Hope: An Anchor for the Soul

“Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath, that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us. This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil, where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek,” (Hebrews 6:17-20).

It’s easy in the midst of all of our daily obligations and routines, not to mention the myriad of things going on in the world around us, to feel like we are being pulled in a dozen different directions. As I think through my own life right now, I am trying to navigate working from home, keeping on top of housework, reaching out to family and friends to make sure they are making it through this time well, taking some additional classes, and working to maintain physical, mental, spiritual, and financial health. All of this while also trying to process what is going in in the world around me with the pandemic, with politics, and many other issues facing the world today.

It is easy to understand how any person could feel like a ship tossed and pushed in every direction as the winds and currents change. As Christians, though, we have an “anchor of the soul.” We have something that, despite the changing winds and tides of the world around us, grounds us and keeps us safe and secure even during the storms around us.

While others in the world may talk about hope, our hope as Christians is not a vague feeling of optimism. Our hope is grounded in the Person and forerunning work of Jesus Christ. As the author of Hebrews points out, our sure and steadfast hope—the anchor of our soul—is founded on Jesus, our High Priest, who has gone before us into the presence of God by which we know we have a place in God’s house. This is described again in Hebrews 9:24, writing that “For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf.” Likewise, in John 14:2-3, Jesus tells His followers, “In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.”

This is the hope that keeps us grounded in the storms of life: the hope that not only has Christ gone before us to prepare a place for us, but He also advocates to God on our behalf even now.

So, if we look around at the world and see its storms—life’s busyness, political arguments, injustices, and wars—we can be assured that we remain anchored by the hope we have in Jesus and the knowledge that He is actively advocating on our behalf. This understanding of hope is one that the world cannot understand. Hope in this sense is not a blind feeling of optimism and joy—though it may include those feelings. Hope is also indignant and fierce, seeing the way that things are but believing that through Jesus they can and will be better. Hope looks into the storms and injustices of the world and prophetically declares that through the forerunning work of Jesus Christ, things must change. Hope anchors us and transforms the future by orienting our perspective toward the promises of God, which are fulfilled in Christ Jesus.

What a great comfort to know that even as the storms of life rage around, we are anchored by our hope, which is founded in the work of Christ! This hope not only keeps us steady, but it also gives us the stability and power through Christ to confront these storms: to challenge the problems we see in the world, to rest in Jesus despite the world’s business, to declare the goodness of God in the face of the great evils we see in the world, and to proclaim that through Jesus, the oppressed can be set free. I pray that as you go throughout this week, you would experience this hope that anchors your soul in Jesus and that you would be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit to not only stand firm in the midst of the storms of life but to challenge them, knowing that Jesus has already procured victory and actively advocates on your behalf.

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