One of the purposes of an anchor is to keep the ship safe and secure at a desired location. An anchor also helps control and ground the ship during bad weather or violent storms which keeps it from being dashed against rocks etc. that would destroy it.
In Acts 27 Paul, along with fellow prisoners were on their way to Rome, and without much warning they were engulfed in a ferocious hurricane. The soldiers guarding them threatened to kill them if they attempted to escape. In the end the ship was completely demolished, leaving them with fragments of boards afloat in the water to which they clung to desperately for their survival. Upon finally reaching solid ground they had lost everything, including their supplies, and the smaller boats.
Sometimes life circumstances could strip you of everything and you feel like you are just barely clinging on to life one day at a time.
One of the things I love about this story was Paul’s optimism and faith in God. The knowledge that God was with him gave him the courage and faith to stand in the midst of the catastrophe and encourage the other men as well. Had he not been there the outcome would have been far different. He told all on board:
And now I urge you to take heart, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship. For there stood by me this night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve, saying, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must be brought before Caesar; and indeed God has granted you all those who sail with you.‘ – Acts 27:22-24
The Bible likens the Christian hope to ‘an anchor of the soul’
“This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil – Hebrews 6:19.
An anchor only finds is usefulness when it is embedded in the sea bed or attached to a rock, otherwise it is a useless piece of metal. Therefore if hope is the anchor of the soul it has to be attached to something, in our case Someone, to be effective
As believers in Christ, our hope is riveted in that which is substantial, sustainable, immutable and eternal. The Psalmist says our hope is in the Lord
Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the LORD his God – Psalm 146:5
Again the psalmist encourages us that we are to hope continually,
“But I will hope continually, (not once in a while, but all the time), and will praise You yet more and more.”– Psalm 71:14. (Emphasis mine)
We also have been given a helmet of hope to wear, to protect our thoughts
“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 –1Thessalonians 5:8
Our hope is in the Lord and in the salvation we have through Jesus and the hope of eternal life that is promised through that salvation.
So I encourage you to anchor your soul in the Lord with the hope expressed in Psalm 27:13-14,
I remain confident of this I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
(So) Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.
The Lord wants you to know that He is with you in the midst of your fears and panic. Just as Jesus was with His disciples in a tempest that threatened to sink their boat, He is with you now. He offers you the Anchor of Hope
Dr. Linda P. Jones