Hope as an Anchor (21-03-22)
Bible Reading: Hebrews 6:13-15, 18-19
When God made his promise to Abraham, he made a vow to do what he had promised.
He said, "I promise you that I will bless you and give you many descendants."
Abraham was patient, and so he received what God had promised.
God did this so we who have found safety with him are greatly encouraged to hold firmly to the hope placed before us. We have this hope as an anchor for soul, it is safe and secure.
Waiting for the birth of a long-awaited child takes patience, from the promise at conception to the birth nine months later. Time is measured over forty long weeks, with the growth of the child now apparently measured by reference to fruit and vegetables: a kidney bean at eight weeks, an avocado at sixteen weeks and a sweet corn at twenty-four weeks.
For Abraham and Sarah the wait was even longer. It was twenty-five years from the time that God promised Abraham he would have a son to the time when Isaac arrived. During that time we are told ‘Abraham was patient’.
I have learnt two things about God’s promises: firstly he keeps them, and secondly his timescale is usually at variance to mine.
Through faith in Jesus, God has placed before us a hope, both for this life and for the life to come. In this life he promises to never leave us, to give us his peace and joy, to forgive us, to provide for our needs and to heal us. Sometimes these promises seem slow in coming, sometimes the problems of today cause us to doubt the promises for tomorrow and we are tempted to despair rather than to hope. If that is the case, there are two things we can do.
Firstly, let us learn patience from Abraham. There is a prayer which goes, ‘Lord, give me patience, and give it me now!’ Unfortunately patience is something that can only be leant over time, twenty-five years in the case of Abraham. But he was patient and so he received what God had promised.
Secondly, when life is turbulent and we might feel prone to drift, let us make sure that our hope, the anchor of our soul, is firmly embedded in the promises of our loving and faithful God. There is a verse in the modern hymn, ‘Jesus is King,’ which has a line based on today’s reading:
We have a hope that is steadfast and certain
Gone through the curtain and touching the throne
Our hope for this life and the life to come is secured in Jesus who, by his death and resurrection, has gone through the curtain into the Holy of Holies, and is there interceding for us. So, let us be encouraged and hold firmly to the hope he has set before us.
Father God, give me the faith to trust in your promises the patience to wait for their fulfilment and, in the meantime, the grace to anchor my soul in the hope you have set before me. Amen
Jesus is King and I will extol him.