Have you ever been boating, out on the water in the midst of a sketchy time and in need of an anchor? From what I understand, the federal government and most states do not even require that you have an anchor on board your vessel. They also don’t, it’s worth noting, regulate that you have a radio or a first aid kit. Yet it seems reasonable to think that a prepared person would secure such before embarking.
Regarding an anchor, according to the American Boating website, “The normal use is to stop over your favorite fishing spot and use the anchor to maintain your position. Another use is to hold the boat in position while you and your friends wade to shore for a picnic. But then there is the frightening situation when your motor fails or runs out of gas and you begin drifting whatever way the current is going.” Finally, the article states, “There is also the stressful situation when heavy weather or a fog bank reduces your visibility. Should this happen don’t try to outrun it to shore since a collision with something or someone could well be the result.” In other words – you need an anchor!
Think for a few moments how terrifying it would be to be way off from the shore, no gas, or no sail, or perhaps no paddles – and the storm comes. Imagine seeing the clouds and feeling the boat beginning to be driven farther away from shore. While an anchor may not be “required by law” for you to set sail, it is certainly something that you need. Remember the Hebrew writer called “hope” our spiritual anchor. He states:
So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath, 1 8 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. 1 9 We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, 2 0 where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.” (Heb. 11:17-20)
According to Scripture hope is our anchor. Paul says, “For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees?” (Ro. 8:24) The thing about an anchor and hope is that there is this unseen piece to things. The anchor is tossed over the edge, goes through the veil of the water and rests on the bottom. While its presence can no longer be seen from up in the boat, the fact that it’s tethered by the rope is the source of assurance. I’m reminded of a story I heard concerning a small anchor.
Many years ago, a captain of an English ship sailing near Turkey was caught in a storm. He was too far from any harbor, so he let down the ship’s anchor, but the storm was too fierce and wind blew so strongly that the anchor did not hold. Refusing to give up, he dropped a second anchor, but this one also did not take hold and the ship was coming dangerously close to the rocky shoreline. There was only one little anchor left. Surely if the two larger anchors had failed, this one would do no good. But the captain had no other choice, and so he threw the final little anchor overboard. To his surprise, the little anchor held and the ship was able to ride out the storm. After the storm had passed the captain ordered the anchors be raised. The first and second large anchors both came up easily because they had not stuck in the sea bed. But the little anchor refused to let go of its grip. Finally after a great deal of battling with this little stubborn anchor it was brought to the surface and when it came out of the water they discovered that this anchor had snagged onto the ring of an enormous anchor that had probably belonged to a large battleship lost years before.
What is noteworthy is that the little anchor essentially had no strength within itself – being small and lightweight it’s doubtful that it could ever lodge into the ground firmly; however, when connected to the large anchor – the strength of the big anchor was transferred to the little anchor – things are different.
Friends there are two ways to “do life.” You can reside with God and put your trust in Jesus Christ and live a life of strength and hope OR you can do otherwise and be as those who, according to Scripture, “have no hope.” Paul says,“But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope.”(1 Th. 4:13)
As Christians we are to live anchored lives. Our strength comes not from our own resources, but from the Lord and with such may we boldly and confidently face the storms this life may throw at us. Christian, your hope is your anchor!
You are loved,