Labour to Enter Into His Rest
“For he that is entered into His rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from His.” (Hebrews 4:10)
What’s in it for me? It seems like the longer I live, the more society appears to be developing an “entitlement” culture. Everyone wants something, but increasingly, no one wants to work for it. Even those who want to work, desire more than they actually can possess given their household income. Consider the public sector, for example. Every conceivable benefit the working person ever desired is theirs without even asking. Recent business surveys allude to public servants enjoying inflated wages compared to those in the private sector. At the same time, reports state that these same government employees have a greater rate of job security as well as a generous pension plan and yet, still make up a significant portion of households in debt.
For those on the other side of the spectrum, there are welfare benefits, free health care if you don’t work, and overly generous food banks depending on who you are. Never in recorded history have so many families owed so much to so few. Please don’t get me wrong. I’m not implying that there isn’t some need for these safety nets in our society, but the key word here should focus on need –not want. Certainly, when we are encouraged in the scriptures to “enter into His rest,” a sense of entitlement (or not working at all) is not the type of rest that the Lord meant. Moreover, as believers, we would never want to be in a position whereby we would not” enter His rest because we did not focus on our Most High King. (Hebrews 4:4-9) The Lord promises His blessings and the least we can do is be willing to dedicate our life to Him in return.
But why doesn’t everyone want to do the same? Obviously, my strong feelings about an emerging entitlement society stems from my own childhood background. I grew up in a small house. We shared our driveway with another house. In my hometown, this house was a part of the social housing network. The people who lived there did not go to work every day, or for that matter go to work any day. Many times, I remember my father climbing over huge snow banks caused by their car in the driveway to walk a mile or more to get to work. He did this EVERY day.
Needless to say, my father’s work ethic to keep going even when so many others would not has had a profound impact on me. It allowed me to gain a very good understanding of the meaning of labour, and the pride that comes from working for a living. At the same time, I also gained a serious disrespect for the abusers of the safety nets we have, and subsequently the entitlement culture that is growing rapidly around us. The “What’s in it for me?” crowd that willingly take but are less enthusiastic about giving back to the social fabric.
Fortunately, the New Testament provides particular insights into the “What’s in it for me?” question. You see the response in the world differs for those of us who believe in Jesus because labouring to enter His rest means that we can be joyful, at peace, content with our station in the world, and all the time blessed by the King of kings and Lord of lords. We have become the light of the world, because Jesus is in our hearts. “And we [can] know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
As an aside, Hebrews chapter four below elaborates on the theme of “His rest.” Blessings!
“Let us therefore fear, lest a promise being left us of entering into His rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. For unto us was the gospel preached. as well as unto them, but the Word preached did not profit them, not having been mixed with faith in them that heard it. For we which have believed do enter into rest, as He said, “As I have sworn in My wrath, if they shall enter into My rest, although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.” For He spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise … and God did rest the seventh day from all His works, and in this place again, “If they shall enter into My rest.”
Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief. Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, “Today after so long a time; as it is said, “To day if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts.” For if Jesus had given them rest, then would He not afterward have spoken of another day. There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For He that is entered into His rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from His. Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.” (Hebrews 4:1-11)