Hebrews Chapter 3 is talking about how the Israelites could not enter into the Promised Land, which was their "REST," because of un-belief. Continuing on in Hebrews 4:1-2: Let us therefore fear or be in awe of God lest a prom-ise of entering His REST, any of you should come short (be lacking or be in need) of it. For unto us was the gospel preached (good news) as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit (was not useful) to them, not be-ing mixed (taking possession and uniting) with faith (fully persuaded) in them that heard it.
God's Word is living and powerful. So, when we take the good faith promise for ourselves and act upon it, in good faith, then success and REST will be a natural part of our lives.
But just how do we "REST" when the world around us is so hectic and filled with so many troubles?
The world teaches us to work hard to get what we want, to pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps or that we get what we want by our own effort with some luck thrown in.
Hebrews 4:11 tells us to "Labour" to enter into that REST. But the word labour here, does not mean to do everything our own way, with the sweat of our brow and maybe it may work out for us.
The word labour means: make speed to enter, be prompt, give diligence or make it my business to understand how to labor or make speed to follow God's way.
The word enter means: be set in a place and time to, a purpose to do so, of one mind (with God) or ARISE and have motion towards. What does the Bible say about faith? It is NOW, and faith without ACTIONS is dead. When we LIVE by faith, everyday, in everything, we please God. Why? Faith IS how He operates. And when we unite with Him, we too operate in faith.
Can we REST when troubles are all around us, seeming at any moment to come in and swallow us up?
Yes, we can, and that is what God wants for us, and just a part of what Jesus lived His life here on earth for.
If our foundation is not built on the rock (Jesus) then when troubles hit we will begin acting on our own and not REST on the good faith promises of God and our foundation will prove that it is built on sinking sand.
Is it possible for us to truly believe that we do not have to have ANY worries or cares in our life? If we did, then we could truly REST the way God wants us to REST. Glory to God!
If we truly believed that Ephesians 3:20 meant what is said: Now unto Him (God) that is able (power to do so, perform repeatedly) to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask (what we desire and it doesn't even have to be an urgent need!) or think according (joined) to the power that works (is active and efficient) in us. Then we would never doubt, worry, have any unbelief or be "stuck in a rut again."
Let's go back and dig into a bit more just why the Israelites did not enter the Promised Land; into God's REST for them. Remember that the Old Testament was written for our example, so let's be sure we do not follow in their footsteps and pattern of thinking and acting.
Hebrews 4:3 says that they entered NOT in because of unbelief. The Hebrew language says it this way: they were obstinate, rebellious and stubbornly disobedient. They did not believe the good faith word of God, even though He brought them out of Egypt unharmed, not sick or whole and prosperous with the wealth accumulated from the Egyptians. What a short memory - what was their faith in?
The Bible says that they COULD NOT enter into the promised land because their unbelief constituted a breach of contract. So, the result of their own unbelief was that they COULD NOT enter into His REST!
Since they could not enter, then God says they SHOULD NOT enter His REST. Doubt is one thing, but unbelief is the negation of the good faith relationship. It is a denial or refusal to stay faithful to the agreement.
God has given us REST - through His Son, Jesus! When sickness, financial lack, need of answers or troubles of any kind attack - we have been given a place of REST. We don't have to wonder, worry or fret about the outcome - but we must choose to enter, STAY in, abide in and dwell in His REST. For those of us who have not entered into God's REST in some areas of our lives, it is now time to take possession of this good faith promise of God.
His REST - that's just a small part of the "package" of God's love for us!
AH - doesn't RESTING feel great!