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  • Jeff Chacon

Anchor for the soul

Irrelevant.


Not helpful.


Too far off.


We hate to admit it –

but isn’t that how we feel sometimes

about Jesus’ second coming?


We know we should be excited about it,

look forward to,

and live like we believe it –


but sometimes the tears of pain, heartache and disappointment

blur our vision –

and we live like those who have no hope:


Angry.


Frustrated.


And discouraged.


Because, honestly, sometimes Jesus coming back seems more like wishful thinking than a confident expectation.


So, we turn to other sources of hope for the here and now:

a Coronavirus vaccine

a presidential election

a promotion at work

or that new show on Netflix.


These sources of hope just seem so much more… tangible.


But while there’s nothing wrong with temporal hope, we need something

deeper,

more lasting,

and more satisfying than that.


We need eternal hope.

We need an anchor for our souls.


The creator of our souls knows this.

And so, God promises us that better days are ahead –

MUCH better.


When Jesus returns with his angelic army he will make everything right (Revelation 21:5) and everything new (Revelation 21:1).


“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (Revelation 21:4)


But how can we be sure of this? Can we really bet our lives on it?


God steps up and answers this question with a promise and an oath that you can take to the bank.


He starts by reminding us of the faithfulness between he and Abraham.


“When God made his promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater for him to swear by, he swore by himself, 14 saying, “I will surely bless you and give you many descendants.” 15 And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised.” (Hebrews 6:13-15)


God knows how hard it is for us to wait long periods of time for his promises to come true. And so, he reminds us of the promise he gave to Abraham to have many descendants and how Abraham patiently waited for that promise to be fulfilled.


Twenty-five years passed between God’s promise of a son and the birth of Isaac. And though Abraham wavered at times, he never gave up hope.


The writer of Hebrews makes the application to us by encouraging us to “imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised” (vs. 12b).


Then he reminds us that our faithful God has made a similar promise to us:


“People swear by someone greater than themselves, and the oath confirms what is said and puts an end to all argument. 17 Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath. 18 God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged. 19 We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, 20 where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf...” (Hebrews 6:16-20a, NIV)


Commentator Tony Evans explains it this way: “To demonstrate his unchangeable purpose, God guaranteed his promise by swearing an oath (6:16-17). Now, of course, it is impossible for God to lie. To do so, he would have to cease being God. But by these two unchangeable things – the promise and the oath – he gives his children strong encouragement to seize the hope set before them (6:18-19). Hope is a confident expectation of God fulfilling his promises.” (The Tony Evans Bible Commentary, pg. 1320)


God’s promises are rock solid.

He doesn’t need an oath to confirm them.


So, why does he promise with an oath?


“God did this so that…we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged.” (vs. 18)


As Disciples of Jesus, you and I are among those “who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us” (vs. 18b).


We’ve had to flee the false hopes of the world and the temptation to “go back to Egypt” where life seemed to be “easier” at times.


And so, God promises on oath to come through for us so that we’re inspired to persevere, and that we “may be greatly encouraged” (vs. 18c).


Eternal hope is always relevant and trustworthy.


We need hope so badly right now!


And there’s plenty of worldly vendors offering temporal hope to us.


But we need more than that in this season of trial and testing.

We need something deeper,

more lasting,

and more satisfying than that.


We need eternal hope.

We need an anchor for our souls.


And so, we close with this cherished passage that inspired our naming of the church, “Anchor Point”…


“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, 20 where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf…” (vs. 19-20a)


That’s a hope you can trust – because it’s anchored to God, through Jesus.


The anchor of God’s promise is cast into the sea of God himself – in the inner sanctuary, behind the curtain, where our forerunner, Jesus, has paved the way for our entrance.


You can’t get any closer to God than that.


Picture him wrapping his arms around you.

Feel him hold you tight.

Hear his heartbeat as your head is pressed against his chest.


He’s got you.

He’s not letting go.


Just hang on – he’s coming back soon.


Maranatha! Come Lord Jesus!

(Revelation 22:20)

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