Lucia's Blog: WILL YOUR ANCHOR HOLD IN THE STORMS OF LIFE?
Google Logo
Image Caption goes here.

Isaiah 55:8-9

Isaiah 55:8-9

Saturday, July 18, 2020

WILL YOUR ANCHOR HOLD IN THE STORMS OF LIFE?

"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..." 
Hebrews 6:17-19



The past few weeks have been tough for me with the passing of my father and getting sick with COVID-19.  It has been four weeks, and by the Grace of God, we have recovered and are feeling much better.  Our prayers have been answered.  Our second COVID-19 test has come back negative, and we are not contagious anymore.  Out next step will be to donate plasma (our antibodies) for the treatment of others who are suffering in the hospitals due to COVID-19May God be praised for His goodness and mercy toward us through your prayers.  My family, both here and in Florida, also got sick.  They also have recovered except for my sister, who is fighting the virus and will remain in the hospital for at least a few more days.  We continue to hope that the new treatment with antibodies (plasma) will give her a complete recovery according to the Grace of God.

With these things in mind, let us think for a while about what God provides for us as an anchor for our souls during the stormy seasons of our lives through His Son, our Lord Jesus.

In all this, I have learned that no matter how righteous a Christian might be, he is not exempt from suffering, and we must learn to accept our trials and sufferings with joy.  All our trials and sufferings refine our faith and mold us into what God wants us to be that we might be faithful to Him until we die.  In all our sufferings, our Lord Jesus Christ is honored.  And no matter what happens in our life, our Lord and Savior must be honored, for He is worthy of all honor and praise.   We must continue with joy and confidence in our eternal home.  Our faith must remain strong, that we not become bitter, sour, and ungrateful.

Our pain and suffering grow our faith.   Our faith helps us to endure all of life’s sufferings and difficulties.  God uses our afflictions to perfect our faith for our good.   Indeed, it is difficult to have a positive and peaceful mindset when we are going through trials and pain.  But there are so many disguised blessings when we endure our pain and struggles to survive and keep afloat!  When we are suffering, our expectations are debilitated and shattered.  We forget what God can accomplish through our pain.  Our fervent love for Christ must not be hindered by our trials and sufferings.  Often in our grief, we stop reading and studying our Bibles. We stop praying and singing songs of praise.   Our desire to honor Christ must compel us to pray, praise, study, and have fellowship with Him and with one another during the days of suffering.  God allows suffering for a reason. It is for His glory.  Suffering with hope and praise honors Christ, for He alone is our solid Rock in Whom we find refuge and strength.

Suffering and pain are good for us.  No matter how intense our affliction may be, God will find a way to provide what we need to comfort usI am happy to be sharing in the sufferings of my Lord Jesus!  Through pain and suffering, I have come to know the power of God.  Suffering grows our faith in Christ, for it compels us to rely on His power and not our own.  Though we might find ourselves utterly burdened beyond strength, God is able to deliver us.  But, we must depend on Him for deliverance.  God can strengthen and comfort us so that we might endure our afflictions.   God’s comfort is not intended to make us comfortable but rather to make us comforters to others.  Our pain and trials must be used for helping others who are enduring similar trials.  May we learn to comfort those who are suffering and be the means of God’s comfort to them (2 Cor. 1:3-4).

The Psalms have become my best and most loyal companions when I descend into the valleys of despair. I go to them for guidance, comfort, refreshment, and healing.  They teach me to trust in God despite my circumstances.  When my heart is overwhelmed, and my world is upside down, they guide me and force me to discern and accept that God's ways are not my ways and that I must hold on to Him even when it seems like He is not holding on to me.  The Psalms help me understand God more and more.  As I read and meditate on them, I see that I must walk with Him faithfully in a real world of pain and suffering.  They teach me to trust in Him, for He is working behind the scenes and behind the real screen of the great unknown.  He is with us even when our mind and heart are clouded by the hopeless mist of struggles.

Singing songs of praise helps me to trust in Him even when I cannot see His obvious works, His great deliverance.  Singing songs of praise strengthens me when my spirit is flagging. O how I long to immerse myself in His Word and sing songs of praise when my heart is distressed!  It is the only antidote that can heal my crushed heart. Such songs help me to face tragedy, for they keep me focused on the unseen, and lead me to acknowledge God (trust Him, His Word, and His providence).

