Being At Rest and Peace with God

J.R. Waller, MBA
Latest posts by J.R. Waller, MBA (see all)

Key Points

  • Mankind, by nature, is not at rest and peace with God, rather we are all born enemies of God due to sin.
  • Knowing who you really are, a lost sinner, is the key to finding who God really wants you to be — His redeemed child.
  • To be at rest and peace with God, to enjoy and to cherish it, you must come to God through the salvation offered by His Son Jesus alone through faith, belief and repentance.

10) For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.

11) Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.Hebrews 4:10-11 (KJV)

Hebrews 4 references many times and paints a fascinating picture of God’s “rest”. His “rest” in today’s verses refers to the Christian resting in God and/or being at peace with God while on this earth. It is the state of those who have entered into God’s rest; they are at peace with God.

How then can we be at rest and peace with God while on this earth? Why do we need to be? And what is the significance of it?

Before we jump into this lesson I want you, reader, to ask yourself this: “Am I at rest and peace with God?” If the answer is no or you do not know the answer, listen carefully to today’s lesson and drink from the waters of God’s word so that you may never be thirsty again.

“To be at rest and peace with God, to enjoy and to cherish it, you must come to God through his Son Jesus.”

First we must comprehend what lies at the heart of these verses and that is salvation. Salvation brings us to the state of being at rest and peace with God. Faith, belief and repentance (turning away from one’s sins to follow Jesus) are the ways by which we pass from a life destined for an eternity apart from and in opposition to God to a life renewed in God forever more – a life at rest and peace with Him.

To be at rest and peace with God, to enjoy and to cherish it, you must come to God through his Son Jesus.

6) Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.John 14:6 (KJV)

You see Jesus is the only way; His death on the cross was and is the only sacrifice great enough to save us from our sins. He died for you, for me and for everyone who will accept His gift of salvation by responding and coming to Him. Nothing we can do on our own terms to attain salvation will suffice.

Jesus took our sins upon Himself as payment for what we could not pay. Only He was worthy to die for us and to provide the means by which we can have rest and peace with God. Jesus then is how we can have rest and peace with God while on this earth; He is the key and His salvation is the answer.

Notice He says, “no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” Why can we not come to God without Jesus? Romans provides the answer.

10) For if, when we were enemies,Romans 5:10a (KJV)

The answer is because we are all born into this world as enemies of God. Yet do not despair!

we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.Romans 5:10b (KJV)

This then is the core of the issue: we do not have rest or peace with God because we are His enemy. This is why, reader, if you do not know Jesus as savior you cannot find or have peace with God.

Enemies are never at peace with each other. Likewise, the lost sinner cannot “find” peace with God on his own terms (not to mention rest) because his desires and nature are diametrically opposed to God’s. It is not in our power to obtain salvation or gain rest and peace with God but only through Jesus’ power.

While this is distressing this also presents us with the realization of our standing with God. When we acknowledge this, the true way is immediately presented before us and we can see it for the first time. The path to rest and peace with God is through Jesus; He is standing there and waiting for the lost sinner to heed His call— it is an awesome picture of true love.

You see, the enemy of God is now presented with an entirely new course: a new and eternally grand opportunity. It is the only way to be at rest and peace with God in this life and the only way to have life eternal with Him forever in heaven. We are enemies yet reconciled to God by the death of Jesus for us all.

The old adage, you do not know where you are going unless you know where you have come from is appropriate here—knowledge and, more importantly, understanding of our condition without God is the first step toward salvation.

Remember, knowing who you really are, a lost sinner, is the key to finding who God really wants you to be— His redeemed child. It is the answer to how we can have rest and peace with God and it is also how we find God. Remember even when you first find Him, He had already found you. He has always been waiting for you to respond and come to Him.

Jesus’ death on the cross provides the way by which we can have rest and peace with God. But how does this happen? We see back in our main verses a great clue and that is the word “enter.”“To be at rest and peace with God, to enjoy and to cherish it, you must come to God through his Son Jesus.”

What is more, if we understand our condition before God then we must do something about it.
Notice “For he that is entered into his rest” and “enter into that rest”. As we have seen we cannot come to God without Jesus and now we know that rest and peace with God must be entered into.

Jesus provides the way by which we may enter into rest and peace with God, for then we can come to Him and be at rest and peace with Him. Entering requires a step, a decision. We saw earlier that when salvation is presented to us it is the first time we can see a new path outstretched before us. However a path is nothing if not traveled upon and the path to a new life redeemed in God through Jesus begins when we enter it.

Entering requires initiative and faith. It requires a clear understanding that we are God’s enemy and that we can only ask Jesus to save and redeem us.

God comes to us to save us. He continually knocks on our hearts’ doors through the Holy Spirit, however we must answer and must come and enter into His rest and peace.

