The Rest of God

“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 this gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being 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…. 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…. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4: 1-5,10-11,16).

What is the rest of the Lord? It is, in part, the glory of God. It is His power and His presence. His power and glory are restful and comforting. His glory sanctifies us, purging us of impurities and turning us into glorious beings. The rest of the Lord in this sense has nothing to do with physical activity or inactivity. It does not mean taking a break from work; it means the glory of God.

Yet, the rest of the Lord is also a break from labors: “For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his” (Hebrews 4:10). We all need to take a break from time to time. However, oftentimes taking a break means doing a different kind of work. Work can be enjoyable. It can be fulfilling and rewarding. Work is not always tiring. This can be seen in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Sundays (and other days of the week) can be busy with church service and activities. The least amount of time I spend devoted to church and church-related activities is about 7 hours per week (5 hours on Sunday – meetings plus church service – and 2 hours for youth activities during the week). Some weeks have more time requirements and infrequently, some weeks have less time requirements. There are other responsibilities but my point is that I find myself quite rested on a Sunday, even if I spend much of the day in church-related activities. This is because the work of the Lord is restful. This is why resting from our labors does not mean we are not working. It means that we turn away from our labors to the Lord’s.

God has promised that to those who labor diligently in their faith will obtain the rest of the Lord. They will obtain audience at the throne of grace and partake of the mercy of God which is in Christ. Those who receive this rest receive the glory of God, making the works of God their works forevermore.

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