I am your place of refuge — from Psalm 18:2

Road trips are exciting adventures. There’s so much to look forward to—the scenery, long playlists of your favorite music, and deep conversations with your companions. What’s less adventuresome are the road signs that promise great food, but just as you try to change lanes and veer right, a semi-truck shows up out of nowhere. And just like that, you miss your exit. Whatever rest and enjoyment the sign promised is now a blur in your rearview mirror.

That can happen in your spiritual life, too. You can seek the promise of rest you read about in God’s Word, but then completely miss out on experiencing His rest.

Hebrews 4:1 reads, “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.”

This rest God promises is in the present tense. This verse of Scripture isn’t referring to your final rest—or rest in heaven. It’s talking about today—the here and now—so long as you remember the therefore that explains God’s promise of rest.

The author wants you to keep in mind the history of Israel. The first generation of Israelites refused to enter their promised place of rest. More accurately, they refused to trust God that this was indeed the place He had prepared for them. As a result, they stayed in the wilderness—wandering, wanting, and whining. And their unbelief excluded them from experiencing God’s rest.

But that’s not all. The second generation of Israelites did enter the Promised Land. When God said “go,” they “went.” This second generation entered God’s promised place of rest, but they too failed to experience it. Why? It was another round of unbelief on their part which shows us that even inside the place of rest, they struggled to trust God.

That’s what the author of the Book of Hebrews is saying to you today: The promise of rest still stands, but don’t miss it! Believe. Believe God’s invitation to rest is for you—today—and then trust His promise asking the Holy Spirit to strengthen you with unwavering faith.

And remember… it’s either God’s rest or no rest at all.