MARCH 22

Hope, A Sure and Steady Anchor

Bible Reading: Hebrews 6:13-20

On February 4, 1999, a ship, the New Carissa, was bound for the Port of Coos Bay, Oregon to pick up a load of wood chips.  The ship’s crew was informed by the local bar pilots that weather conditions would prevent the ship from entering the harbor until the next morning.  The captain ordered the ship to drop anchor some distance off of the coast in order to ride out the storm.  The crew dropped anchor, but the anchor line was too short.  Heavy winds drove the ship to the shore where it ran aground.  Though no lives were lost, the recovery and cleanup cost tens of millions of dollars.  The New Carissa was provisioned with a suitable anchor, but since it could not be well-positioned it was of no help.  Amidst the storms of uncertainty we face in life, a “sure and steadfast anchor of the soul” has been provisioned by God to the believer in Christ.

We all have need of an “anchor of the soul.”  “Sin and despair, like the sea waves cold, threaten the soul with infinite loss.”  We face trials and temptations of many kinds.  An untethered soul will inevitably be “tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine” (Ephesians 4:14). The anchor provisioned by God is both “sure” and “steadfast.”  Each term relates to the nature of the anchor in a different way.  The word “sure” speaks of that which is certain.  The word “steadfast” speaks to the anchor’s security when placed under stress.  The hope of the believing soul is both certain and unassailable. It is so because of who God is, He Himself being immutable and faithful.  God has promised salvation to the believer.  The believer’s assurance is based on “two unchangeable things” (Hebrews 6:18)—His promise and His oath (Hebrews 6:13-18).  Since “it is impossible for God to lie,” we know we are secure in the salvation He has promised.  No matter what happens in this life, nothing can work “to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:39).

An anchor is of no value if it is not laid hold of by some means.  The author of Hebrews spoke to those “who have fled for refuge…to hold fast to the hope set before (them)” (Hebrews 6:18).  How is a soul tethered to the sure and steadfast anchor?  Is it not by faith?  “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1).  Faith “flees for refuge” in the unseen Christ.  Faith works to bind one’s self tightly to Him.  No one can be saved apart from it.  It is by faith that the believer experiences both security and stability.

Note the place to which the anchor is secured.  It “enters into the inner place behind the curtain” (Hebrews 6:19).  The well-anchored soul is tethered to heaven itself.  And though we face the winds and waves of adversity here, all is calm in that harbor.  Is your soul even now bound by such an anchor to such a glorious place?  Charles Spurgeon concluded a sermon on this topic with these words, “My cable has grown shorter of late, a great many of its links have vanished.  I am nearer my hope than when I first believed.  Every day hope nears fruition!  Let our joy in it become more exultant.  A few more weeks or months and we shall dwell above!  And while we shall need no anchor to hold us fast, we shall eternally bless that Divine condescension which produced such a holdfast for our unstable minds while tossed upon this sea of care!  What will those of you do who have no anchor?  A storm is coming!  I see the lowering clouds and hear the distant hurricane!  What will you do?  May the Lord help you at once to flee for refuge to the hope set before you.  Amen.”  

MY ANCHOR HOLDS

Tho’ the angry surges roll
On my tempest-driven soul,
I am peaceful, for I know,
Wildly though the winds may blow,
I’ve an anchor safe and sure,
That can evermore endure.

Refrain:
And it holds, my anchor holds:
Blow your wildest, then, O gale,
On my bark so small and frail;
By His grace I shall not fail,
For my anchor holds, my anchor holds.

Amidst the Inevitable Storms of Life, In Jesus You’ve a Sure and Steadfast Anchor of Your Soul

Heavenly Father.  Like the disciples in their storm tossed sea, the waves of uncertainty in this sin-stormy world would work to frighten us or move us off course.  But You have worked to save us and in You we have set our hope!  Praise You for Your faithfulness!  Our souls have found a sure and steadfast resting place in You.  May our faith rest solely on You, and not on ourselves or others.  May our minds be firmly set on the hope laid up for us in heaven.  Being well tethered by faith in You, may we be “steadfast, immovable, always abounding” in You work.  To Your glory!  Amen.

Author: looking2jesus13

Having served as pastor at Lewis and Clark Bible Church, in Astoria, Oregon, for almost three decades, my wife’s cancer diagnosis led to my retirement and subsequent move to Heppner to be near our two grandchildren. I divide my time between caring for Laura and working as a part time hospice chaplain and spending time with family and spoiling my chocolate lab.

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