Hebrews 6:19 (NIV)
“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure…”
What do you picture when you read this verse? If you’re like most people, you see a boat being rocked by the wind and waves as an anchor keeps the boat somewhat in place. I see that too, but that’s not all I see.
It’s a comforting verse- especially when experiencing a constant bombardment of circumstance. Some situations or emotions can hit us like waves, and each one is powerful enough to crush us. Just when we regain our footing, the next event rolls in and slams us harder than the one before. I’m so thankful for the hope we have in Jesus! Because of Him we have a hope that’s not contingent on circumstance. It’s firm. It’s secure. Even when we don’t have a single reason to feel hope, we can still have it because Jesus is our hope. He’s the Anchor of hope.
What does it mean to have the hope of Jesus as an anchor for the soul?
Every Summer, our little boat carries my family across the bay to Door County, Wi. One of our favorite places to go is a little cove tucked around the corner from a beautiful state park. As we weave among dozens of parked boats in search of the perfect spot, I always take a deep breath of fresh air and focus in on the sights and sounds all around me. I take a “mental picture” so I can recall it come January when my feelings need a reminder that winter does not last forever! As I capture the scene, the view of nearby Islands and the clear water beneath provide an almost tropical feel. The sound of laughter and splashing carry me far from the monotony of everyday life. The smell of suntan lotion reminds me that the deep freeze is finally over, and life is good. The engine shuts off which is my cue to drop anchor. I swing the rope and launch the anchor out into the water. The anchor sinks and firmly plants itself into the sandy bottom. There’s one problem though. I turn to show my husband the anchor-less rope that is still in my hand. The rope had not been secured properly to the anchor.
There’s two mental pictures I want to impart as you read my words today.
First, an unattached anchor cannot do its job. There was nothing wrong with our anchor. It sank right to the bottom of the bay- just like it was supposed to! The problem was the lack of care we took in securing our rope. In the same way… There’s nothing wrong with our Anchor- Jesus. Have we taken the time to firmly grasp an understanding of who He is and what He’s done for us? Or, are we just loosely tied to him? Do we have a loose grip on our Savior as we cling to the things of this world? I encourage all to examine this today, especially if you lack hope because there’s nothing wrong with our Anchor!
Second, I’d like to add another perspective to the stormy scene connected to this verse about hope being an anchor for our soul. Like I said earlier, most people picture wind and waves rocking a boat that is firmly anchored. But that’s not what I see. When I read this verse, I see my little boat anchored on a calm and beautifully average day. We drop anchor when it’s calm- not during a storm. So, I began to examine this verse with that picture in mind.
What is the soul? SOUL= Mind, Will, Emotions.
The soul is the part of us that says, “I Think….. I Feel…… I Want….”
Unfortunately, this is the place where most of us live and lead from, but we are not told to live by the soul, we are told to live by the spirit. SPIRIT= “God, what do you want? Think? Feel? NOT my will but YOUR WILL be done.”
He’s provided an anchor for the SOUL, because our SOUL needs it! Our ultimate hope is in Jesus for the salvation of our soul, but there’s another purpose for the anchor as we live out our days here on Earth.
An anchor keeps us from dangerous extremes. When we’re properly anchored, we get a gentle nudge when we’ve gone too far. How is it that we can feel overwhelming love for our children and later that same day want to wreck their world? When our soul (mind, will and emotions) starts to drift too far from God’s standard, the Anchor gently tugs us back towards safety. When our feelings tell us it’s a hopeless situation and quitting is the only option, the anchor chain reaches its allotted limit and pulls the soul back toward center. Sure, the anchor is for the chaotic days, but it’s for the regular days too.
Jesus is the anchor for our soul. I’m reminded to “fix my hope” tightly to the anchor because an unattached anchor can’t do its job!
1 Peter 1:13 (AMP)
“So prepare your minds for action, be completely sober [in spirit—steadfast, self-disciplined, spiritually and morally alert], fix your hope completely on the grace [of God] that is coming to you when Jesus Christ is revealed.”
Romans 15:13 (AMP)
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing [through the experience of your faith] that by the power of the Holy Spirit you will abound in hope and overflow with confidence in His promises.