Lamentations 3:37-58; Psalm 27; Hebrews 4:1-16;
Waiting – in our fast-paced culture of instant messaging, cell-phones, high speed internet connections, and digital photos we print ourselves – is not something we do well. We’ve grown accustomed to instant gratification. It is particularly difficult for fast-paced individuals (I can easily enter that mode) living in a fast-paced society. Your head aches when a red light stops you cold and you’re running late. Your blood pressure rises when a child presses all the buttons in the elevator and you need to get to the top floor. You lose your composure when you’re stuck in the middle of a slow-moving line for “fast food.”
So it’s good news when we read in Hebrews 4:1 that God is offering “the promise of entering his rest,” and that we don’t have to wait for it. It is yours and mine for the taking, and it can be ours today! To receive it, God only asks that we hear his word, believe his word, and live his word.
Hear God’s word. God talks to you and to me in many ways. Sometimes he whispers to you. Sometimes he talks to you through others. Always, however, his word is found in the Bible. And his word is powerful. It is “living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing until it divides soul from spirit, joints from marrow....” (Hebrews 4:12.) Hearing God’s powerful word is the first step to receiving his rest today and everyday.
Believe God’s word. To receive God’s rest, to enjoy his peace in our daily hectic lives, we must hear his word, and we must have faith. With faith, we will remember God’s words of hope, even as we cringe at the horrific images of human suffering. With faith, we will remember God’s words of forgiveness, even as we learn of corruption and injustice. With faith, we will remember God’s words of healing, even as we live with personal pain. With faith, we will remember God’s words of love.
Live God’s word. To receive God’s rest, to know his peace, we must also live God’s word. We should try our best, every day, to love God through prayer and worship, and to love our neighbors through kindness and patience. God knows that we are weak. He understands that it is so easy for us to fall, and so he offers us strength through his grace.
Dear God, as we wait to celebrate the glorious resurrection of your Son, may we “approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace....” May we hear your word, believe your word, and live your word each day. We pray that, today and every day, we may strive to attain the restful peace that you have promised, as we await the blessed peace of everlasting rest with you in heaven. Amen.