Sunday, April 26, 2015
There still exists, therefore, a full and complete rest for the people of God. (Hebrews 4:9 Phillips)
I am sure it will sound to many of you like going a long way back and going out into a very broad realm when I say that we Christians are being constantly confronted with and challenged by our Christianity. Many of us have not really entered into Christianity yet. What do I mean? Well, for one thing, the very door into true Christianity is the door of rest, the rest of faith. The very simple way in which the Lord put it in His appeal was – "Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" (Matt. 11:28). That was to a multitude, and those words are usually employed in Gospel messages to the unsaved. The meaning of the Lord in using those words is given to us here in the letter to the Hebrews, a very much deeper and fuller meaning than is generally recognized in the usage of the simple invitation "Come unto Me...and I will give you rest." There is something that we have to hear, to detect, in the statement – "There remaineth therefore a sabbath rest for the people of God" (Heb. 4:9; A.S.V.).
You will not think me too elementary, for you know in your heart, as well as I do in mine, that this matter of heart rest, the rest of faith, is a live question continually, it is coming up all the time. One of the things which is lacking in so many of us is this rest, or, to put it the other way, the things which characterize us so much are fret, anxiety, uncertainty, and all those things which are just the opposite of calm assurance, quiet confidence, the spirit and attitude and atmosphere which says all the time, "Don't worry, don't fret, it is all right." One thing our great enemy is always trying to do is to disturb that, destroy that, rob us of that, churn us up, fret us, drive us, harass us, anything to rob us of our rest or to prevent us from entering into rest. It is the rest of faith, not just the rest of passivity, indifference, and carelessness. There is all the difference between carelessness and carefreeness. There remaineth, there is still to be had, there still obtains, there still exists, there is still preserved a rest for the people of God – for the people of God.
By T. Austin-Sparks from: The Rest and the Courage of Faith
This photograph is by Liz Burnell.