Lucia's Blog: THE TRUE ANCHOR
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Isaiah 55:8-9

Isaiah 55:8-9

Thursday, November 5, 2015

THE TRUE ANCHOR

"Wherein God, being minded to show more abundantly unto the heirs of the promise the immutability of his counsel, interposed with an oath; that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we may have a strong encouragement, who havefled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us:  which we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and entering into that which is within the veil..."  
Hebrews 6:17-19


Many of us are frightened by the changes that we see in our culture.  We see a dramatic increase in violence, crime and the immorality of our youth.  We live in troubled times.  Many are saying that we live in a hopeless time, but we have an anchor that “keeps our soul steadfast and sure while the billows roar.”  The Gospel gives us hope in spite of the troubled world that roars all around us.  Let's think about what our Lord has provided to anchor our souls and bring us calm in the midst of the storms.

What does the word "anchor" in Hebrews 6:19 mean?  It is "to make secure or to fasten."  We live in an insecure world where everyone is desperately trying to latch on to something they can believe in and find security. Many ships have weathered storms by anchoring to a solid rock for the safety and survival of the ship and its crew.  Anchors are vital since they stabilize, hold fast and keep the ship from drifting.  When the anchor is fastened firmly in the deep, ships can weather the raging storms that so often destroy.  The anchors of our soul have the same effect in our lives.  

Sadly, we often anchor our lives to the wrong things.  We place our hope in things such as our jobs, success, money, relationships, possessions, social standing, power and so on.  We plant ourselves in shifting sand, leaving our ship adrift and in danger of sinking.  You see, people are desperately trying to fasten themselves to an insecure world forgetting the true anchor that is secure, grounded in the deep. Indeed, this world, like a restless sea, can be a cruel and dangerous place filled with storms, tribulations, trials and pain.  

We all have stormy seasons that rage fiercely, turning everything upside down.   They are:
  • The storms of doubt, discouragement, despair, and defeat as well as the winds of temptation, trials, and sorrows that tear at our sails.  
  • The seas of sin, sorrow and sickness leave us wounded and discouraged.  
  • Our barriers of fear, frustration, and failures can cause us to lose our joy, hope and peace as well.  
We start to wonder if we are going to make it or not.
  • Will your anchor hold steadfastly or drift away when adversities touch your life?  
  • Will your faith survive?

Jesus, our Anchor, will steady our ship when we anchor our life to Him.  He will calm the storms of our life that batter our ship and set it adrift in the violent seas.  He will hold fast our ship and keep it from drifting, as He sees us safely home.  He is our anchor of hope, our daily motivation, and encouragement when we place our faith in Him. God in His loving-kindness has provided us with other anchors as well, to help us when our way grows uneven and dark.  God had given us many anchors:  
  1. His Word is an anchor in troubled times.
  2. Prayer also anchors us to the Rock.
  3. The church in some ways also anchors to Him when our world is troubled.
  4. The hope itself anchors us in different ways: 
    • We hope in the resurrection.
    • We hope for eternal life in heaven.
    • We hope in the work of Jesus Christ our High Priest. 
  5. Our God-given homes also provide an anchor in the storms of life.  


I.  God's Word is an Anchor in Troubled Times

When we throw our anchor of faith into the waters of the Word of God, it will be embedded in the Rock of Ages, Jesus Christ.  This anchor will hold us firmly.  God's Word gives us the stability, confidence, and protection that we need so much in our troubled times.  Take note that our Lord Jesus took hold of this anchor (God's Word) when Satan besieged him in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1-11).

"The tempter came."  When the tempter comes to besiege you as he did our Lord Jesus, what will you use as your anchor?  

In 2 Samuel 23:9-10 we read of King David's mighty warriors.  Among them was a man named Eleazar who was famous for his courage and valor in battle.  He showed his bravery when Israel's army confronted their enemies, the Philistines.  When the men of Israel fled, he stood firm.  He fought single-handed.  "He arose, and smote the Philistines until his hand was weary, and his hand clave unto the sword."

What is the lesson here?  

  1. We must cling to the sword of the Spirit in our personal lives.  We must seek God's counsel in our everyday decisions (family, jobs, schools, etc.). 
  2. We must not walk following the course of this world (Ephesians 2:2), relying on what is popular or what others are doing that feels right.  Instead, we must examine everything with the Word of God, asking ourselves, "How can I best apply the Word of God to my circumstances?
  3. We must let our hand cling to the sword of the Spirit (the Word of God) for counsel in our lives.  What a priceless anchor this is in our times of trouble!
  4. Likewise, we must cling to the same sword when the church needs counsel.  We all know what happens when the church sets aside the book of life, operates without God's guidance, and relies on tradition or faulty human wisdom.  It is the Word of God, our anchor that keeps us from drifting.

