By Pastoral Intern – Serena Sinclair
Hebrews 6:19 “We have this hope as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul (it cannot slip and it cannot break down under whoever steps out upon it–a hope) that reaches farther and enters into (the very certainty of the Presence) within the veil” (Classic Amplified).
For first century Christians an ANCHOR was a symbol of HOPE representing strength and safety. Swells of ocean waves and swift currents frequently caused vessels to drift off course. Putting down a strong, sturdy anchor while moving forward embedded the metal hooks deep into the seabed steadying the boat. The writer of Hebrews projects the image of Jesus as our anchor in 6:19, “We have this hope as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul that reaches farther and enters (into the very certainty of the Presence) within the veil’ (AMP). Our God knew that His children needed concrete imagery to grab onto with two hands in order to endure first century persecution, societal pressure, and now the plethora of social media and other trendy cultural strongholds. How easy to drift from the love of our Savior when we’re saturated with news media, trying to get ahead at work, pay the bills, and accomplish. Busyness stalks the spiritual life. Under the pressure of productivity my belief system can easily shift to the status symbols of a full calendar, and living without margin so I can do more, earn more, buy more, and spend more at the latte temple because I need caffeine to maintain this fast paced rhythm. In this frantic pace of doing, my confident assurance is vested in me instead of the One who saved me and continues to rescue me from selfish whims.
Anchored Hope entrusts identity to Christ.
The apostle Paul said, “I no longer live but Christ lives in me” (Gal 2:20). This truth was so embedded within the apostle’s soul, he considered all else rubbish, trash in comparison to knowing Christ. His abrupt transformation prompted him to trade in his notable career as an “up and coming” zealous rabbi who had studied under the famous Jewish scholar, Gamaliel. Paul was “known,” he was proud of his achievements, until Christ told him to stop acting like a stubborn ox, translation for “kicking against the goads,” and choose a better path, and a different identity, one that was anchored in his Creator who wove all that zest and exuberance into his being in the first place (Acts 26:14). From that point he abandoned his status symbol of becoming a rabbi, and everything in his life became a distant second in relation to knowing his Savior as Lord. I appreciate Paul’s reformed vibe, his push to plant churches and free people from any attachment other than Christ. I too long for the complete freedom found in an identity anchored in my Creator so that I don’t let myself become distracted by possessions or by what other people think. When I understand what it means to be an heir of the Almighty God, then I gain a confidence in my Christ identity that refuses to be shaken by circumstance, crisis, or other’s opinions. This newfound confidence accepts that yes, I make mistakes, I miss the mark, I speak too soon like Peter, and stick my foot in my mouth, but my God renews me, dusts me off, and says, “Try again, don’t take yourself tooooo seriously, just take ME seriously.” When I completely trust Christ with my identity my aptitude to forgive others increases. Unforgiveness is a huge distraction that takes up residence in the sanctuary of our minds and stubbornly refuses to vacate. Knowing that my identity is secure and anchored in the love of my Savior loosens the tentacles of blame, removes the negative emotions, and sets me free to live in peace and joy.
Anchored Hope lives in the promises of God.
Missionary Elizabeth Elliot once said, “Don’t dig up in doubt what you planted in faith.” When I’m not reading God’s promises I forget who I am and Whose I am, seeds of doubt take root, breed fear, and I begin to believe that I have to solve every problem and that the success of any project relies solely upon me. This is the luring mentality of the enemy of my soul. He wants to displace my faith, loosen my grip on the Anchor, and distract me from the fact that not only do I have complete access to my Father’s throne, but that the power of His Spirit lives within me. God is effectively at work within me to work and do His good pleasure, Phil 2:13. He’s the One unveiling the solutions and working behind the scenes to fulfill HIs purpose –I’m the vessel. My part is to lean into Him, give 110% of my effort, and be aware of His movement so I can follow where He’s leading. Sometimes, admittedly, 110% effort is not my mojo for the day, then God unveils the real meaning of the word “work” in this passage. The Greek word for “work” is energéō: “God is going to work in a situation which brings it from one stage (point) to the next, like an electrical current energizing a wire, bringing it to a shining light bulb” biblehub Greek lexicon. Yeah, I’m down for this — Go God!
If there were a downside to growing in the strong, steady Anchored Hope Jesus offers us, it’s this: hope isn’t for sale, you can’t stockpile it like toilet paper, you can’t concoct a formula or ingest a “one a day hope supplement.” Anchored Hope forces us to roll up our sleeves, anchor our thoughts deep into the Word, and keep moving by faith.
Grace and peace my friends.