The writer to the Hebrews warns of failing to trust God and thus come short of appropriating the grace promises that result in rest for the soul. “Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it” (Heb. 4:1 NIV).  No doubt the writer was referring to the failure of the Exodus generation to trust God and enter into the land that had been promised.  They were fearful of the unknown, fearful of the Canaanites and fearful of defeat. The majority of the reconnaissance team reported that it was impossible to defeat the enemy and enter into the land. That report would appear reasonable from the human perspective, but was totally wrong and contrary to what God had promised and commanded.  The two dissenters to that report had the divine perspective in keeping with the promise of God and said … “The land we passed through and explored is exceedingly good. If the LORD is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us.  Only do not rebel against the LORD. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will devour them. Their protection is gone, but the LORD is with us. Do not be afraid of them” (Num. 14:7b-9 NIV).  Had God not already promised them the land, for He had said as part of the instructions for observing the first Passover … “When you enter the land that the LORD will give you as he promised, observe this ceremony” (Ex. 12:25 NIV)?  Yet, they failed to trust the One who with Him all things are possible and said I will fight for you. Centuries later another little test of faith would occur – between Jesus and his disciples.  Jesus had just healed Peter’s mother-in-law and … “When Jesus saw the crowd around him, he gave orders to cross to the other side of the lake” (Matt. 8:18 NIV).  “Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him.  Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping.  The disciples went and woke him, saying, "Lord, save us! We're going to drown" (Matt. 8:23-25 NIV)!  Note Jesus’ response ... “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?" Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm” (Matt. 8:26 NIV).  It was a simple test, yet so profound.  Jesus had said to go to the other side. If He said go, then the disciples should have rested in the fact that they were going to get to the other side, no matter what occurred.  They faltered in their faith but God’s promise remained true. He still offers rest for the soul – first and foremost eternal life through faith in Christ.  … “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28 NKJV).  Then He offers His sufficiency and power for living a spiritual life that honors Him by saying … “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light" (Matt. 11:29-30 NKJV).  As with all tests that come our way, they do so in varying degrees of frequency and difficulty.  God permits us to respond by saying yes to Him and His way, or no I’ll do it my way.  He permits us to either trust Him and take Him at His Word or face the circumstances and issues of life in our own strength.  The latter is not advised for God says … “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight” (Prov. 3:5-6 NIV).

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