There is little thought of entering into our eternal rest by those who have not run a good race, by those who have not fought a good fight. (1 Tim. 6:12) There is little to rest from when one has not expended much energy.
It is one of the things that I think about when I ponder our eternal home, the opportunity to come into a state of complete rest, just sitting on a hillside overlooking a small part of the kingdom of the Lord and knowing that I do not have to do anything at the moment, just rest. It is one thing about heaven that many overlook I believe, they envision visiting the galaxy, wondering around enjoying all the pleasures forevermore, some, fewer than what we may think, even give thoughts to being in the presence of Joy, (Psalm 16:11) but even fewer give pause to think about just resting.
Perhaps it is because of Luke 10:2, “Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.” One needs to be doing something stridently, with great effort and continuously to be able to understand great rest. This rest isn’t just the absence of work, for I believe there is work for us throughout all of eternity, but this particular rest is the knowledge that what we did here for Christ is complete, that we accomplished by His will the tasks set before us, and that what we have been blessed to do we did to the best of our ability.
I meet few Christians that carry the burden I speak of today, a heart that reaches out to the wicked lost, knowing their end if they do not repent, a life that calls out to those who are professing Him only with their lips, (Matt. 15:8) who attempt no real effort towards a life that searches every moment how to glorify God, that sees that time is almost up, that the age of grace is coming to a close, and that great pain and suffering is approaching. I think Jeremiah understood fully this rest I speak of the moment after he said, “I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay.” (Jer. 20:9) When he started to rise to continue the task set before him, he knew of the rest that awaited him. As did Elijah, right after the Lord told him “Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him.” (1 Kings 19:18)
Do you know that emotion? Have you experienced the desire to just quit like Jeremiah did, have you asked the Lord to just end your life like Elijah did, the work is not hard, but the frustrations can become overbearing, no matter how much you speak, no matter how many prophets of Baal you kill, evil does not stop, the heathen will not listen, the mockers filled with pride will not go away.
There will be rest from the physical pains, (Rev. 21:4) but above that there will be rest from the labors of Christ here on earth, the servant will be allowed finally to come into a rest that knows no comparison. These are those that will hear “Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” (Matt. 25:23) These are those that would not rest here, that could find no peace on this sinful planet, Hebrews 11:38 says of these “Of whom the world was not worthy.”
To be crucified with Christ, (Gal. 2:20) to carry our cross (Matt. 16:24) is to know this burden, to know Jesus Christ is precious and worthy of all glory and honor by all living creatures is to know this burden, to understand the Sovereignty of God is to understand that the task that He has placed before you is worth every fiber of your being, every moment of your life. It is worth whatever He brings into our lives, He is worth it.
There is a rest that waits for some that cannot be expressed, all the wonders of His kingdom cannot be compared to that moment of rest that will come just from being in His presence, when He smiles at you and says, “Well done.”