5/16/14 The Struggle of Faith

Friday, May 16, 2014


Heb. 4:11

Morning Meditation 5/16/2014

Verse 11 says, “Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.”

Padget Wilkes said in his little book The Dynamic of Faith, “Above all, we should bear in mind that true faith is perfect rest.” Hebrew’s chapter four is a lesson on faith. The words “labour” and “rest” seem to be opposites and in sharp contrast.

The word “labour” translates the word “spoudazo” and means “to hasten, make haste; to exert one's self, endeavor, give diligence.” It is an aorist active subjunctive verb. The word “labour” in the sense of “to hasten” means this should not be put off. There should be no tarrying. The word “labour” in the sense of “to exert one’s self” suggests difficulty and work in contrast to passivity. The word “labour” in the sense of “giving diligence to” suggests active concentration and determination. The aorist tense refers to a point of time in which this “labour” takes place in a once for all act. The active voice is where the subject acts. If this verse is speaking to us, then we are the subject, and we have to make a choice to “labour” to enter this rest. The subjunctive mood is the mood of possibility. This suggests that GOD BRINGS US UP TO THE THRESHOLD of this “rest” and there is a battle described by the word “labour” that must be exercised to enter into the rest of faith as described in this chapter. It is illustrated in Hebrews chapters three and four in the life of Israel when God brought them to the borders of Canaan where they were confronted with the opportunity of entering the Promised Land and they had to “labour” with either trusting the Lord and entering the land or believing the UNBELIEF of the ten spies. At a point of time they decided against faith and did not enter into the REST OF CANAAN that God had provided for them

The words “to enter” translate “eiserchomai” and means “to go out or come in: to enter.” We are told in Strong’s definitions that metaphorically this word is used “of entrance into any condition, state of things.” It is an aorist active infinitive. The aorist tense suggests a once-for-all entrance. The active voice means we must decide. It is a choice. Israel made a bad choice and they paid for it dearly in the wilderness for forty years. The young men from twenty years of age downward watched all their fathers’ die and be buried in the wilderness outside of the blessing God intended for them. They lost the opportunity at a point of time.

The word “rest” translates “katapausis” and means “a putting to rest; calming of the winds.” The word “rest” as defined by the words “putting to rest” suggest that we need to put to rest the disturbance that our unbelief causes.. The word “rest” as defined by the words “calming of the winds” suggests that the stormy winds that come to our lives as a result of the opportunity of entering a life of faith, where we trust God absolutely, are to be calmed by an unwavering faith in God.” This is the faith Joshua and Caleb had in contrast to the unbelief of the other ten spies.

Then comes the warning in our text, “lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.” The word “lest” speaks of a definite possibility. The word “fall” translates “pipto” means “to descend from a higher place to a lower.” It is used to describe a person falling on his face. The word “fall” suggests that a person who falls is standing before he falls. You see, Israel had exercised the initial faith to apply the blood in Egypt and was delivered. This speaks of salvation. But there is the walk of faith. Every Christian is expected to walk by faith after exercising saving faith. “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him” (Col. 2:6).

The words “Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief” are an exhortation for us today. It is possible for us to fall after the same example of unbelief. It is also possible for us to enter into the “rest” of faith this chapter talks about.

Question: where are we confronted with the opportunity to enter into the “rest” of which this passage speaks? First, I think, early in our Christian lives. If we refuse to enter that land of faith, we must wander in the wilderness. This is no Canaan for the UNBELIEVING BELIEVER. Second, under grace, I believe there are other times in our Christian lives where God leads us up to the threshold of the FAITH-REST LIFE, and we have another opportunity to enter. When we are confronted by the opportunity, we must again LABOUR TO ENTER THAT REST. Faith is never easy. Faith is always tried. Because it does not operate according the laws of the flesh. My brain tells me if the Lord asks me to step out on the water and walk to Him that I will sink. Faith deals with things that don’t make sense to the natural mind. So there is labor.

Let’s make a few applications. If we would enter into HIS REST, we must set aside our self confidence. Self confidence is faith in yourself. Paul said, “For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh” (Phil. 3:3). As long as we think we can do it, we will be trying. Israel did not think they could prevail against the giants that were in the land. You say, “preacher, you just contradicted yourself. You said we must put aside self confidence. And now you are telling us that Israel did not enter the land because they did not have confidence in themselves they could beat the giants.” That is the whole point. They were only willing to do what they knew they could do. Therefore, their faith was in themselves and not God. Self confidence is one of the giants that you will have to struggle within the FAITH-REST life.

If we would enter into HIS REST, we must deal with fear. The fear of failure and the fear of embarrassment keeps many from walking by faith. Yet the Bible says, “For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed” (Rom. 10:11). The word “ashamed” translates “kataischuno” and means “to dishonour, disgrace; to put to shame, make ashamed.” The tense of this verb is future passive indicative. The future tense means at no time in the future will a person who trusts the Lord ever be “put to shame because of his faith in God.” The passive voice is where the subject is acted upon. The person who walks by faith is the subject. This means that no one will ever be able to mock or make fun of you because you believed God. For instance, there will never be a time in the future when the scientist or the so-called intellectual will ever mock me and embarrass me by saying to me, “You were a fool to believe in the Genesis account of creation.”

If we would enter into HIS REST, we must deal with doubt. Jesus said to Peter after he came down out of the ship and began to walk on the water by faith, and then began to sink, “O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?”(Matt. 14:31). Peter was a committed disciple. Yet he had a problem of doubt that he yielded to after his initial act of faith that enabled him to walk on the water. Satan constantly assaults us and plants doubt in our minds and sometimes we begin to sink as did Peter and Jesus has to come to our rescue.

May the Lord bless these words to our hearts.

In Christ

Bro. White

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