Whenever I am faced with uncertainty regarding the future, my natural tendency is to begin considering every option and all possible solutions to the problem. Thus, putting in all my time and energy into attempting to fix the issue. However, I was reminded of a verse Hebrews 4:9-11 which says:
"There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His. Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest..."
I felt God saying to me through these verses that my primary desire during this period shouldn't be to figure out what the future will look like or do all I can to pursue the outcome I desire, but rather to come to a place of rest in my heart, even amid the uncertainty. The most important thing spiritually is not for things to turn out the way I want, but rather that I remain at rest through this period of uncertainty.
In Hebrews 4, we are also warned to not fall short of God's goal, which is to bring us to a place of complete rest in whatever situation we find ourselves in. We are shown the example of the Israelites, who despite having the privilege of hearing so much of God's promises and instruction, failed to enter the Promise-land because of unbelief. I also saw that it was unrest in the heart of the Israelites that caused them to grumble and complain whenever things didn't go as they had expected (Ps 95:8-11). It was also unrest/anger in the heart of Moses that caused him to smite the rock when God said he should only speak to it. As a result, they all failed to enter God's Promised-land.
Thus, I must be alert to the dangers of remaining in a state of unrest in my heart as this can often lead me to disobedience and sin. Also, I have come to realize that for me to grow spiritually at the rate that God wants me to, I must learn to wholeheartedly pursue after Christ even amid trials and uncertainty. This is because more often than not, there will be a trial or difficult situation. Therefore, if I am constantly distracted by these trials, and it prevents me from maintaining a simple and pure devotion to Christ, then I will never be able to grow steadily in my walk with Jesus.
Coming to a Life of Rest
Whenever I find any unrest in my heart, I shouldn't make excuses for it regardless of whatever circumstances caused it to occur. Rather, I should allow God's word to pierce my heart and expose the true source of the unrest (Hebrews 4:12-13). I can remember numerous times in the past when I have gotten upset at someone or a situation and instead of justifying myself, I asked God to show me why I felt that way and He has revealed an area of unchristlikeness in my heart. For example:
When I found myself offended by a comment someone made, God showed me how it was because of some pride in a certain area.
When I was upset at how something turned out, He showed me how it was because I cared so much about the opinion of people.
When I was discouraged or discontent with a situation, He showed me it was because I was comparing myself with other Christians.
When I was worried about the future, He showed me it is because of fear and unbelief in the promises of God.
Therefore, I have come to see that in whatever circumstance I find myself not being at rest, I should never blame it on the situation but rather I should ask the Lord to show me my unbelief and unchristlikeness. And after He shows it to me, I should come boldly to Him to ask for mercy to be cleansed of it, as well as the power of grace to resist and stand firm for the next time that I am tempted in the same area (v16). In doing so I would thus be able to come to a place of perfect peace and rest, just like Jesus, who was tempted in all ways we are but yet remained in perfect rest (v15).
Result of a Life of Rest
"For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His." - Hebrews 4:10 (NKJV)
I believe Hebrews 4:10 promises me that if I always seek to be at rest in every situation, the Holy Spirit can work in my heart to such an extent that everything I put my time, energy, and thought into doing would be of eternal value. Whether it be spending time with family, working at my day job, or time spent sleeping. This is because it would not just be motivated by a selfish desire to please myself but rather it would be motivated by a desire to please God. For example, if there is some financial uncertainty, because I am at rest and free from fear and worry, even if I need to work for longer hours to save up, my heart will not be occupied with money, but I would be able to still be devoted to Christ and glorify God in the process.
What a blessing it is to know that in this world full of trials, temptations, suffering, sickness, conflict, competition, and uncertainties; God has prepared a place of refuge for us, His children, where we can constantly be at rest and peace. May we be diligent to seek this place of rest daily and abide in that state every (to)day regardless of what trials we face (Hebrews 4:7). Amen!