Hebrews 4:9-11There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. 10 For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. 11 Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.
In Hebrews 4:1-13, the Hebrew Christians are warned, that just as their fathers failed to enter into rest under Joshua, they themselves should fail to enter into the rest provided in the finished work of Christ. As Christians we must come to know and realize that there is no rest outside of grace. Rest, here, is not talking of rest in sleep or rest in death, but spiritual rest. It is coming to a relaxed attitude of trust. It is not necessarily a rest from activity; it is a rest in activity. It is the abiding rest of faith in anothers’work. Jesus, as our Substitute, has worked all the works of God. It is the rest in all of God’s provisions and all He has done in the work Jesus did.
We are a people of faith who need to understand grace. Without grace, faith turns into a strain, a struggle, and an anxiety driven attempt to experience the promise of God. It is striving to reach up to God, not realizing God already reached down in grace. Oh yes, faith moves God, but we must realize God already moved first. That is grace. That was His part. Now our part is faith, but as a response to His grace. Trust is the rest of faith. Rest is having faith in the promise. We are told to “labor” to enter into that rest. The word used for labor (spoudazo) means to make effort;to give diligence; to study; to exert oneself; to endeavor; and to make haste. It is the same word translated “Study” in Second Timothy 2:15 which says, “Study to show thyself approved unto God; a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of truth.” Studying and hearing the promise is how you labor to enter into rest for every promise, just like Abraham heard God speak in Genesis 12, 13, 15, and 17. Abraham reached this place after struggling, straining, worrying, and trying to help God bring His promise to pass. But God kept speaking and Abraham kept hearing and came to a place of rest.