11 Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.
Labor to enter into rest? That seems like a contradiction in terms. But Paul is not talking about a labor of works, but a labor of faith.
The book of Hebrews is filled with examples of the heroes of faith. Their glory is not in what they accomplished in their own strength, but in simply believing God in the face of insurmountable odds.
According to Hebrews, the Israelites were also chastised for their unbelief, causing 40 years of wandering so an unbelieving generation could die out. The unbelievers could not enter into the Promised Land.
We erroneously think that rest only comes on the heels of doing external work, like a checklist. However, Hebrews makes it very clear that rest only comes from a faith that believes that He exists and that He rewards those that seek Him. Their actions are not what bring them into rest; instead, their actions are meant to PROVE that they have already entered into the rest that comes from trusting God with every part of their life (and everyone else’s life).
Faith without works is dead because we must express our faith by what we do every day. Paul said he will show his faith by what he DOES. God works salvation INTO us, but we work OUT our salvation into our daily life. The righteous will LIVE (practically speaking) by faith – every decision and thought and deed will reflect their faith at that moment in time.
So if you want to enter into true rest, you don’t have to spend your time laboring with your actions to earn it. You need to simply focus on building a more intimate and trusting relationship with God the Father through your belief in Him. Then, when you can truly trust Him to take care of every matter in and related to your life, you will act as if everything were taken care of, and your daily life and emotions will reflect that.