A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.
Monday, December 31, 2018
"An Anchor For The New Year"
Message summary: Our hope in Christ is a sufficient anchor for the new year.
Listen to our message on your audio player.
"I will say of the LORD, 'He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust'" (Psalm 91:2). "So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of His purpose, He guaranteed it with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul" (Hebrews 6:17-19).
When dark shadows fall around me
when the day turns into night
I am safe within His keeping
for He draws me to His side
As we share our final message in 2018 we ask you to consider a truth that all who have placed their trust in God can declare, "I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust" (Psalm 91:2).
Another year is passing and we wonder, "What will the year 2019 hold?" We simply don't know the specifics whether in regard to the world situation or in our own lives. A verse from an old hymn comes to mind, "I know not what of good or ill may be reserved for me, of weary ways or golden days, before His face I see."
Whatever happens, the daily Scripture portion is a great source of assurance and encouragement for every believer.
Throughout the Old Testament there are many verses dealing with the image of the refuge as a source of assurance, many in the Psalms. Today we share just one of them: "On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock, my refuge is God" (Psalm 62:7).
Looking back I see more clearly
and my heart will not forget
All the ways His grace has kept me
He has never failed me yet
But in the New Testament our second daily text is the only reference to refuge. "We who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul" (Hebrews 6:18b,19a). Read it again slowly and thoughtfully and allow its powerful words to impact your life. Perhaps you will choose to memorize it.
Hope, as used in the Bible, is not a wishful thought but a confident expectation of an absolute certainty. The Holman Bible Dictionary offers this: "Hope is the confidence that what God has done for us in the past guarantees our participation in what God will do in the future."
"We who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us." We have fled for refuge from the worldly sources of temporary and falsely placed hope to the only true and lasting source of hope. This Hebrews phrase gives the sense of one fleeing a shipwreck who has finally reached safety, or one who is caught in a pelting hailstorm but flees to a dry, impenetrable fortress finally safe from the assault. Once we firmly take hold of this hope which is graciously offered to us we indeed "have strong encouragement" and declare along with the Psalmist, "On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock, my refuge is God" (Psalm 62:7).
In describing this hope the writer of Hebrews uses the wonderful expression, "We have this (hope) as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul." What a powerful, powerful metaphor! I want my life to be anchored solidly in the hope God offers as a refuge. When I place my hope in the temporal circumstances I am certain to be disappointed, emotionally unstable or even led astray.
There are many circumstances that bring fear, despair or hopelessness. Scores of people are presently dealing with these emotions including many of our readers. And realistically I expect to have occasions in the coming year when I will battle with these emotions.
When I do so, I pray that God will bring today's Scripture text to my spirit reminding me of the hope I have in Christ which is steadfast and sure. This day as, we experience the transition into a new year, let us continue to place our hope in our ever-faithful, ever-dependable God who is our present and eternal refuge!
Our hope in Christ is a sufficient anchor for the new year.
Ever faithful through the fury
through the fire and through the flood
I am trusting as He guides me
Ever faithful through His love
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
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Stephen & Brooksyne
"Hi there found the attached Kember print hanging over the front door of a wee old house we had purchased to knock down and build our new home on. The house had been unoccupied for nearly 20 years and as Christians we wanted to retain something from the old house and this was worth saving. On reading the print on the back we came upon your web page. We live in Northern Ireland."
Our Kember print web page
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Ever Faithful" Video The Collingsworth Family (This is the song quoted in today's message)
"I Will Say" Video Lou Fellingham
We appreciate many who are using the internet to provide Bible teaching. Richard Dresselhaus is a retired pastor we met several years ago in San Diego, California, though we had read his articles for many years in the Evangel, a weekly magazine we distributed in several churches we served. Each day he posts and sends out an inspirational missive. This one seems especially appropriate was we consider our country's condition as well as many lives:
A Rudderless Ship
A rudderless ship. It has lost the one implement that can give it direction.
It describes nations, families and individuals. There is no compass, indisputable law, nor plumb line – to provide direction.
Relativism prevails. Public opinion rules and everyone does what is right in his own eyes.
This is living without a rudder.
But what is the rudder? It is the Bible – the infallible Word of God. It alone can guide you through the tempestuous sea of life.
Sadly self-determination and a spirit of independence has won the day. People resist any outside influence.
But the true rudder is known by revelation. It is God invading man’s space and establishing the absolute guidelines by which man is to live.
Without the rudder shipwreck is inevitable.
From One For The Road by Richard Dresselhaus. His writings are available on his blog and through an email subscription. Highly recommended!
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
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