“Let us labor therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.” Hebrews 4:11
The words “labor” and “rest” aren’t typically associated with one another. Most would consider them two extreme opposites, yet the writer of Hebrews uses these words together to make a life-changing point. In Hebrew, the word “labor” is the word spoudazō, and it means to hasten, make haste, and to be diligent.
So, what exactly is the writer hoping we understand? Simply that we are to be quick to “rest” in the finished work of Jesus. We are to cease from our labor and put our full trust in Him. Check out this same verse, Hebrews 4:11, in the Amplified Version: “Let us therefore make every effort to enter that rest [of God, to know and experience it for ourselves], so that no one will fall by following the same example of disobedience [as those who died in the wilderness].”
The writer of Hebrews associates those who do not put their full trust in Jesus with the children of Israel who did not enter the Promised Land because of their unbelief. They failed to believe that the same God who brought them out of Egypt and opened the Red Sea for them to cross on dry ground, could also protect them and give them victory in the Promised Land.
At first thought one could ask, “How could they be so silly as to not believe in a God who had just done all of those things for them?” But have you ever faced a situation, similar to something you’ve come through before, only to find yourself pausing at the “riverbank of doubt,” allowing your uncertainties to cause you to hesitate from stepping into what God has for you? I know I have.
There are times I’ve found myself full of doubt, over and over, about the same things. On the contrary, our “labor” should be in resting in His promises, His care, His provision, and His track record of coming through for us time and time again.
Today, take a moment and remind yourself of all the great things He has done for you, and then rest in the promise that He’ll do it again.