Four12 article image for 'Hope, The Anchor For Our Souls' about the hope we have of an eternity with Jesus

Hope, The Anchor for Our Souls

One of the analogies that Scripture uses for our life of faith is that of a sailing boat on a voyage. Therefore we speak of ‘winds of doctrine’ blowing through the church, ‘waves of persecution’ that we face and could face in the future. We might speak of the ‘currents within our culture and circumstances’ trying to sweep us to our destruction. So if we are not to be dashed against the rocks, if we are not to shipwreck our faith, we need a sure and steadfast anchor! An anchor which will hold us in place, keeping us safe and secure. This anchor must be strong enough and must be deployed in a place that will hold firm.

Hebrews 6:19-20 tells us, ‘We have this sure and steadfast anchor, of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.’

In his letter to Timothy, Paul warns of Hymenaeus and Alexander who were among those who had shipwrecked their faith (1 Timothy 1:18-20). They had rejected (the word literally means ‘thrown overboard’) ‘faith and a good conscience’. In 2 Timothy we get a better idea of where they went wrong – they claimed that the resurrection had already happened! (2 Timothy 2:18) That is, the resurrection of believers to be with Christ. In other words, they had taken the ‘anchor’ – the hope of an eternity with Christ – and abandoned it.

The anchor that would hold us and keep us from the rocks is our hope in eternity.

Hebrews 11:1 tells us that ‘faith is the assurance of things hoped for’. The rest of the chapter then makes it abundantly clear where our hope should lie:

  • Verses 8-10 tell us that Abraham was looking forward to the city whose designer and builder is God.
  • Verses 13-16 tell us that the Israelites were looking forward to a better country, that is, a heavenly one.
  • Verses 24-27 tell us that Moses rejected the riches of Egypt for the sake of Christ and that he endured as ‘seeing He who is invisible’.
  • Those who did great exploits and those who suffered persecution and affliction endured because of their hope – a hope in an eternal relationship with Christ (verses 33-38).

The writer of Hebrews, desperately trying to encourage his readers to hold firm in the face of persecution and false doctrine, points them toward where their hope should lie. Not in the things this world has to offer, and not in comfort and convenience, but in an eternal inheritance; one worth persevering for (Hebrews 6:11-12). The anchor that would hold us and keep us from the rocks is our hope in eternity.

Hope in an Eternity with Jesus

Yet eternity in itself isn’t necessarily appealing. In many books and films, life often quickly turns into a curse – an endless, meaningless existence still enduring all the pain and suffering of the human condition. As the atheist writer Herb Caen wrote, ‘The only thing wrong with immortality is that it tends to go on forever.’

Our hope is not simply the quantity of life we are offered (eternity) but the quality of that life. Jesus tells us in John 17:3, ‘This is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.’ Our hope is in a future with Christ that is more amazing than we can comprehend (1 Corinthians 2:9), but which we can glimpse from afar. This life will have the following aspects:

  1. Resurrection: We will be raised with glorified bodies – our present bodies are weak and perishing, but our resurrected bodies will be imperishable, glorious, powerful and spiritual (1 Corinthians 15: 42-49). No more pain, no more disease, no more death, no more sinful desires!
  2. Restoration: He will restore everything to how He originally intended if to be. Not just man, but all of creation. There will be new heavens and a new earth – far more glorious and beautiful than what we now see – and with sin removed (the effects of sin and the very presence of sin).
  3. Relationship: Whilst we have the privilege of relationship with Christ already, our relationship with Him then will be even more glorious. The Holy Spirit is given as a deposit guaranteeing something even better to come!
  4. Revelation: 1 Corinthians 13:12 tells us that now we see in part, but then we shall see Him fully, face to face – all of His beauty, majesty and glory.
  5. Recognition: Jesus Himself will acknowledge us before the Father and will reward us. Imagine the moment, standing before Him, looking into His eyes and hearing the words, ‘Well done good and faithful servant.’

As we consider the wondrous possibilities of such a life with Christ, we will surely agree with the Apostle Paul who said (and I paraphrase) ‘If I live, then I live for Christ but to die is even better!’ (Philippians 1:21) and that ‘All things I consider rubbish compared to the surpassing excellence of knowing Christ for whom I’ve lost all things.’

We live for something far greater, far more beautiful and far more precious than anything this world can offer.

Abraham, Moses, Paul, all of the heroes of the faith, had the same anchor – a hope in an eternity with Christ, not in anything this world can give. We can have that same anchor, which means when our circumstances seem hopeless, hope remains!