The Gospel gives us hope despite 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 amid the storms.


I.   OUR HOPE AS AN ANCHOR IN TROUBLED TIMES:

I have selected the song “We Have An Anchor” because it pictures our hope as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast.  This song also reminds us of the anchor that is provided to our souls by our hope in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  This anchor provided by our Lord keeps us from drifting.  When a ship is buffeted by a storm, it needs an anchor to provide security and safety (Acts 27:29).  And just as ships are often faced with storms, so it is that we must face storms in this life.  The clouds unfold wings of strife when we are faced with various trials and tribulations (James 1:2-3).  Thus, we must have an anchor that is fastened to something steadfast that we not drift (Hebrews 2:1).  Will your anchor drift or firm remain?
  • The Christian's Hope: 
    1. What is the meaning of hope to the Christian?  
    2. 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 forever after the order of Melchizedek."  (Hebrews 6:17-20)

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 as Abraham, who was faithful to Him.  Abraham believed God's promises and walked in the steps of faith as an example to us. All who are faithful to Christ Himself will be blessed as sons of Abraham.

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.
  1. What better Anchor can the faithful have?  
  2. What a consolation that we can be heirs of such a promise! 
  3. 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.
"So that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us" (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.
"For when God made a promise to Abraham, since he had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore by himself, 14 saying, “Surely I will bless you and multiply you.” 15 And thus Abraham,[a] having patiently waited, obtained the promise."  (Hebrews 6:13-15).

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 the following.
"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."
"Now when Paul perceived that one part were Sadducees and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, 'Brothers, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees. It is with respect to the hope and the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial.' 7 And when he had said this, a dissension arose between the Pharisees and the Sadducees, and the assembly was divided. 8 For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, nor angel, nor spirit, but the Pharisees acknowledge them all.'"  (Acts 23:6-10)  
"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 all long to be with our Lord in His heavenly Jerusalem. However, we must pass through the storms of life before we arrive at our destination.   Yet, our Lord helps us to achieve our goal by keeping us pressing onward, knowing that in this hope, "We have an anchor."

Our God has provided us an anchor to our souls through our Lord Jesus Christ 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,
  1. Our Father in Heaven has provided us with hope (Heb. 6:19).
  2. 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).
  3. Our anchor is set firmly in the regions above, and every step of our journey is bringing us closer to our heavenly destination.
  4. We are anchored to heaven's peerless Priest (Heb. 6:20).
  5. Our peerless Priest has proceeded to heaven before us and is our "forerunner" (Heb. 6:19-20).
  6. 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).
  7. Heaven's peerless Priest is preparing for us a place (Heb. 6:20).
  8. Our anchor holds since it is anchored to the Solid Rock, Jesus Christ, the one whose name is above all names.

When our hope is in Christ, we are safely moored because our anchor will be well-secured by our Savior’s mighty hand.  This anchor secures us to our Savior (Lk. 2:11).  It is as if cables were passing from our Savior’s heart to ours.  But this can only be true when we are devoted to Him and love Him with all our hearts (Mark 12:30).  Through these spiritual cables, we are able to defy the blast, for we will be strengthened with power through His Spirit in our inner being (Eph.3:16-17).  The anchor that Jesus provides to us by our hope in Him will guide us in the straits of fear.   As we sail life’s seas, we will be faced with situations that will produce fearBut God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power, love, and self-control (2 Tim. 1:7).  And though the tempest might rave fiercely all around us, there is nothing to fear, for God has promised to be with us to calm the storm (Heb. 13:5-6).  With God on our side, we can rest assured that no angry wave shall our bark overflow.  Perfect love casts out all fear (1 John 4:18).

The anchor provided by our Lord Jesus will sustain us in the floods of death.  When we, Christians, pass through the floods of death, our eyes can behold that city of gold (Rev. 21:1-2).  Although many debate where the soul actually goes after we die, whether it is heaven or not, we, Christians, must agree that the righteous who die in the Lord are in a state of bliss because they are near that shore where the pure river of the water of life flows (Rev. 22.1-2).  Here, they are resting from their labors, and their storms are all past, for God has promised that there will be no more death, sorrow, crying, or pain to bring about those storms (Rev. 21:3-4).  We may rest assured that one day, we all must pass through the floods of death (Heb. 9:27).  However, in Christ, we have a steadfast anchor, and that can never fail.  Such hope will result in our salvation (Rom. 8:24-25).  The reason why such an anchor can never fail is because it reaches and fastens to that which is within the veil, our Lord Jesus Christ (Heb. 10:19-20).  The anchor will bring us to the golden harbor of heaven!  