II.  Prayer as an Anchor in Troubled Times

In I Thessalonians 5:17 the apostle Paul encourages us to "pray without ceasing."  Again in Philippians 4:6 he writes,  "do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God."

Consider some Bible heroes who effectively used prayer as their solid anchor:
  1. Hannah who in the bitterness of her soul, prayed to God for a son and God answered her prayer of affliction.  (1 Samuel 1:10-11).
  2. Nehemiah who when he saw the condition of Jerusalem "sat down and wept, and mourned certain days; and I fasted and prayed before the God of heaven."  (Nehemiah 1:4-11).
  3. Hezekiah, who when he was sick unto death wept and "turned his face to the wall, and prayed unto Jehovah" for more time to live.  (2 Kings 2:2-6).
  4. Jesus, who "fell on his face, and prayed, saying, My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass away from me: nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt." (Matt. 26:39).
  5. The church that when afflicted, abused and persecuted prayed to God lifting up their voices with one accord.  (Acts 4:23-31).

What an anchor we have with God through prayer!

As Christians, we have a unique relationship with God, a Father/son relationship.  We can confidently draw near to God's throne and pour out our soul to Him in prayer.   Strength comes from such encounters, and the bitterness that ferments in our hearts is purged allowing us to go on.  Prayer, as a powerful anchor, has this effect in our life.  I don't know where my faith would be today if it were not for such a powerful anchor in my life.

Prayer is the soul's unfeigned desire, unspoken or expressed, the motion of a hidden fire that flickers in our soul.  Likewise, prayer is the burden of a sigh, the falling of a tear, the upward gaze of the eye, when none but God is near.


III.   The Church as an Anchor in Troubled Times
  1. The church is greater than any human institution, sectarian or fraternal.
  2. The church is God's building, a holy temple against which the gates of hell will not prevail, (Matthew 16:18-19).  We, the church, are the real habitation or dwelling of God in the Spirit.  (Eph. 2:22).  We are a spiritual house.  (1 Peter 2:5).
  3. The church is the family of God. (Eph. 2:19).  The household of faith (Gal. 6:10).  So, who can better understand our struggles and our sufferings than another Christian?  
  4. The church is a body.  (1 Cor. 12:12).  "Everyone members one of another."  (Romans 12:5). So, who can better understand our pain, our sorrows, and our heartaches than another member of the body of Christ?
  5. If one member suffers or hurts, the whole body hurts also.  "And whether one member suffereth, all the members suffer with it; or one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it."  (1 Cor. 12:26).

What an anchor is the church in times of trouble!  It is our soul's refuge in times of stormy seas and unrest.

An anchor:  The church was planned by God and not man.  It is a spiritual house rather than carnal. Its operation transcends time and extends to eternity.  It is governed by divine standards and not by a changing or human standard.  The blood of Christ purchased it.  There never has been enough money in the world to pay for it.  (1 Peter 1:19; Hebrews 9:12-14; Hebrews 10:3-14; Hebrews 13:11-12; Romans 3:25; Ephesians 1:7; Revelation 7:14; Acts 20:28; 1 Peter 1:1-2; Revelation 5:9-10; Romans 3:25-26; Romans 5:9) .


IV.  Our Hope as an Anchor in Troubled Times
  • What is the meaning of hope to the Christian?  
  • How does the Bible define hope?  
Hope is crucial to the Christian.  The hope that the Bible speaks of is not an “I-hope-so,” but rather an “I-know-so.”  It does not wish for the best.  It is not waiting to see what happens and hope that it turns out well.  Hope is not a feeling or emotion.  Hope is the knowledge of facts.   The Bible defines hope as the sure anchor of the soul.  Human hope is insignificant in comparison to the hope of the Bible.

Our hope allows us to desire and expect what God has in store for us.  

"Wherein God, being minded to show more abundantly unto the heirs of the promise the immutability of his counsel, interposed with an oath; that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we may have a strong encouragement, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us:  which we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and entering into that which is within the veil; whither as a forerunner Jesus entered for us, having become a high priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek."  (Hebrews 6:17-20).

1.   The hope we have as Christians is based on "two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie."  Consider them:

  • God's promise.
  • God's oath.

