During our excursions out west, we would often ride for a long time through a desolate part of the land. The map told us if we kept going, the scenery would change and we would see some beautiful sights. We were hoping for something good just over the horizon, and we were not disappointed.
Hope is an expectation of good. We may be facing troubles, but we hope to reach a refuge soon that will mark the end of the wilderness we are traveling through. We don’t know what the end will look like, but we wait for it like an old, faithful friend. Or we may hope to go on a vacation. We aren’t there yet, but we have plans and are waiting for that day of departure. We haven’t seen God face to face, but we are looking forward in hope to seeing Him one day and leaving all the toils of this life behind us.
Sometimes our hopes are realized. Sometimes they fall by the wayside and we never see them come to pass, but there is one hope that has the guarantee of God Himself. It is a hope that every true child of God can have, those who are anchored in Jesus Christ. It is rock solid and more sure than the sun coming up in the morning. Hebrews 6:17-19 tells us, “In the same way God, in His desire to show to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable nature of His purpose, intervened and guaranteed it with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things [His promise and His oath] in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled [to Him] for refuge would have strong encouragement and indwelling strength to hold tightly to the hope set before us. This hope [this confident assurance] we have as an anchor of the soul [it cannot slip and it cannot break down under whatever pressure bears upon it] – a safe and steadfast hope…”
When we place our hope in Jesus, it’s like putting down an immoveable anchor. We can trust Him to keep us calm and steady. Our boat may toss about in a storm, but it will not be moved from its position. We can remain firmly positioned in Christ. Then we won’t drift into uncharted or hostile waters where we don’t need to be. Our hope in Jesus is the anchor of our soul. Our soul is our mind, will and emotions.
With our hope completely in Christ, we won’t reason out problems or make plans with our own intellect. We will do it with the wisdom of God and the leading of the Holy Spirit. Our own way usually leads us into trouble, because we don’t always know what’s best. God knows the past, present and future.
If we keep our anchor in Jesus, our will becomes meshed into His will. We no longer stubbornly demand to have our way. We are no longer resistant to His will, because we have become one with Him, anchored to Jesus Christ. When we walk in God’s will, we are safe.
Our hope in Jesus also prevents our emotions from carrying us out into the open sea where we drift aimlessly whichever way the tide pulls us. There is so much drama in our world today that sometimes I wonder if people know who they really are. So many lives are governed by what will gain the most attention to self, or whatever makes us popular with our peers. If we are not careful, we can be sucked into the drama and forget who we are in Christ. Instead of allowing our emotions to lead us, we need to anchor our emotions to the Word of God.
This immoveable anchor is a complete trust in God, even in disturbing times. It is being confident that He will take the good and the bad and use it all for our ultimate good. It is about abiding in Him and clinging to His Word regardless of the circumstances.
We know our anchor is down when we live and move and have our being in Jesus; when He is at the center of our whole life, every decision and every activity; when the very essence of who we are is based in Him.
Our soul can only remain steadfast if we are anchored in Christ. Any other anchor will slip and eventually pull us along with the tide. Jesus alone can make good on His guarantee to keep us, because He alone has full control of everything. When we place our confidence and hope in ourselves, a doctor, minister or anyone else, regardless of how skilled and wise they are, we will eventually be disappointed. Make sure your hope is truly in Jesus and not just what you want to believe.
Two of Jesus’ followers were walking away from Jerusalem because Jesus had died and their hope had vanished. They were so disappointed that they didn’t even believe the women who found the tomb empty and an angel there who told them Jesus was not there but was risen just as He had told them many times. Even the women’s testimony didn’t revive their hope. Why? How could they have followed Jesus, hearing His words, seeing His miracles and experiencing His presence and be so forlorn and disillusioned now?
They were disappointed because they believed in the wrong thing. They didn’t believe what Jesus said. They believed what they wanted from Jesus. They believed in their own dreams and plans instead of what Jesus said He would do. They said “But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel and set our nation free.” They were believing for a physical kingdom and physical deliverance. Jesus never promised that. They had small hopes. So they missed the eternal hope until Jesus revealed Himself to them. Jesus had joined them in their journey from Jerusalem, and they didn’t recognize Him. He talked with them all the way to their destination before He revealed Himself to them. Then He disappeared. They immediately headed back to Jerusalem to tell the disciples they had seen the Lord. Their hope was renewed and rightly placed.
God had something far greater, something eternal, a deliverance that would reach to you and me in our generation 2000 years later. The natural mind couldn’t understand it, the will of man wanted physical deliverance and their emotions caused them to drift away.
Where have we placed our hope? In Jesus, or in our own interpretation of Jesus? Read the Word of God and listen to the Holy Spirit within you to find out what Jesus has said and what He has promised. Then hold on to that and don’t allow anything to turn you aside! It may be postponed until a future date, but He will bring His Word to pass in His way and His timing. And it will be the right way.
Proverbs 13:12 says, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.” When the reality of our hope is postponed until a future time, we can become disillusioned because it hasn’t happened when and how we thought it would. We have God’s guarantee that when we place our hope in Him, we will never be disappointed. If you are disappointed now, check out what you are believing in. If you are believing in the Word of God, it will come to pass at the right time. It is a “safe and steadfast hope.” “It cannot slip and it cannot break down under whatever pressure bears upon it.”
With our anchor in Jesus Christ, our soul (our mind, will and emotions) will remain calm because our God is bigger than the storm.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the ebb and flow of this world. It’s like the tide constantly rushing in to shore and then pulling back out to sea. We can allow ourselves to be pulled into the rhythm of this world, or we can break free to live in the rhythm of God’s will, God’s Spirit and God’s kingdom.
This world is afraid and angry. But we don’t have to be because we have an anchor. The world will tell us “it’s impossible”. But don’t let it pull you out to sea. Find out what God has to say about it and keep your anchor down. The world is fighting for its rights. We don’t have to because our God is in complete control.
As Christians, we should have peace, not turmoil. If we keep our anchor in Jesus, we can remain calm in the storm, strong and confident in opposition, bold to proclaim His Word, and courageous enough to keep our anchor down, secure in Christ, even in the hard times. When the storm rages and winds blow with hurricane force, it may seem we need to do something or we will perish. The best thing we can do is to keep our anchor down and not be moved from our position in Christ. If your anchor is in Jesus, don’t take it up for anybody or anything!! If your anchor is not in Jesus, I ask that you please place all your hope in Him today, because only God can guarantee our hope.
We have an anchor for our souls
We can stand firm against the tide.
We can be unmoved by the storms.