Faith has its anchor in the past–Jesus’ finished work on the cross. We have forgiveness, healing, and freedom from our sin nature in Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection. I wrote about this wonderful three-fold reality here.
But the hope “set before us” propels us forward, finding its anchor in the Spirit as we enter behind the veil, which is entering into this eternal fellowship between the Father and the Son in the Spirit (1 John 1:3-5).
“This hope we have as an anchor of the soul,
both sure and steadfast,
and which enters the Presence behind the veil” (Heb.6:19 NKJV)
Hope for today
Why is hope an anchor to our soul?
First, because biblical hope is not wishful thinking, it’s believing the promises of God given us us as His heirs, because He does not lie (bold-type added).
“Thus God, determining to show more abundantly
to the heirs of promise
the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath,
that by two immutable things,
in which it is impossible for God to lie,
we might have strong consolation,
who have fled for refuge
to lay hold of the hope set before us.” (Heb.6:17-18 NKJV)
Secondly, it’s an anchor because it keeps our hearts moored at the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ (2 Cor.4:6), and that it’s the Father’s good pleasure to give us the Kingdom…now…in this life (Luke 12:31-32).
What do I mean by being moored by hope? It means that I don’t get tossed and torn in the sea of distraction, despair, regret, disappointment, self-pity or doubt.
I’ve known people who are stuck in their woundedness–abandonment, rejection, unforgiveness, fears, what’s been done to them. It becomes like a dysfunctional friend.
While I have great compassion for people stuck here, our hope is not to continue wallowing in this mire, barely surviving until we get to heaven. No, it’s to thrive in the stunning revelation of Jesus Christ who shines in on the deepest wounds of our heart–even if our outward circumstances don’t change.
Being moored by hope also means I’m not stuck in my past, even if it’s my fond past.
I’ve known people I grew up with who are still stuck in the “good old days” of high school–or the younger, stronger, prouder days–caught up in the nostalgia.
And I have to admit, it’s easy to check out and entertain these thoughts, to get swept up into this maelstrom of emotions…thinking back to heady days…like when we hear a favorite song or artist from the past.
And these things can also haunt us like a mid-life crisis… Maybe I’ve missed out on something…maybe life is passing me by…and an angst begins to rise up in our soul.
But this is when this anchor of hope tugs at my heart….I have a hope and a future…and it’s glorious! My countenance immediately changes, my heart resounds and I enter behind the veil once again, freed and filled with joy on Papa’s lap.
Hope takes us out of our romanticized or demonized past and launches us into our destiny, for we were created for great things in Christ (Eph.2:10).
Hope for the ages
Ultimately, it’s a resurrection hope. For this life is not all there is. And it’s not just going to heaven when you die. No, we won’t be Gerber babies with wings playing harps in the clouds!
As the early church exhorted those who faced severe persecution and trials with this hope of greater glory to come! For we don’t just believe in an afterlife; we believe in a bodily resurrection.
Like Jesus’ physical resurrection body (See Luke 24:36-39), so will our body be (Phil.3:21). We’ll live together forever where the new heavens and new earth are both fully manifested (Rev.21-22), which we now have a taste of by the Spirit.
“And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes;
there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying.
There shall be no more pain,
for the former things have passed away.” (Rev.21:4 NKJV)
I’ve had the privilege of officiating a lot of funerals. One thing I know. When a family of a departed loved one knows that we never really die, that we’ll be together forever–in eternal joy and fellowship with one another and our God–there’s no despair and gloom.
For this hope is like a healing balm to our grieving soul because we proclaim that physical death has been defeated and, even though we die, we will live again!
“So when this corruptible has put on incorruption,
and this mortal has put on immortality,
then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written:
“Death is swallowed up in victory.”
“O Death, where is your sting?
O Hades, where is your victory?” (1 Cor.15:54-55 NKJV)
Not the hope of escape but the Hope of the Nations!
Finally, we have a blessed hope. There are teachers who say that some secret rapture is our blessed hope. That’s absurd. We don’t hope in events or things. Jesus Himself is our blessed hope (Titus 2:13).
And, yes, Jesus is coming again in glory, but He’s not coming back to a haggard, scared religious orphan, hiding from the world and in need of rescue. No, He’s coming for a beautiful, victorious and glorious Bride–fully matured, united in the faith and edified in love (Eph.4:12-16). For Jesus will not be unequally yoked! This Bride has made herself ready, she knows who she is and has been faithful to re-present the Father’s heart, discipling the nations as the rightful co-heir with Christ and His Kingdom.
“Therefore, prepare your minds for action,
keep sober in spirit,
fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you
at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (1 Pet.1:13 NASB)
Beloved, we only need God’s grace in this life. So, let’s unpack our rapture bags and stop abdicating our royal role in this world. It’s time to stop waiting for heaven and live from heaven (Phil.3:20).
It’s time to fix our hope in the grace of God and prepare our minds and spirits for action–which means, being about our Father’s business from a place of rest in His embrace. Amen.