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Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Anchor in Plymouth Harbor (photo by Ester)
The anchor at Plymouth Harbor in Plymouth, Massachusetts.
(Photo taken by Ester in January)

"Christ the Sure and Steady Anchor"

Message summary:
Rest in this blessed assurance: God and His Word provide the only steady anchor and sure foundation for the soul. Today let us focus on the immutable God whose Word has promised: "You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in You. Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal" (Isaiah 26:3,4)

Listen to this message on your audio player.

"We who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure" (Hebrews 6:19).

While walking along Plymouth Harbor several weeks ago I quickly spotted one of my favorite seascape sites, the old, very rusty, anchor that has been there ever since we first visited Plymouth in 1993. Hopefully, it isn't among the historic sites vandalized a couple days ago in Plymouth.

The anchor has long been a theme in Christian hymns (see below for a partial list). Recently we have been enjoying music by Matt Boswell and a song titled "
Christ the Sure and Steady Anchor".

Christ the sure and steady anchor,
In the fury of the storm;
When the winds of doubt blow through me,
And my sails have all been torn.
In the suffering, in the sorrow,
When my sinking hopes are few;
I will hold fast to the anchor,
It will never be removed.

Today let us consider the anchor for the soul based on one of my all time favorite Scripture passages.

How thankful we are for the blessed anchor of hope we have in Jesus! This anchor is eternally firm and secure. The daily verse is the only place in the Bible where the word "anchor" is used figuratively. It is also used literally in Acts 27 during Paul's shipwreck (v.29). The Greek word is Aγκυρα, pronounced "ankura" (our English "anchor" is merely a transliteration of this word). The anchor was used in the Greek world as a picture for hope.

"In the catacombs of Rome, where Christians hid in times of persecution, one symbol can be seen more than any other: the anchor. No matter what storms come our way, we are anchored in the Word of God, in the promises He made. We have this sure hope that He will do what He says. So donít go back to temple worship, entreats the author. Donít go back to heathen practices, to partying, to wherever else you came from. Be anchored in the immutable, unchangeable, sure, and steadfast Word of God." (Jon Courson)*

Believers all throughout the ages have received assurance in their hearts as they consider the security an anchor provides in the midst of battering storms. Consider the early part of the daily verse, "We who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged".

This hope is what the believer has "fled to take hold of".  Worldly suggestions for hope are always temporal and short sighted. The hope Jesus offers is the only true and lasting source of hope that is endless. Once we firmly take hold of this hope we are indeed "greatly encouraged".

"Hope", as used in the Bible, is not a wishful thought but a confident expectation of absolute certainty. The Holman Bible Dictionary offers this insight: "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."

Perhaps your soul feels pounded upon by a storm of adversity even as you read this. Or there may be a storm on the horizon. If things seem steady in your personal life you don't have to look far to see the unsteadiness in the world around you! Today we want to encourage you to ground your faith in the anchor that is steadfast weathering the worst storms of life. Truly, this anchor of hope we have in Jesus Christ is firm and secure!

Rest in this blessed assurance: God and His Word provide the steady anchor and sure foundation for the soul. Today let us focus on the immutable God, whose Word has promised: "You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in You. Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal" (Isaiah 26:3,4).

Christ the sure of our salvation,
Ever faithful, ever true!
We will hold fast to the anchor,
It shall never be removed.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, help us not to resent the storms of life or be fearful of their effects. Much like we prepare for a ravaging storm by anchoring valuables to a firm foundation, help us to anchor our souls in the firm foundation of Your Word that will help us to withstand the testings and trials of life that are certain to come our way. May we have an assurance of Your absolute reliability, not for the years of time alone, but for eternity. Amen.

Here's a quote written about 350 years ago by Jeremy Taylor. It fully embraces the timetable of the Gospel journey and is a great focus for the believer using in part an anchor theme:

"Faith is the Christian's foundation,
Hope is his anchor,
Death is his harbor,
Christ is his pilot,
And heaven is his country."

Contemplate this thought-provoking quote: "In order to realize the worth of the anchor, one needs to feel the stress of the storm." Faith is put to the test and best demonstrated during the deepest of trials.

* (Courson, J. Jon Courson's Application Commentary. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson)

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Christ the Sure and Steady Anchor"  Video  Matt Boswell and Boyce College Choir. This would be a great congregational song!

Matt Boswell

Matt Boswell also wrote the song we featured last week titled "His Mercy Is More". Video

Here are some other songs with the theme of anchor:

"We Have An Anchor"  Video  Robin Marks  I am so very blessed by this grand old hymn.

"The Anchor Holds"  Video  Written and performed by Lawrence Chewning, includes the testimony behind the song.

"I've Anchored In Jesus"  Video  Pilgrim Hymns  An old song we sang in Bible College.

"Anchored In Love"  Video  Carter family

Finally today:

Here's another photo of the anchor in Plymouth Harbor I took many years ago.

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLEģ, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

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