Having faith that provides rest
God’s promise of entering his rest still stands, so we ought to tremble with fear that some of you might fail to experience it. For this good news—that God has prepared this rest—has been announced to us just as it was to them. But it did them no good because they didn’t share the faith of those who listened to God. For only we who believe can enter his rest. As for the others, God said, “In my anger I took an oath: ‘They will never enter my place of rest,’” Hebrews 4:1-3
Mere exposure to the Bible and to biblical teaching are not sufficient to produce spiritual growth. Unless the Word of God becomes the basis of our spiritual conviction and faith, mere acquisition of knowledge from it will not lead to spiritual edification. To spiritually grow we need more to place our faith to what God teaches us so we could grow trusting Him. We have to be resolved that we will believe God’s word and will hold to its truthfulness. If not, we will be building the foundation of our lives in a shaky ground. “Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock... But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand” (Matthew 7:24, 26). The writer of Hebrews was admonishing the hearers who claim to be believers in God to learn from the shortcomings of the Israelites. They missed on experiencing God’s promise of rest because they did not believe His word. They failed to place their faith in what God promised them for they were more trusting on their own ability or the lack of it. God wants us to be very careful that we will show contempt towards Him by neglecting His word. God is true to His word. This is what Joshua told the Israelites as he continued to encourage them to place their trust in Him. “Not a single one of all the good promises the Lord had given to the family of Israel was left unfulfilled; everything he had spoken came true” (Joshua 21:45). This is also what Paul told the church at Corinth. “God will do this, for he is faithful to do what he says, and he has invited you into partnership with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord” (1 Corinthians 1:9). God’s knowledge found in His word could only be usable to us when we believe His message. Our faith in what He says will help to form a secure foundation in our hearts that will help us withstand the daily onslaught of the enemy’s temptations. The truth of God’s word becomes our weapon so we could fight the good fight set before us. This is why it is important to pay attention to God’s word for in it we find life. “You accepted what we said as the very word of God—which, of course, it is. And this word continues to work in you who believe” (1 Thessalonians 2:13).