Back to Hebrews 4 to answer a question…

Some have this question concerning Hebrews 4 – How do I enter into God’s rest….especially in such a crazy world full of troubles? I don’t know what to think or who to believe. The world is in chaos. I find myself worrying and paniced about what might happen…even fearful. It can even drive me to hopelessness and depression. How can I find peace and rest in the face of real trouble?
There are multiple ways that God offers us to enter into His rest. The primary break down is in two areas. First, entering His rest while in this life and second, entering His rest in our eternal kingdom, His final Promised Land. Most of us understand the final rest from our labors in a place of love and peace forever in His coming kingdom. This is foreshadowed in God resting on the final seventh day of creation.
But, how does God offer rest now while we walk around in this wordly wilderness? Notice the similarities when God gave His Word of instructions to the Israelites to go in and possess the Promised Land, but they refused due to fear, and then complained to God and Moses about how bad things were. They were not willing to totally trust God. They were unwilling to fight and work together with God for the victory over evil in the land. So, they refused to enter His rest and instead wandered in the wilderness. They chose their destination. God did not forsake His people. He still led them by the fire at night and the cloud by day. He still spoke with Moses concerning how to lead them. He still fed them with manna from heaven. But, their disobedience cost them a lifetime of wandering until they died. They would not enter His rest through obedience, and instead became hard hearted and stubborn.
In just the same way, if we refuse to follow His instructions in His Word, we will also wander around in the world and not enter His rest. We must hear and obey – no matter what! It may mean facing a battle or working hard, but we must pursue and be convicted to work together with Him in His way and according to His Word. He will then make us able to enter His rest even while we work and battle!
Remember Philippians 4: 4-7? Always rejoice in the Lord. The Lord is at hand! Be anxious for nothing. Pray with thanksgiving and let Him know your requests. God’s peace, His tranquil state of a soul assured of salvation through Christ, that resting in Jesus, with faith and trust in God, that fears nothing from God but blessings…that rest and peace can be content with its earthly lot of whatever sort it is. That peace and rest transcends all worldly understanding. That peace and rest will garrison and mount guard over your heart and mind in Christ Jesus! Your heart will not faint and your thoughts will not be scattered….but rather focused on Jesus.
Can I find that kind of rest even in big troubles? James 1: 2-8….Count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing the testing of your faith produces patience…which will do its perfect work to make you complete. It drives your faith and trust in God even deeper. If you lack wisdom, ask God and He will instruct you….keep asking, keep seeking, keep knocking on His door and He will give an answer and make a way for you to work together with Him! But do not doubt Him, do not retreat or lose faith or be double minded….focus on Father, Son Jesus and Holy Spirit. Doubting is like a wave of the sea that gets tossed about by the winds of the world and is very unstable, even fearful. How can you receive anything from God that way. The righteous person lives by faith in God. Jesus told us that in this world we would have trouble, but rejoice because He has overcome the world and He is with us always! This is not talking about worldly riches, but rather about spiritual riches in Christ! These riches are real…. love, hope, peace, joy, rest, and faith in Someone who is faithful!
Remember when we are told about Peter walking towards Jesus on the water in Matthew 14? Peter obeyed Jesus command to “come” and he did the impossible. Peter walked on water. But, when he looked at the violent waves instead of focusing on Jesus, Peter began to sink. He was smart enough to call out to Jesus for help and was saved. In the end, Jesus stilled the storm.
We can enter God’s place of rest and peace by focusing on and putting faith in God and His Word. We are to live by our faith and trust in God!
If you read the Psalms, you will see that King David also knew how to enter the rest of God, even in the midst of troubles. Many of the Psalms begin with David’s concern and request and end with faith and thanksgiving to God! David was a man after God’s own heart. David knew God and God knew David.
We too can enter the rest and peace and joy of God, even in the middle of troubles and a cracy world! Know God’s words (as He has made available in the Bible) and be sure to continually love Him and desire to know Him and His ways of righteousness more. You will come to recognize and know His voice and His ways. Then, just follow Him as totally obedient as you know to do. Keep your focus on Him, His might, His power, His love for you, and His promises. Walk through all of life with faith and trust in Father, Son Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. They will never fail you.
Even death will not be able to separate you from them, but rather just be the path to entering into Their presence. To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord….death can kill the body, but not the spirit, the real person. Almighty God is for us, who can ever be against us and win. Now, that sould give ultimate peace and rest in every situation! Thanks be to God! His love and grace is sufficient for me, even in my weakness!

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