Thursday, July 2, 2015

A PLACE OF PERFECT REST

There exists a place in Christ where there is no anxiety about the future. In this place, there is no fear of sudden calamity, of affliction, of unemployment. There's no fear of man, of falling, of losing one's soul. This place is one of total confidence in God's faithfulness. The writer of Hebrews calls it a place of perfect rest.

Such perfect rest was offered to Israel. But the people's doubt and unbelief kept them out of God's rest: "They to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief" (Hebrews 4:6). The Israelites lived in constant fear and dread, always waiting for the next crisis. As a result, they were desolated in their trials.

If Israel had entered into this rest, God's work in His people would have been complete. But because they didn't, the Lord continues to search in every generation for a people who will enter: "There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God" (Hebrews 4:9).

God is telling us, "This offer of rest is for you—today. There still exists a place in Me where all doubt and fear no longer exist. It is a place where you will be prepared for whatever may come." Thus, His Word urges, "Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it" (Hebrews 4:1).

Today, multitudes of God's people know nothing of this rest in Christ. As they read the awful reports in the daily news—reports of tragedies, calamities, deaths—they are filled with fear and dread. Their constant prayer is, "Oh, God, please don't take one of my loved ones. I could never handle the grief."

Yet, if you're at rest in the Lord, you won't succumb to such fear. You won't panic or fall apart when you're hit by some unexpected crisis. And you won't lose hope, accusing God of bringing on your troubles. Yes, you will endure the pain that is common to every human being but you will be at rest in your soul, because you will know that God is in control of everything concerning you.