This upcoming Sunday’s worship service will be our youth Sunday, and in case you didn’t know, the name of our youth group at Staunton Alliance is “Anchored Student Ministry.” The root of this name is the verse Hebrews 6:19, in which the writer says “We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain.” I will be preaching from this verse on Sunday, but as we lead up to the Lord’s day I would like to give some preliminary thoughts to prepare our hearts.
The purpose of an Anchor on a boat or a ship is to keep it in place so that it doesn’t drift away with the current. With a strong and steady anchor, you can dock a boat and it will not move, no matter what sort of wind or storms come its way. However, with a weak anchor or an anchor that is not fixed properly into the sand, even the smallest waves will take the ship and cause it to drift away. Think about this in terms of how you are living your life, what is your anchor? There is much pressure in this world to put your hope and trust in temporal things, such as your job, or your health, or your family. From an earthly standpoint, these items promise security, safety, and satisfaction. Though these are all important, they will never fully satisfy, and if they are your number one priority you will always be let down. In the Christian world, there is also much pressure to pride yourself in your church attendance, or your bible knowledge, or your right doctrine. Again, these are all important matters, but if your hope is not in Jesus himself, these external practices will not keep you afloat when the going gets tough. Only Jesus is the “sure and steadfast” anchor, the one that will never let us down.
How do we know this? In his lead-up to verse 19, the writer of Hebrews directs us to the example of Abraham. When Abraham was 75 years old, God promised that his wife Sarah, though barren for so long, would have a child, and through this child God would make Abraham’s offspring as numerous as the stars in the sky. On the surface this seems absolutely ridiculous, yet Abraham trusted God, and the promise came to be. Then, God asked him to do the unthinkable and sacrifice his own son, yet Abraham trusted God again and did what was asked, and at the last moment God stepped in and stopped him. After this event, God confirmed his promise to Abraham with an oath, saying in Genesis 22 “By myself I have sworn, declares the Lord, because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you,” These are the 2 “unchangeable things” of Hebrews 6:18, the promise and the oath, that prove God’s character and show that he is worthy to be trusted.
Are you trusting in God’s promises for your life, or are you trusting in your own confidence? Do you believe that God will do what He says, or have you given up hope that He is working in your life? Look to the unwavering example of Abraham and be reminded that just as God did the seemingly impossible in his life, He can do the same in yours. I encourage you to fix your Hope on Jesus the Anchor of the soul, the one who satisfies our search for purpose and meaning and gives us everything we need. One of my favorite hymns sings “When all around my soul gives way, He then is all my hope and stay.” Even in the fiercest storm, when the world around you is crumbling and it seems like nothing makes sense, if your Anchor is in Jesus you will be able to stand firm, knowing that He is the only one who will see you through.