So, what is this promise, and what is this oath?  The promise is the one given to Abraham that his seed should be blessed, and in this seed should all nations of the earth be blessed. The questions are:  
  • To whom was the promise made? 
  • Who are the “seed”?  
The Seed is our Lord Jesus, through whom all nations are blessed.  This promise was made not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.  We Christians are the seed of Abraham since our Father is the God of the faithful.  Therefore, God's promise is established securely for all who are faithful to Him like Abraham, who believed in Him.  All who are faithful to Christ Himself will be blessed.

So what is the oath?  It is the oath that the Lord swore to Abraham after he had offered his son Isaac as a sacrifice to God.  This is the oath of His priesthood.  Our Lord Jesus is our Priest, who has finished His sacrificial work and has already gone within the veil and is now seated at the right hand of God, the Father forever.  His priesthood is abiding in eternal efficacy!  

What a blessed anchor to the soul it is to know our Lord and Savior is within the veil.  That our King of righteousness and peace is now seated before the throne of our Father in heaven, interceding for us.  Therefore, I have that hope of assurance and security in Him.  
  • What better Anchor can the faithful have?  
  • What a consolation that we can be heirs of such a promise! 
  • What hope it is for His faithful ones to rely on His oath and promise!  

Our Anchor, Jesus, is drawing us home to Himself, not downward beneath raging and devouring waves, but upward to blissful joys.  Our hope is nearer than when we first believed.  It is near to its fruition!  We are anchored to heaven's precious promises.  (Hebrews 6:18).  And the foundation of our hope, our joy, and our peace is our confidence in the unfailing promises of God.  His promises are evident in His Word.  (Hebrews 6:13-15).


2.   Our hope as an anchor.  The hope of the Bible is compared to a ship on the sea that is threatened by raging storms that drive the ship from its intended course.  As the ship's anchor reaches down to the sea floor, out of sight, so the Christian's anchor rises out of sight into heaven.  When it strikes solid ground there, it is fixed.

3.  The purpose of the anchor is to hold us fast to our God.  Our hope gives us stability in the stormy times.  Read with me the words of this beautiful song.

Will Your Anchor Hold?

Will your anchor hold in the storms of life,
when the clouds unfold their wings of strife?
When the strong tides lift, and the cables strain,
will your anchor drift, or firm remain?
[Refrain:]

We have an anchor that keeps the soul
steadfast and sure while the billows roll;
fastened to the Rock which cannot move,
grounded firm and deep in the Saviour’s love!

Will your anchor hold in the straits of fear,
when the breakers roar and the reef is near?
While the surges rave, and the wild winds blow,
shall the angry waves then your bark o'erflow? [Refrain]

Will your anchor hold in the floods of death,
when the waters cold chill your latest breath?
On the rising tide you can never fail,
while your anchor holds within the veil. [Refrain]

Will your eyes behold through the morning light
the city of gold and the harbour bright?
Will you anchor safe by the heavenly shore,
when life's storms are past for evermore? [Refrain]


4.  The Christian's Hope.   The Christian's definition of hope is far superior to that of the world.  A Christian knows that his hope is based on solid, concrete evidence because it is grounded in the Word of God and we know that God cannot lie (Heb 6:18; Num 23:19). The Christian has a faith that is “the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Heb 11:1).  It is the hope of faith that will not be shaken or moved by circumstances or what the eyes see because an unseen God is seen in His faithfulness.  

In Romans 8:24-25, Paul tells us that "For in hope were we saved: but hope that is seen is not hope: for who hopeth for that which he seeth?  But if we hope for that which we see not, then do we with patience wait for it."  

“And hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” (Romans 5:5)

  • It is the hope of resurrection.  "the hope and resurrection of the dead."  (Acts 23:6).  "So also is the resurrection of the dead.  It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:  it is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:  it is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body."  (1 Cor. 15:42-43).  

