The Need of Labour Before Rest
Hebrews 4:11
Let us labor therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.

We may properly regard this as an intimation that care and trouble are absolutely necessary on our part, in order to the procurement and enjoyment of those things "which God hath prepared for them that love Him." We should never fail to consider this life as a state of trial. In order to the attainment of human perfection, we perceive much labour to be necessary; there is no science, there is scarcely any art or employment in our several vocations in which we can arrive at eminence without industry and toil: exceptions there doubtless are, but this is the rule. We may further observe, that the greatest delight which we experience upon earth is frequently obtained by previous exertion or privation. As it is with the body, and with the attainment of natural blessings, so we have much greater reason to expect that it should be with the soul, with the attainment of those pure and spiritual blessings to which the natural man is averse. We could not expect them to be enjoyed without a previous discipline, without an anxious seeking, without a determined conflict. Not that such discipline and duty, on our part, are to be regarded as effectual in themselves; still less as entitling us to the benefits of the gospel on the ground of desert: we can have no such title but through the merits and for the sake of our blessed Redeemer. Whatever the labour might be — however severe, however unassisted and unrelieved — every wise man, every man who exercised a common judgment and prudence, would thankfully submit to it for a few years as the appointed means of a happy eternity; just upon the same principle as he would gladly submit to the trouble or toil of a day for the sake of procuring riches and comfort and honour during the remainder of his existence upon earth. But the work of the Christian, in the preparation of his soul for rest, is not a labour unassisted and unrelieved; not a gloomy period of service without the light of the sun. There is a heaven-born spirit, an all-sufficient grace, a holy energy and animation imparted, affording much more than a recompense even at present, and making the believer thankful that he has struggled and endured. Nevertheless, the mainstay of the children of God in their infirmities, the refreshment of their spirit in the vale below, is the promise of a heavenly rest at the end of their short pilgrimage, towards which they have the comfort of making a daily advancement: the promise of a final and blissful consummation. An aged Christian, now near this end, commonly says, at every striking of the clock upon his ear, thank God I am an hour nearer to my home and my rest. Such thankfulness may every one of us be able heartily to express!

(J. Slade, M. A.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.

WEB: Let us therefore give diligence to enter into that rest, lest anyone fall after the same example of disobedience.

The Need for Diligence
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