Today I want to talk about Hope, the anchor of our soul, the protector of our mind. Hope is so important in our daily lives and overcoming the storms that we all face. Everyone that has committed suicide, first lost all hope. Hopelessness is a very dark place to be. The South Carolina motto here is “While I breathe, I hope.” I want to start in Hebrews chapter 6:
And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you will not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. For when God made the promise to Abraham, since He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself, saying, “I WILL SURELY BLESS YOU AND I WILL SURELY MULTIPLY YOU.” And so, having patiently waited, he obtained the promise. For men swear by one greater than themselves, and with them an oath given as confirmation is an end of every dispute. In the same way God, desiring even more to show to the heirs of the promise the unchangeableness of His purpose, interposed with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have taken refuge would have strong encouragement to take hold of the hope set before us. This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil, where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek. Hebrews 6:11–20 NASB
I am going to greatly oversimplify this and say that it means that God does not lie. He is unchanging, and that if we continue on in faith and patience as the others have before us, then we will see His promises come to pass in our life just as they did.
God made a promise to Abraham that he would have a son one day. Years passed by and Abraham waited patiently. He endured whatever came and when he was ninety-nine years old, his wife Sarah became pregnant. She gave birth to a son named Isaac, which means “Laughter”, because when God told Abraham that he would have a son from his ninety year old, barren wife Sarah, it was such a far out idea that she laughed. That is so beautiful and simple: God promised. Abraham believed. Abraham received.
Think of Jairus, the ruler of the synagogue who came to Jesus and begged him to come heal his daughter. While they were walking to his house, someone brought them word to not bother coming, for his daughter had died. Jesus told Jairus “Don’t be afraid, only believe, and she will be made well” (Luke 8:49). She was.
Anchors are tied to a boat or a ship and then tossed into the water to hold it steady, especially in a storm. They can keep a boat from drifting too far away, though they can drift around it in a circle. I grew up around the Waccamaw river which was just a few miles from our house, and I spent a lot of time with boats. Sometimes we would anchor the boat and go swimming. If you didn’t anchor it properly, it wouldn’t be there when you came back.
Hope is the anchor of our soul. It keeps us from drifting too far away and into dark places. This is like putting our soul on a leash and saying that you will only move so far. I will only get so depressed, only so far. This will not sweep me away. You will only cry about something so long, then you are going to reel it back in.
As humans, we are a three part being. We live eternally as a spirit, we have a soul, and that lives in a body. Our soul is described as our mind, will, and emotions. When your hope is not in God, your soul will be tossed to and fro by the storms of life. However, when you are anchored in God and His Word, your soul, your mind, will, and emotions can find a place of stability even in the worst of situations.
Hope protects our mind and is a powerful force in our life. It can change your outlook from negative to positive, and when your attitude about something changes, so will your circumstances.
Paul wrote in 1 Thessalonians 5:8 (NKJV) “But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation.”
Like a set of armor, faith and love protect our heart, while it is hope that protects our mind. It is like armor against the attacks of the enemy. The enemy knows that a hopeless person, is a weak person and easy prey. When things get tough, they have nothing left to keep them going. There is no endurance. The enemy will often attack our mind first and once he has a foothold, use us to destroy our own life around us with our negativity. The helmet of hope, the belief that God loves us, that something good will come out of this yet, keeps us from spiraling downward when things get bad. Like plowing a field with a horse, if we can keep the horses head pointed in the right direction, the rest of it will follow. You must learn to guard your thought life.
Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 13:13 NKJV) “And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”
Paul was not saying that Faith and Hope are less important than Love. Each one is different and one cannot take the place of another. Love cannot take the place of hope, nor faith. Each one of the three are important to us and we should understand them. For example, we cannot receive the rewards of faith by using hope or love. Hope looks to the future. It is always future tense. Faith is now. Faith says, “I’ll receive the answer right now. I have it now.” In this case, it is not hoping that gets the job done, it is believing in faith. Our salvation comes to us through faith, not hope. We do not “hope we are saved” (Ephesians 2:8–9).
We don’t receive things through praying in hope. Jesus told us in Mark 11:24 (NKJV) “Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.” That is not hoping, though many times we will go from hopelessness, to hope, and then to faith.
Hope is beautiful and it has its own place in our life. We have hope that the Lord Jesus will soon return, that the righteous dead will be resurrected, that we will see loved ones that have passed on once again, that heaven awaits us. Hope tells us that God still has a plan for us, that there is something good still coming, that this will work out for my good, that God isn’t done with me yet. Hope helps us hang on another day.
You can pray this with me if you like:
Prayer: Heavenly Father, please help me see beyond the circumstances and see what You have for me instead. I don’t understand many things, but I trust You to take care of me. I am Yours, in the name of Jesus Christ I pray. Amen.Read more at: www.refreshinghope.org