Grace For Your Day July 18

Do you have peace today? If you were to choose one word to describe your life, would it be the word “rest?”  

Some time ago, a famous historian made the statement that, in the entire recorded history of the world, the earth has been at peace less than 8 percent of the time because the rest of it was spent in war. 92 percent of the time, people have been fighting because we just cannot seem to get along. The United States Center for Disease Control also said that half of all those who die before the ages of 65, do it because of a stress-related issue and the Harvard Business Review recently produced a study in which they said that 60-90 percent of people who go to the hospital do it for the same reason. They are hospitalized over non-biological causes because they are stressed out which makes you wonder: What is the answer to that problem? Is there any hope?
The Bible says that there is because of Jesus. God has provided a way out of our chaos and stress and misery all through His work on the cross. Hebrews 4:1-3 says,

Therefore, let us fear if, while a promise remains of entering His rest, any one of you may seem to have come short of it. For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard.  For we who have believed enter that rest . . .
The reference in this passage is to the time when Israel wandered in the wilderness for 40 years. They kept roaming the desert aimlessly until an entire generation of them died off because they disobeyed God. They refused to believe in Him when He told them to conquer the Promise Land so, as a result, He did not let them enter His rest. He made them stay outside of it until they passed away.

Numbers 1 even says that there were 603, 550 fighting men in Israel at the time of the Exodus which means that, if you include all the women and children into that number, it comes to about 2-3 million people. So that, if you count it all up, you would find out that about 300 of them died every week, 40 per day, and 2 per hour for 40 years which means that they witnessed a tremendous amount of death in the wilderness. It was frightening to behold but it happened because the people did not do what God said. They chose to ignore Him and the lesson here is that you do not want to repeat their mistake because the good news has been preached to you as well. You have heard the Word of God proclaimed yourself just like they did but it will not profit you, either, or give you any rest unless it is united with faith.
The reason the author places this in here is because it is very common for religious people to do that. If the world’s greatest sin is lust, our greatest sin is pride because we think that we know more than God does. We believe that we have it all figured out already so we do not need to listen to Him because we are too smart but we are wrong.  

In fact, this may explain why we are so restless today as a church and that is because many of us have chosen to ignore God. We have decided to deliberately overlook what He has said which has caused us to be more stressed out than any other generation of Christians before us and it needs to stop. You want to keep your hearts soft and tender to the things of God so you can be at peace which is what we are going to talk about this Sunday morning at Grace Fellowship Church.  

I hope that this passage will be an encouragement for you this week as it has been for me because we could all do with a little more peace. I pray that the Lord will use this sermon to bring it to you and bless you in this area.

– Jeremy Cagle