Anchor for the Soul

We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. Hebrews 6:19

Sailors cast out anchors to hold their boats secure through storms. So too must we learn to cast out an anchor to hold firm and secure through the storms we face.  Hope is that anchor.  Hope is faith in knowing the storm will pass, an expectation that God will bring us through.

The word anchor is used in just two places in scripture- in the above Hebrews verse and in Acts 27. There we read of Paul on a ship travelling to Rome, coming upon a fierce storm. Verse 29 tells us, “Fearing that they would be dashed against the rocks, they dropped four anchors from the stern and prayed for daylight.” I have been there, when all I could do was pray for daylight, clinging to the anchor of hope. Crying out in the darkness, praying for it to be over, waiting for daylight to come.

When our souls are anchored to the Lord and His faithfulness, as Webster’s Dictionary defines hope, we have “a faith directed to the future.” Hope keeps us moving forward. Even on the days when we feel we’ve taken one step forward and two steps back, hope pulls us onward. Hope holds on to us as we hold onto it. And hope holds on to us when we can’t hold on anymore.

The Acts 27 story continues on to tell us that “just before dawn, Paul urged the sailors to eat…He took some bread and gave thanks to God.”  With the anchors down, even in the dark night of the storm, Paul led the sailors to take care of their physical needs and give thanks to God.  So we too can weather the storms with our anchors down, taking care of our own basic needs, and praising God. We can praise Him because we know He will be faithful to bring us through. That’s hope- that’s the holding on- that’s the faith directed to the future and to the One who holds it.

He reached down from on high and took hold of me; He drew me out of deep waters.  Psalm 18:16   

I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.  Philippians 3:12

May we anchor our souls to the One who holds us, and who promises to hold fast through the deep waters of the storms of this life.

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