Nevertheless many will turn from God and enter into their own path and their own way on their own terms.

To come to salvation in Jesus you must come and enter in the right and only way, through Jesus alone in faith, belief and repentance.

13) Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:

14) Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.Matthew 7:13-14 (KJV)

This is why we need to be at rest and peace with God, because any other way in life leads to destruction; an eternity apart from God.

Reader there are many other gates one can enter and countless other paths one can take in an effort to achieve salvation. Some also clad salvation in words such as “purpose” and “meaning” and yet those and any ways apart from Jesus that try to earn or achieve salvation or significance only lead to destruction. You see even if purpose, meaning and significance are what drive you, what you are striving for is but false Gods— they are idols of the heart, the enemy and of sin.

Many cannot give up control of their destiny and salvation to God. They must control it themselves, so they choose works as a means to earn salvation. They strive and labor to be “good enough” however you will never be good enough without Jesus for He is our sufficiency.

What is more, others seek after cults, knowledge, status, science, power, prestige, the list is endless and yet there is only one way.“…the Bible is filled with verses warning against relying on yourself and the world for salvation…”

I don’t know about you, but I am forever thankful that I do not have to rely on myself for salvation or for purpose, meaning and significance. Jesus has that covered and He never fails in that regard.

Even when we cry out to Him for salvation, He makes it all happen and once He accomplishes it in that instant He holds us in His hands forever and never lets us go. We never lose our salvation in Him, remember, He’s got us, not how we feel, not what we do, but what we are in Him: redeemed and forgiven, because we have only simply asked him to save and forgive us and have placed our trust in Him as our savior.

Again, it cannot be overstated, that salvation on man’s terms is not the way, but it is only Jesus that is.

It is critical to not miss or overlook this fact. So critical in fact that the Bible is filled with verses warning against relying on yourself and the world for salvation, including verses back in Hebrews 4.

1) 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.

2) For unto us was the 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.Hebrews 4:1-2 (KJV)

Many will “come short” of entering into true rest and peace with God because they did not have “faith” in Jesus. God’s gospel does not profit those who do not respond to it in faith and belief.

The Gospel, or good news, the message of Jesus as the only way to be saved from one’s sins, means nothing without action being taken on the part of the hearer. You must respond to the Holy Spirit’s call.

10) For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.

11) Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.Hebrews 4:10-11 (KJV)

Notice that he who has entered into God’s rest by coming to Him though Jesus for salvation has “ceased from his own works”. You must stop trying to earn salvation on your own terms and you must stop relying on your own works.

Our verse compares our ceasing from our own works to God’s resting after creating the universe— “as God did” cease from His works in creation so must we cease from our works. But why?

This is because salvation’s work is finished in Jesus just as God’s creation was finished on the seventh day. The parallel is that Jesus’ death on the cross provided, provides and will always provide, the only way by which man can be saved from his sins. Therefore salvation is complete because of Him, there is no other way by which man may be saved.

12) Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.Acts 4:12 (KJV)

Salvation’s completion was in the death of Jesus on the cross for all.

Similarly just as creation was incomplete before God rested, so our own lives are incomplete until we enter into rest and peace with God through salvation. This is the significance of being at rest and peace with God.

5) I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.John 15:5 (KJV)

Without Jesus, we can do nothing. We cannot live as He originally intended unless we are saved by faith in Jesus.

Certainly we can do things in this life, however our lives are short and eternity is forever. Our achievements will only last for a short time in this life, yet a life lived for God now will provide benefits in heaven for all of eternity.

You can do a few things on your own power and yet it ultimately is nothing. Even Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, had this to say late in life:

13) Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.Ecclesiastes 12:13 (KJV)

That is man’s true charge: respect and honor God, and follow Him.

Yet, reader if you do not know Jesus as your savior you cannot even comprehend the glory filled life that is a life devoted in service to God as a new man. Being at rest and peace with God is only one small part of the many truly majestic attributes of a life saved by God.“It is a life of true and ultimate meaning: living in a state with God where you are no longer His enemy but His child all because of His grace through His Son Jesus Christ.”

You cannot find rest and peace with God in this life because you are His enemy. And yet thanks be to God and God alone for we have the answer— we know how to be saved.

It is a life of true and ultimate meaning: living in a state with God where you are no longer His enemy but His child all because of His grace through His Son Jesus Christ.

Therefore have rest and peace with God through belief, faith and repentance in His Son Jesus Christ and His death on the cross for your sins. Avoid the paths to destruction by choosing Jesus, the way the truth and the life, and enjoy the ultimate significance of being complete when you are at rest and peace with God in a life redeemed as His child, living a life in service to Him forevermore. Amen.

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