We have this assured hope (confidence) since Jesus was raised.  Therefore, we know that:
  •  “The Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.  Therefore encourage one another with these words” (1 Thess 4:16-18).  
  • We know that Christ "was buried; and that he hath been raised on the third day according to the scriptures."  (1 Cor 15:4) and "in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep."  (1 Cor 15:20).  So let us encourage one another with this hope of assurance (confidence).
"Yea, we are found false witnesses of God; because we witnessed of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead are not raised."  (1 Corinthians 15:15).
"The wicked is driven away in his wickedness: but the righteous hath hope in his death."  (Proverbs 14:32).
  •  The hope of eternal life in heaven.  Peter encouraged those who were suffering persecution saying, “According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”  (1 Pet 1:3-5).  
  • Jesus Christ is Our Hope.  Our hope is not in mankind, circumstances, or in any other thing but “we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe,” (1 Tim 4:10) because “Christ Jesus, who is our hope.” (1 Tim 1:1; 2 Cor. 1:20).  Our Lord Jesus Christ is God's guarantee that His promises will be kept.  Peter spoke of this faith by quoting David in Acts 2:26. “My heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced; my flesh also will dwell in hope.” That is exactly why Paul told the Roman Christians to “rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” (Rom. 5:2) and desired that “the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”  (Rom. 15:13).

Therefore, in the resurrection, 
  1. The just shall live again and have eternal life.  (John 11:15; John 6:40).
  2. We will be raised up by God's power.  (1 Corinthians 6:14; Romans 8:11).
  3. All of us will be changed from corruptible to incorruptible.  (1 Cor. 15:51-54).
  4. So shall we (those who died in Christ) ever be with the Lord.  (1 Thess. 4:17)
  5. We all will appear before the Supreme Judge of all to be judged according to our deeds.  (2 Corinthians 5:9; Philippians 3:20-21).
  6. The just will be repaid.  (Luke 14:14).
  7. There will be a resurrection of both the just and the unjust. (Acts 24:15).
  8. We will be free from pain.  (Revelation 21:4).
  9. We will rest from our labors.  (Revelation 14:13).
  10. We will drink of the water of life.  (Revelation 21:6).
  11. We will eat of the tree of life.  (Revelation 22:2)

What hope and anchor in troubled times!


V.  Our Homes as an Anchor in Troubled Times

The world is in desperate need of homes where God is recognized as the Head; His Word as the only guiding light; and His glory as the only motivating power.  Apart from these Biblical principles to govern the home, our homes and family system are in danger of collapsing altogether.  We are breeding a blatant ignorance of authority that is flourishing in decadent societies.  God calls for faithful parents to guide, nurture and train their children in His way as His perfect arrangement.  (Proverbs 22:6; Ephesians 6:4; I Timothy 5:14).  The godly home is our last line of defense against the ills that overtake the world. 

Godly homes and the instruction of godly parents are vital tethers in our walk with Christ.  We must never detach ourselves from them.  They are vital because of their teaching and influence.  These anchors protect us from the enemy and the storms of life.  Our homes are where we teach our children an unfeigned faith that will remain with them forever.  The prodigal son in Luke 15 "came to himself" in a far country and said, "I will arise and go to my father..."  Moses is a great example of a son whose mother taught her children the fear of God, a doctrine that remained with them for life.


CONCLUSION:

Our God has provided us many spiritual anchors to hold us fast lest we be shipwrecked, unhappy, unstable, useless, and hopeless. Jesus, our Lord, is God's perfect provision for us.  He is our City of Refuge!  The true Anchor holds because,
  • Our Father in Heaven has provided us with hope (Heb. 6:19).
  • We have a home, and our anchor is secured in heaven, in the Holy of Holies since Jesus is there as our High Priest.  (Heb. 6:19-22; Heb. 9:11-12).
  • Our anchors are set firmly in the regions above, and every step of our journey is bringing us closer to our heavenly destination.
  • We are anchored to heaven's peerless Priest (Heb. 6:20).
  • Our peerless Priest has proceeded to heaven before us and is our "forerunner."  (Heb. 6:19-20).
  • Heaven's peerless Priest has perfected us by redeeming us and is sitting at the right hand of God's throne interceding for us.  (Heb. 10:12-14).
  • Heaven's peerless Priest is preparing for us a place.  (Heb. 6:20).
  • Our anchor holds since it is anchored to the Solid Rock, Jesus Christ, the one whose name is above all names.


May we make sure our anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock, Jesus our Lord.  May we be fastened to the Solid Rock that "keeps the soul steadfast and sure while the billows roll."  May our anchor hold to the Rock, which "cannot move, grounded firm and deep in the Savior's love."  Our only hope! May the church and our homes be our anchors in times of trouble as our soul's refuge during the times of “stormy seas” and unrest.  May God's Word and our prayer be our anchors in all of our troubled times.  May all these spiritual anchors hold us fast lest we drift away.  May we all be encouraged by the hope that is set before us which we have as an anchor of the soul.


Luci