CONCLUSION:

All faithful Christians must be ready for hardships, difficulties, discomfort, and afflictions. Satan uses our afflictions to move us away from God.   His goal is for us to give up.  He delights in striking us from every angle so that we give up on God.  Satan wants to hear us say, “It’s too much, and it is too hard!”  He wants to wreck our lives.   And it does not matter if we lose everything in this life, for we must learn to live for God, honor, serve, and worship Him.  We must surrender to Him whatever He gives us in life. We must trust God while suffering (1 Peter 4:19).  Our suffering demonstrates our genuine faith and must continue to do good.  In doing this, we will defend the hope we have in Christ and help others.  We motivate unbelievers and believers by the way we behave in the face of suffering.  When we continue steadfast in our service to God in the face of suffering, we are opening doors for unbelievers to come to Jesus.  Honoring Jesus is rejoicing even in our massive trials.  We must be like Job, who said, “Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive adversity.”  (Job 2:10)  “The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away, blessed be the name of the LORD.”  (Job 1:21 Amen to that!!

Therefore, I am resolved not to be moved by my afflictions.  We must be ready to suffer and carry Jesus’ cross no matter what may come our way in this life.  We must be ready for trials and suffering.  We must take joy in Christ, who gives us the strength necessary to bear all of life’s pain and trials.  He is our Comforter and the Father of all mercies who comforts us in all our afflictions (2 Cor. 1:4).  Pain and suffering teach us to share the comfort of God with those who are afflicted and need it most.  God’s comfort does not end with us.  God teaches us through our suffering to comfort others with the same comfort that we receive from Him.  He comforts us in our afflictions that we may be His conduits of comfort to others who are also suffering.  You see, our suffering has a divine purpose.  God’s purpose is that we may understand compassion toward one another.  Suffering is not a competition about who has suffered the most.  I often hear those who are suffering say that their pain is so much worse than anyone else’s.  This is na├»ve! It hinders us from being a channel of real comfort and blessingWe must not wallow in self-pity seeking the attention of others, but rather lift our eyes and see the ways we can comfort others even while we are suffering! 

We often 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:
  1. The storms of doubt, discouragement, despair, and defeat as well as the winds of temptation, trials, and sorrows that tear at our sails.  
  2. The seas of sin, sorrow, and sickness leave us wounded and discouraged.  
  3. Our barriers of fear, frustration, and failures can cause us to lose our joy, hope, and peace as well.  
Thus 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 lives 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.

Our hope is our 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 seafloor, out of sight, so the Christian's anchor rises out of sight into heaven.  When it strikes solid ground there, it is fixed!

The purpose of the anchor is to hold us fast to our God.  Our hope gives us stability in stormy times.

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 Lord be our Anchor, as our soul's refuge, in times of trouble and "stormy seas."  May God's Word, prayer, and songs of praise be our anchors in all of our troubled times.  May we hold fast to our true Anchor 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.

Read with me the words of this beautiful song.  It is one of my all-time favorite songs.  I hope the words of this lovely song stir your soul the way it does mine.

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?"

"It is safely moored, ’twill the storm withstand,
For ’tis well-secured by the Savior’s hand;
And the cables passed from His heart to mine
Can defy the blast through strength divine."

"It will firmly hold in the straits of fear,
When the breakers have told the reef is near;
Though the tempests rave and the wild winds blow,
Not an angry wave shall our bark o’erflow."

"It will surely hold in the floods of death,
When the waters cold chill our latest breath;
On the rising tide it can never fail,
While our hopes abide within the veil."

"When our eyes behold through the gathering night
The city of gold, our harbor bright,
We shall anchor fast by the heavenly shore,
With the storms all past forevermore."

 Chorus,
"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 Savior’s love."



Luci




No comments :

Post a Comment