is key to a life of real peace and contentment.
Some days it feels like rest may never come, but I want to encourage you today that true rest is found in the person of Jesus Christ. We must place our faith in Him for salvation, and we must continue to place our faith in Him each and every day for the rest that we need.
Written by Elijah Ketchum