Hebrews 4 has a “tough love” message and warning for us! It begins with “therefore” so we need to remember what came before. In chapter 3, we were reminded that the Israelites did not believe and trust God and so were not obedient in going into the Promised Land as He commanded. Instead they complained and stayed in self-pity, and thought to turn on Moses. Therefore, they wandered in the wilderness for 40 years and died. They did not enter God’s rest because they did not have faith and trust in God and therefore follow His instructions. Therefore, we also should not be found short in our faith and trust in God resulting in not following Him and His instructions! Examine yourslef. Are you trusting God or in fear? Are you in self-pity? Are you complaining or expressing gratitude towards Him? Are you obedient to God’s Word? If not trusting and following God in word and action, how can you expect to enter His rest and blessings? If we do keep strong faith, conviction, and trust in Him so that we obey Him, we still have His promise of entering His rest!
God’s rest is not only being able to rest and have peace in Him in this life, but also eternal rest from our worldly labors. God established this pattern when He rested on the 7th day after creation. We must keep this sure blessed hope, of eternal rest with Him, forward in our thinking if we are going to remain faithful to Him. Eternal salvation is great encouragement and reward! Staying in His rest takes effort, focus, consistency, and continues over all time.
Faith relationshp is a matter of heart and mind with corresponding actions! God knows and sees everything about us, including our thoughts and attitudes of our heart. God’s Word is alive and active so that it can judge and cut between fleshly soul and sactified spirit. If our heart is right towards God, His Word will cut away what is not good and divide it from what is good in Him, in order to preserve and sanctify us (set us apart from evil and the fleshly world through instruction and training).
Therefore, hold firmly in faith,to our great high priest, Jesus! He is our promise for the final Promised Land. Jesus can empathize with our weaknesses as He was also human and faced temptation and tribulation, yet without sin. Because He has paid the penalty of our sin with His own blood, as the High Priest pays for sins by the blood of the Lamb, we now can approach the very throne of God, by His own grace and mercy. He is ready to help us in our times of need. Even now we can enter into His rest if we continue to hear and follow Jesus, even through hard troubles and temptations! Therefore keep your faith relatlonship with Jesus strong and primary.