“There remains therefore a rest for the people of God.” Hebrews 4:9
We shall consider these words as referring to HEAVENLY rest: our Father’s house, our Savior’s home, and our eternal dwelling-place!
To the weary and way-worn, there is something delightful in the thought of REST. They love to think of Heaven as the place where they shall “rest from their labors.”
REST gives us the idea of . . .
- repose–the calm, quiet repose of the soul;
- refreshment–the refreshment of the exhausted spirit after conflict, sickness, or toil;
- restoration to vigor–after debility, languor, and fainting.
Heaven will be a rest from. . .
- sin–which will no more grieve us;
- sorrow–which will no more trouble and distress us;
- fears–which will no more harass and perplex us; and
- conflicts–which will no more agitate and suppress us.
It will be a rest with . . .
- God in His glory,
- Jesus in His immediate presence,
- saints and holy angels in full perfection and blessedness.
This rest is:
- FUTURE–it remains for the people of God.
- PERFECT–free from all mixture of anything that will agitate, give pain, or cause grief.
- UNINTERRUPTED–nothing will ever occur to disturb, distress, or agitate us any more.
- GLORIOUS–as bright as the meridian sun, as balmy as the most pleasant morning, as glowing with holiness, splendor, and majesty.
- ETERNAL! The possibility of a change, of a return to former scenes–would spoil all. But this rest will be enduring–as changeless as the Divine nature, and as glorious as the Divine perfections.
Blessed be God for such a rest for the weary, suffering, and downcast believer in Jesus!
Oh, to keep the eye fixed upon it, and the heart expecting it–amidst all the troubles and trials of time!
This rest is FOR the redeemed people of God.
They are now a poor, tried, tempted, and restless people. They are strangers and pilgrims upon the earth, as all their fathers were. Satan tempts them, the ungodly try them, fears harass them, and providence perplexes them.
They often cry out, “O that I had wings like a dove. Then would I fly away and be at rest!”
Believer, let the prospect of this eternal glorious rest, cheer you in toil and trouble! Your work will soon be finished, your trouble will soon come to an end, and then rest–the glorious rest–remains for you!
Let your Heavenly rest quicken your pace homewards! You are going to a rest–a perfect, uninterrupted, and eternal rest . . . a rest in Heaven, with Jesus, in the presence of your God forever!
Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, and press on towards the mark, cheered by the prospect of the end of the race.
Remember, Christian, this rest is SECURE, for Jesus has taken possession of it for you.
“I am going,” said He, “to prepare a place for you.” Yes, Jesus has gone there for you. He has taken possession in your name, He is preparing your place, and will soon come and receive you to Himself!
Remember too, this rest is NEAR–very near. Perhaps much nearer than you may think!
You may be sighing, sorrowing, striving, wrestling, doubting, fearing, and cast down today…and tomorrow you may be in your Heavenly rest!
- Today, you may be lying like Lazarus, at the rich man’s gate, full of sores.
- Tomorrow, you may be basking in the beams of Immanuel’s glory!
- Today, you may be on the bed of sickness, suffering, and pain.
- Tomorrow, you may be in the presence of Jesus, where there is no more pain, nor sorrow nor crying!
Who can tell how near we all are to our Heavenly and everlasting rest?
Remember also, that your very trials, toils, and sufferings here on earth, may SWEETEN your rest to you!
Soon, very soon, you may be rejoicing over your present sorrows and praising God for what now fills you with grief and sadness. Things will look very different there, from what they do here.
Never, never forget that in:
- your darkest nights,
- your most trying days,
- the midst of every storm and tempest, and
- when passing over burning sands and under a scorching sky…
there remains a rest for the people of God, and a rest for you!
Mat 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
James Smith (1802-1862): Before Charles Spurgeon began to preach (1854), James Smith had been proclaiming the good news of salvation in Christ and the blessings of the Christian life at the New Park Street Chapel in London (1841-1850). He also ministered in Cheltenham. Long gone, Smith’s words of biblical truths live on to inspire and encourage the body of Christ. He is well-remembered for his popular devotional, The Believer’s Daily Remembrancer, subtitled Pastor’s Morning and Evening Visit.
Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith... Heb 12:1-2
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