A Rest for Every Season
by Pastor Gene
As God leads us through the various seasons of life, He wants us to know that there’s always a rest available. Some of life’s seasons are clearly more difficult than others, but God’s rest – and internal Garden of Eden, a place where we can retreat in the calm of His presence – is never far away.
The Children of Israel never quite got this! When the seasons changed, they often dishonored God. When the water was short or the food supply low, they complained against the season. And, because of this, they found no rest.
But God continuously beckoned them to trust Him, to consider His past faithfulness, and to not fall into the sin of unbelief. He wanted them – and He wants us – to find our rest in Him in every season, not just in seasons of plenty.
So, Hebrews 4:1-2 says this: “While the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it. For good news came to us just as to them [the children of Israel], but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened …”
They were never quite able to enter in God’s rest because they failed to believe God at His Word. God had given them promise after promise – just as He has to us – but “the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith.”
I once heard someone describe the promises of God as a bag of cement. A bag of cement is not a sidewalk, it’s a ‘potential’ sidewalk. If the contents of the bag are properly mixed, they become very useful. You can take that mixture and use it to fashion a sidewalk that is real and profitable. But before that bag of cement is mixed with water, it’s only a potential. It does us no good.
In the same way, God gives us His promises, but they only become useful to us when we mix them with faith. It’s then that these potential promises – like the invitation to enter into His rest – become concrete and we realize the fullness of their blessing.
The offer to enter into God’s rest has been given to us even more explicitly than it was to the children of Israel. Jesus invites us to rest in Him! He says, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).
We punch our ticket into this beautiful place of rest with God by faith and by faith alone. The message that the Children of Israel “heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened …”
So, here’s the question: When should we do this? When should we enter into God’s rest? In which of the many seasons of life should we seek it out?
Well, I’m really glad you asked, because God has appointed a very specific day for us to do this. It’s not like we can just enter into God’s rest any old day. No, it’s only available on a very particular day – one that He has set aside for us to do so!
Wanna know what day it is?
Are you ready for it?
Wait for it …
He calls it … “TO-day!”
Hebrews 4:7: “[So] again He appoints a certain day, “Today,” saying through David … Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.”
Everything, every season of your life, has led you to THIS day, to ‘TO-day.’ And you’re ready for it because God has made you ready for it!
He’s prepared a place of rest for you TO-day – no matter what season of life you may find yourself in.
Jesus says, “Come!”
O, there remains a rest for the people of God – a rest in every season of life, a rest for today. Let’s be afraid to miss it! (Hebrews 4:1)
‘But, what about tomorrow,’ you may ask? Well, when and if tomorrow finally arrives, it will be TO-day yet again! (I know, snarky, right?)
To consider …
- Do you find that entering into a place of rest with God often eludes you?
Can you identify some unbelief working in you that’s keeping you from it?
- Do you find the bag of cement illustration helpful? Which of God’s blessings are you missing out on? How can you address this?
- Are you encouraged by the immediacy of the word “today”?
Walking in the newness of life in Christ Jesus is a daily experience.
No matter what difficulties or failures yesterday may have brought, today is a new day and a new opportunity.
How will you respond to Jesus’ invitation to “Come” and enter into His rest?
Sermons with Boats in Them #2: ‘Dark Night was the Night and the Sea was a Fury – Tempestuous, Turbulent and Threatening.’
March 29, 2020