Religion column written by Larry Bennett
“So there is a special rest still waiting for the people of God.” (Hebrews 4:9 NLT)
The context of the book of Hebrews has to do with convincing the unbelieving Jews of the superiority of Christ. Jesus is the fulfillment of all that they hold dear. Jesus is better than Angels, Moses, and the Law because He is the fulfillment of all of those things. So the writer of the book is admonishing them to not harden their heart in unbelief like their ancestors, but enter into the rest that salvation can give them.
This message of rest is also for us today. Because of the redemptive work of Jesus on the cross we can enter into a Spiritual rest for salvation.
This rest not only applies to salvation, but also to everyday life. Our salvation is so complete that it not only deals with our eternal destiny, but it can offer us rest in the midst of every problem. The same rest that is available for the salvation of our souls is also available for every challenge of life.
Learning how to rest is an important element of victorious living. Saying, “I’m resting” is not some spiritual incantation that enters us into the resting mode, but rather it’s a lifestyle based on absolute truth. As the invitation in Hebrews states, “therefore be diligent to enter into that rest” (V 11). Entering into God’s rest is an exercise of the will, trusting in the authority of His Word.
It’s a deliberate acknowledgment that God is fully aware of your situation and He understands the severity, the timing and the gravity of your problem. In other words, resting is agreeing to allow God to “fix it” in His way, on His terms, and in His timing. Its the act of “casting all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7)
When my daughter Leslie was a toddler she was a trusting soul. I would lift her up and put her on the kitchen counter. She would leap off the counter with enthusiasm into my arms. No matter how far I got from the counters edge she would leap with complete trust that I was going to catch her. After each jump she would say, “again,again”.
That’s how God wants us to experience Him. He wants us to take the leap of faith and learn torest in Him, again and again. He will, without fail, catch us when we take the leap of faith and give all our anxiety to Him.
There is a song written in 1920 by a Englishman named Edward Henry Joy called “All our Anxiety”. I believe the song echoes the message of rest in Hebrews 4.
Is there a heart bound by sorrow?
Is there a life weighed down by care?
Come to the cross each burden bearing
All you anxiety leave it there
All our anxiety all our care
Bring to the mercy seat, leave it there.
Never a burden He cannot bear,
Never a friend like Jesus”.