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An Anchor of the Soul - Hope even when it hurts

A ship needs the holding power of the anchor to keep from drifting on the water or being driven by the wind. When the anchor grips the seabed or attaches to the rock the vessel is secured against the forces of nature that could so easily overwhelm it.

 

The Bible likens the Christian hope to ‘an anchor of the soul’ (Hebrews 6:19). This hope, offered in the gospel, does not depend upon anyone or anything in this world. Instead, it is entirely based upon the person and promises of Jesus Christ who is in heaven. Through faith in Him the soul of the believer is eternally and securely anchored to Him with the assurance that He will

 

Anchor

finally and safely bring them to Himself in heaven at the end of life. Do you have this hope?

 

The Promise of Hope

 

Hope is looking forward with confidence to the fulfilment of something desired or promised. The Christian hope is not the hope of possibility - it may be. No, it is the hope of certainty - it will be. This confidence finds its reason in the promise of the gospel. The Bible says: ‘The hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel’ (Colossians 1:5).

 

The Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came to this earth with this message of hope for a world corrupted by satanic deception and condemned under divine justice because of sin. Christ came to be a beacon of hope for all people. He said: “I am the light of the world: he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life” (John 8:12). Through His ministry in the land of Israel Jesus was the realization of hope to multitudes of burdened and broken hearts that experienced His healing power and saving grace. Ultimately, to spread the message of hope throughout the world and over the centuries He died upon the Cross and rose again from the dead to assure all who believe in Him the ‘hope of eternal life’ (Titus 1:2) while warning all who don’t of the certainty of eternal judgment.

 

The Power of Hope

 

Like the anchor that grips the strong rock to stedfastly secure the vessel, so faith lays hold of ‘the Rock of Ages,’ Jesus Christ, connecting the soul to Him which He keeps stedfastly and securely by His ‘everlasting strength’ (Isaiah 26:4) even on ‘the roughest sea of life’ or in ‘the strongest wind of adversity.’ Those who hope in Christ believe and know that in the end everything will turn out well just as the Bible promises: ‘We know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose’ (Romans 8:28). This does not mean that everything experienced is good in itself for that is certainly not the case, but it does assure the Christian that no trial or adversity in this life, no matter how painful, can separate from Christ’s love or prevent the realization of their hope in Him. The Bible says: ‘Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? ... Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us’ (Romans 8:35,37).

 

The Place of Hope

 

Heaven is where the Christian’s hope is located because that is where Christ is. It’s a hope that is literally ‘out of this world.’ Again, the Bible says: ‘Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made a high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec’ (Hebrews 6:19-20). The Lord Jesus Christ died for ‘the sin of the world’ (John 1:29) upon the Cross, He rose again from death on the third day and then ascended back to heaven after forty days. He went through ‘the veil,’ that is the heavens above us, right into the presence of God. As ‘the forerunner’ He went ahead of His people to prepare the way for them to follow and as ‘a high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec,’ He appears before God to represent His people and by His power He saves, sustains and strengthens them as they journey through this world. Jesus Christ is uniquely and universally the only Saviour of sinners and the only Priest between God and men. He lives in ‘the power of an endless life’ (Hebrews 7:16) and will never resign nor be replaced and that is why He can be trusted completely. He has promised to come again for His people and He has warned the world that He will return with His people to establish His glorious kingdom. The believer in Him is therefore ‘looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ’ (Titus 2:13). Melchisedec, a historical figure, was a king priest. He was king of ancient Salem and ‘priest of the most high God’ (Hebrews 7:1). One of the reasons Jesus is a priest after his order is because He too is a king priest and one day He will reign over the world in righteousness and bless the nations with peace and prosperity.

 

Men have had millenniums to make a better world and certainly many remarkable and amazing things have been accomplished in every area of life. Yet, it is all too evident that there is one thing that man cannot do and that is change his own heart or the hearts of others. Therefore, the world continues to ‘stagger’ from one crisis to another while millions needlessly suffer and die.

 

Only one person exists who transcends all humanity and all history and who alone can give eternal life and the assurance of hope to the hurting soul - Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

 

AJC

 

‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved’ (Acts 16:31).

 

 

Troubles almost ’whelm the soul;

Griefs like billows o’er me roll;

Tempters seek to lure astray;

Storms obscure the light of day:

But in Christ I can be bold,

I’ve an anchor that shall hold.

(William Clark Martin 1864-1914)

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