As we move forward in Christ Jesus, how are our anchors?
Turn to Acts Chapter 27 at verse 29 – have we got sufficient anchors on board our lives for what we might face in the future? Are we strong enough for the day of the storm?
Are the anchors strong enough for the strains and pressures which will confront us?
Some people’s faith is a fair weather thing – that will not be much good in traumatic times.
When we know we are going to face more than calm seas and favourable breezes, we have to take time to sit down with the Captain of our ship, Jesus Christ, and prepare for the gales and rocks and angry buffeting waves.
God’s goodness and grace and providence can hold back certain storms for a season – but they will come.
Here was a ship labouring against this tempestuous wind Euroclydon. It is called a ‘northeaster’, in verse 14, and off the island of Malta there were dangerous rocks.
“They dropped four anchors from the stern and prayed for daylight.”
Have you ever prayed for the daylight to come – when the night was too dark and when the night seemed too long?
In 1980 in Wisconsin outside Minneapolis we were faced with a tornado. I have never experienced such winds. We were told things would quieten down when daylight appeared.
There are worse winds in life than Euroclydon and stormier seas than the Mediterranean – and crueller jaggier rocks than off the island of Malta. How strong are our anchors?
“They dropped four anchors.” Do we have four and can we put names to them – remembering that there are more than four available in our life – but to have fewer than four would be highly risky!
There is only one other place where the word anchor occurs and it is in Hebrews in Chapter 6 verse 19 – where the anchor is called HOPE.
Hope is assurance – or certainty!
When hope goes – when assurance goes – when a man is no longer certain about Jesus Christ and His Word – the heart can grow heavy – and buoyancy can give way to cynicism. It is then the ship can go under!
This is Christian Hope – not a vague temperamental optimism – not a pathetic waiting for something to turn up. We get this from gazing upon the face of Jesus Christ and grounding our certainty in the Scriptures. This is not day dreaming, nor building castles in the air.
Listen to Paul in Romans 15 verse 13 – “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
The God of hope – it is God who creates hope – and imparts hope.
Think of that Psalmist whose life seemed to be hurtling towards the rocks and he cries out “Why are you cast down O my soul – why are you so disquieted within me? Hope in GOD!”
If plans are ruined and dreams disappear and things you may have longed for are not appearing – you can still hold onto the God of hope.
There is another anchor. What can we call this one? DUTY – we have all kinds of duties to perform in our lives.
The discipline of duty is not a chain that limits and restricts. Why should I have to do this? Why should I be held down in this way? Why can my life not be just the way I want it?
It is the rebel who cries – “the whole system is hard and cruel and unjust”.
Duty is an anchor of the soul. Think of the duties which God gave for His chosen people – Passover – Yom Kippur – the Feast of Tabernacles – the detail of the Tabernacle itself.
Give thanks for the duty of worship, although it is more than a duty. It is a delight and a joy and a privilege.
There is the duty of work and it is only when there is no work that we discover what can happen.
We cannot solve all the problems – but we can serve people with problems.
“Loving gracious Father – whatever storms are facing us at this time, may we know that we are anchored to You, and that You are anchored to us, through Jesus Christ. Increase our hope – our certainty. Enable us to fulfil our duties graciously and with joy – hear us as we pray in Jesus Name.”
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