There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his. (Hebrews 4:9-10)
Here’s a great question: If God is omnipotent — possessing all the power in the universe — how are we to understand Genesis 2:2, which tells us that God rested on the seventh day of creation? Please read on and be greatly encouraged today!
Perhaps the simplest way of explaining this truth is to say that God stopped His doing, but He never stopped His displaying. God stopped creating, but He never stopped His sustaining. God was not tired, as if His strength and power had diminished in any way during the six days of creation. You and I may very well be tired after six days of work and need a rest, but that’s never the case with our God.
Isaiah said it this way, “The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary” (Isaiah 40:28). Jesus expressed the very same truth: “My father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working” (John 5:17).
So what does it mean that a rest remains in our God, the One who never rests?
Everyday Rest – The first “rest” we are to understand is the rest we receive when we initially become a Christian. When we, by grace through faith, are raised from death to life, we are immediately and forevermore given a rest from our self-salvation project, thanks to the finished work of our Lord Jesus Christ. We can stop trying to save ourselves, because God in Christ has saved us — freely, fully, and forever. We no longer have to try to work our way into God’s favor, because Jesus has earned God’s favor for us. We are free from the works of the Law, because Jesus fulfilled that Law on our behalf. Our doing is to be exchanged for our devotion as we work out our salvation in the strength of the grace that saved us.
But that’s not all . . .
Eternal Rest – The second and final “rest” we are to understand is the rest that “remains” to be received on the other side of the grave. This is the life that awaits us in glory when we stand in the presence of God. This is the life where all of our rebellion will be removed, our sin slain, and our disobedience turned into divine devotion. We will, for the very first time in our lives, be fully resting in the promises of God.
So regardless of where this finds you, whether you are just a bit tired or utterly exhausted, cheer up! Look to your Lord and enter into your everyday rest by resting in your redemption — that is, the finished work of Jesus Christ. When you find yourself up against it — tired, weary, and heavy laden — look beyond the horizon to the promised rest that awaits you in heaven. It won’t be long now . . . even if you live to be 100.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!