“So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God. For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His.” Hebrews 4:9-10 (NASB)
Resting is trusting in the midst of trials and testing. It’s well for us to be aware of the benefits Christian faith which God gives us to experience. In these days as attacks on our faith by the enemy grow more and more overt, we can find a promise of rest in today’s verse. This concept of resting began a long time ago. God rested after the creation of the universe. In the Old Testament God wanted His people to rest on His promise to take care of them. They often disappointed Him by trying to work things out their own way. God is still eager for us to rest upon His promises. We rest on His promise to give us eternal life when we believed on Jesus as our Savior. He wants us to know that our ultimate promised rest is not realized fully during this life on Earth. That rest is ours today and it will be fully realized in the Messiah’s Kingdom. Now we hold an earnest of the promise. Instead of worrying about things, let’s rest on God goodness and love today and remember the promise that has been given to each of us.
“He sent out his word and healed them, and delivered them from their destruction. Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man!” Psalm 107:20-21 (ESV)
Needing to be ‘healed’ or ‘delivered’ from something destructive happens. Some have experienced God’s benevolent grace and love this way. All of us have had serious needs from time to time where we felt the need for deliverance or healing. We have reason therefore to be thankful to God. No one is without something that they have thanksgiving for. This day we celebrated Thanksgiving Day in the USA. Our brothers and sisters north in Canada, celebrated Thanksgiving on the second Monday of October. Whenever we pause for a national day of thanksgiving, it is good to remember and keep in mind the reason we do that. We all have reasons to make every day a day of Thanksgiving. Today’s verses provide examples of reasons for giving thanks to the Lord. He is certainly worthy of our thanks. He has done so much for each of us. He has loved us and because of His great love. He offered His Son and He went to the cross for us. He has brought us into His family. Even if we are not with our physical family let’s be thankful that God has brought us into His family.
“Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. So then, awhile we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.” – Galatians 6:9-10 (NASB)
We stress frequently that we cannot earn salvation and eternal life by doing good works. It is the gift of faith that brings us the grace we need to believe in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. But good works are not to be forgotten. Doing good is a commandment in the Bible. We are promised that the good works we do in obedience to God will result in a harvest of righteousness. What we reap is lives that are saved from the wages of sin – death. (Romans 6:23) Humans can be a bit impatient however. When we do not see the positive results of our work for God, we are tempted to give up. We might even call it ‘burned out’ and we are also tempted to lose heart. Our calling as faith believers is to stay on task and trust that in due time, we will see results. Our good works are for all people, demonstrating the love and sacrifice Christ made for all the world. And even more, for all in the faith who are called children of God. When is the time to do good? It is “while we have opportunity” means NOW.
“For you make me glad by your deeds, Lord; I sing for joy at what your hands have done. How great are your works, Lord, how profound your thoughts!” Psalm 92:4-5 (NIV)
We have chosen these verses especially because of the words where the psalmist is worshipping God for His thoughts. We don’t know God’s thoughts as a mind-reader because no one can know God that way. But the psalmist still knows that God’s thoughts are marvelous. He says, “how profound your thoughts?” What was it that made him marvel at the depth of God’s thoughts? In his first words he was happy about what God was doing. He found God’s works to be great and wonderful and it gave him joy. Sometimes we are tempted to ask why God should allow something difficult to happen in our lives. We struggle with the consequences of attacks that come at us from our enemy. “Why us O Lord? Why did this happen now?” We do not understand and we question His goodness. But God is good all the time and even though he allows some things which test our faith to happen, He never deserts us. He thinks about us and he keeps track. How much better to trust His goodness and know the His thoughts, though deep are wonderful. We trust Him.