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Grasping for Rest

“Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear (be cautious) lest any of you seem to have come short of it. For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it.”  (Hebrews 4:1-2)

In the above text we have the promise of rest. But that rest is conditional upon obedience. The people of God in the Old Testament received a promise from God. “So I have come down to deliver them out of the land of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and large land, to a land flowing with milk and honey to the place of the Canaanites…” (Exodus 3:8) The writer of Hebrews’ purpose was to emphasize that the promise of rest was given to the Israelites as it has been given to the believers of the day. “For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it.”  (Hebrews 4:2)

The author of the letter had previously warned of failing to heed the word. “Today if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion in the day of trial in the wilderness…They always go astray in their hearts…They shall not enter My Rest.” (Hebrews 3:7-11) He continues with the consequence of straying in their hearts. “Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God…lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.” (Hebrews 3:12-14)

He ends with the judgment of not obeying. “For who, having heard, rebelled? Indeed, was it not all who came out of Egypt, led by Moses? Now with whom was He angry for forty years? Was it not those who sinned, whose corpses fell in the wilderness? And to whom did He swear that they would not His rest, but those who did not obey? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.”  (Hebrews 3:16-19)

My friends, is this not why the human psyche is troubled, confused, and full of restlessness? Everyone who has gone their own way cannot enter His rest. All those who are frolicking in the world trying to find rest will find it is in vain for, “they have an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God —hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.” (Hebrews 3:12-13) Brokenness, hopelessness, pain, and suffering have come like a flood in so many. They are grasping for rest for the psyche of the soul.

All the wisdom, counseling, psychology, rehabs, from the wisdom of the world that leaves out the message of the cross cannot produce rest for the soul. Consider the work, The Death of the Salesman, by Arthur Miller. The salesman was chasing the “American Dream”. He sought the praise of men. He dreamed of being a successful salesman with all its glory. Reality set in when he could not pay the bills. He ended it all by driving off in his vehicle and committing suicide when the answer for rest for his soul failed. With all the frustration, pressure, and feeling like a failure, he did not have a place to enter into rest, not having God. Augustine of Hippo has said it well, “Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds rest in thee.”

Many souls are suffering in addiction, anxiety, depression, rejection, broken families, abandon-ment, etc.  You do not have to enter the plight of The Death of a Salesman. There is a way to have rest in the psyche of your soul.  Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. (John 14:6) He calls to Himself all who are grasping for rest. “Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28) Repent of your sins, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and He will give rest to your soul. “But if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto salvation.” (Romans 10:9-10) Come, just as you are, and your soul will find rest. If you need help, ask someone who knows Jesus as their personal Savior.  They will lead you to Jesus who will give your soul rest.