God's Promise: Rest
We have just started our Bible study on Hebrews and it's already off to a great start! Jump in with us by downloading the weekly guide for spiritual growth and reading the article below.
Did you know rest is one of the greatest gifts God gave to mankind? It is synonymous with peace. In Hebrew, the word nuach (noo-ak) means to rest or to be quiet. In Greek the word for rest is anapausis (uh-nah-pow-sis) - cessation, refreshment. Check this out in Hebrews 4:1 NLT - “God’s promise of entering his rest still stands, so we ought to tremble with fear that some of you might fail to experience it.” Doesn’t that sound intense?
If you keep reading in Hebrews 4, the scripture reminds us that it is about obedience to God’s word. The Israelites who heard this promise in the wilderness perished because they didn’t believe the word of God. They didn’t have faith in it. They rejected it through unbelief and lack of faith. They wandered for so long in the wilderness and couldn’t enter into that rest, which for them, was the promised land, because they didn’t have the faith in what God had told them. A lot of times, like the Israelites, we wander for so long trying to find rest. I dare say more often than not we overwhelm and worry ourselves out of rest rather than trusting that God is in control and finding rest in Him. So then, this begs the question: how do we actually get rest? If we keep reading Hebrews 4:2-3 it says, “For this good news—that God has prepared this rest—has been announced to us just as it was to them. But it did them no good because they didn’t share the faith of those who listened to God. For only we who believe can enter his rest.” How awesome is that? We can get rest by just believing! This is a rest that calms your fears and gives you a sense of stability to face the future with confidence, regardless of what is happening around you.
It’s a nuach, anapausis, quiet, refreshing rest. It’s not an at home laying around rest. It’s resting in his presence face to face. It’s confidence in who God is and his supernatural sovereignty. It’s fully believing that His word never comes back void. It’s the confidence that says, I know He is God over this situation or this person’s life. I know He is good. I know He is good at being God and I know He is good to me.
Practically speaking, finding rest in God is done by reading His word and meditating on who He is. The more you learn about who He is, like in any relationship, the more trust and faith you will have in Him. Your confidence in who He is will grow. Read the stories in the Bible and ask questions like what does this say about God’s character? Was the provision of a ram for Abraham before he took Isaac’s life a one-time exception or is God a continual provider? Does Joseph’s life prove Him to be a God of redemption - taking Joseph from slavery to King? In the story of the woman caught in adultery was Jesus’s response to the Pharisees a picture of His trustworthiness and love - that He was willing to not let anyone else cast judgment? Was God sending His son as the ultimate sacrifice for us proof of His unconditional love and willingness to do whatever it takes to be in relationship with us?
Let’s pray…God give us your rest. Speak to us. Your word says, “What shall it profit a man to gain the whole world, and lose his soul?” Help us lay down our busyness and anxious thoughts and take you up on your promise of rest. It’s your rest that eases the pain we bear daily. It’s your rest that refreshes and relaxes our minds and bodies. It’s your rest that allows us to lay down in peace. It’s your rest that allows us to lead our lives with wisdom, clarity, and discernment to be able to reach our vision and goals. Our minds are calm and restful, not rattled or distracted by anything because we have your rest. God meet us each where we are. Give us your divine rest today.
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