The word ‘hope’ seems such a weak word, and yet it’s used about some very significant things. Here are just a few. In Titus 3:7 it’s used about ‘the hope of eternal life’, in Romans 5:2‘the hope of the glory of God’, and in Romans 9:24, ‘in this hope we were saved’. But we don’t usually associate the word ‘hope’ with anything secure; far from it. We hope it will be sunny today. We hope we can find a parking space. We hope our train or bus arrives on time.
Hope in the New Testament isn’t like that at all. It’s a firm resolute trust. It’s certainty, not at all the weaker meaning we have for it in the English language. Hebrews 6:19 supports this be saying it’s an anchor, firm and secure. Now that is good news, but as I read that verse I had two questions – perhaps you had them too.
Firstly, where is the anchor (for my soul) lodged? After all, that’s going to be key. If it’s anywhere unstable, weak or fragile, then it isn't going to hold my soul when the storms of life come. It would shift. It would move around and fail to provide anything I could really hold on to. The anchor itself might be strong enough, but it needs to be anchored to something I can be certain won’t shift. That’s where the final part of the Hebrews 6:19 provides assurance. The anchor is lodged behind the curtain in the inner sanctuary. When Jesus died, the curtain separating the Holy of Holies from the rest of the Temple was torn in two from the top to the bottom. The death and resurrection of Christ has lodged the anchor of our hope there, in heaven. It can’t be shifted. It’s locked solid, and our salvation is sure and certain.
Secondly, I now know where the anchor’s lodged, but what’s the other end of the anchor attached to? What was the point of an anchor in those days? It was to keep you from being blown about by the wind, or swept by the tide into destruction; out to sea or on the rocks. But what if someone told you that they’d fitted your boat with a good, solid, heavy anchor that will grip any sea-bottom, but failed to fix it to your boat? Would that give you encouragement? No. The other end of the anchor has to be firmly attached to your soul, your Christian life. Too often when the storms of life hit us, sometimes very suddenly, the anchor of hope is chucked overboard. Yet, it’s the very thing we must hold on to, lest we become shipwrecked. We don’t hold on to it alone. The Holy Spirit helps us to do so too. Jesus is the author and perfecter (finisher) of our faith.
Where’s your anchor? Has it been thrown overboard because of the storm you’re in, and you’re being buffeted this way and that, and feeling hope-less? Should you be surprised at that if you’ve lost your hold on the very thing God designed to hold you safe? Then cry out to the Lord and grab hold of it again, and wrap it around your life. It won’t fail you. It’s held many a saint of God through storms you can’t begin to imagine, and it won’t fail you, this day, this night, this week or at any time.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for the anchor of hope. If I’ve failed to grasp it properly, and to understand where it’s so firmly embedded, then I ask Your forgiveness. If I’ve lost my grip on it, or let it go, for fear or doubt, because of the storm I'm in, I choose to grab hold of it once more. I bind it round my life and my soul, and choose to trust You, because You've never failed, and never will. Amen.