Our lives, as someone once said, are merely a belch in eternity. We live for something far greater, far more beautiful and far more precious than anything this world can offer. Likewise, the worst this world can throw at us can be considered mere ‘light and momentary troubles’ in the light of eternity.

This is our anchor, and it is strong enough to withstand those ‘winds of false doctrine’, ‘waves of persecution’ and the dangerous ‘currents of our culture’.

Mike serves on eldership in Joshua Generation Church. He is married to Chantal and they have two daughters. He loves to see people equipped to effectively serve the Kingdom of God through teaching and writing. Follow him on Facebook for more.

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Tribulations
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Overcoming
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Condemnation
Bear Fruit
Complacent
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Apostles
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Hell
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Preaching
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Holy Spirit
Pastoring
Suffering
Brotherly Love
Eternity
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Bishops
Shepherd
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Greed
Immaturity
Raising Kids
Parenting
Poor
Bible
Ordinance
Unforgiveness
Refreshing
Defending The Gospel
Matrimony
Teenage Years
Four12 Church
Youth Leaders
Ireland
Redemption
Godly Leadership
Disciple
Church Discipline
Church Health
False Teachers
Fatherly Love
Tongues
Goats
Fear God
Godly Love
Body of Christ
God's Presence
Authority
Faithfulness
Holy Spirit Baptism
Patience
Teaching
Character of a Deacon
Grief
Compromise
Blueprint
Character
Addiction
Pornography
Signs
Christening
Starting A Church
Parents
Poverty
Study the Word
Stewarding
Punishment
Being Hospitable
Sharing The Gospel
Restoration
Training Kids
Malawi
Leading Youth
Surrender
Testimonies
Christ
Delegating
Servant
Social Gospel
Character of God
Worth
Gift of Tongues
Godly Elders
Big Churches
Salvations
Sacrificial Love
Potential Leaders
Baptism
Fear of God
Hospitality
Peace
The Bible
Church Leaders
Hardship
Fellowship
Holy Living
Character of an Elder
Adultery
Rebelling
Signs and Wonders
Baptise
Infant Baptism
Power
Possessions
Study the Bible
Steward
Hatred
Hospitable
Spreading The Gospel
Relationships
Training Children
Health
Youth Training
Counting the Cost
Healing Equip
books
Raising Leaders
Shepherds
Contentment
God's Character
Affirmation
Judaism
Enlightenment
Building Deep
Prostitution
Godly Team
Footholds
Breaking Bread
Festivals
Idolatry
Prayer and Fasting
Theology
Foundations
Heaven
Fellowship of Believers
Leading Church
Diversity
Church Accountability
Rebellion
Witchcraft
Baby Christian
Kassie du Plessis
Protector
Tithing
Envy
Quiet Times
Retaliation
Lessons
Spreading The Word
Cheating
Training Teenagers
Cancer
Youth Ministry
Following the Call
Four12 Equip
Eldership Training
Community Leading
Pastors
Rest
Sacrificial Serving
Sonship
Jewish
Reason
Selling Out
Prostitutes
honour
favour
Devil's Schemes
Children
Forgiveness
Income
Prophetic
Tithes
Helper
Illness
Principles
Living for Christ
Government
Discipling
Sancti
Words of Knowledge
Babies
Prayer
Sexual Purity
Christmas
Jealousy
Meditation
Promises
Loss
The Cross
Persecution
Unfaithfulness
Sacrifice
Brazil
Prophetic Training
Healing Conference
Identity
Small Group
Biblical Pattern
Systematic Theology
False Gospel
Testimony Apostolic
Jews
Reasoning
Watering Down
Reaching Out
Expectancy
Christian Character
Generosity
Jesus
Purity
Trust
Helps
Mortality
Christian Family Values
Lukewarm
Home Group Leaders
Exhort
Sanctification
Dominionism
Beliefs
Praying
Celibacy
Fathers
Comparison
Training
Bible Study
Tests
Cross
Fear of Man
Find Forgiveness
Sacrificial Service
Brazil Churches
Prophetic Equip
Voice of God
Team
Home Group
Change
Servant Leadership
Apostolic Leaders
Authentic
Religions
Intellectual Pride
Ambition
Fruitfulness
God's Favour
The Church
Christian Living
Gentleness
Joy
Repentance
Unity
Loving People
Infirmity
Family Values
Righteousness
Leading
Exhortation
Self-Righteousness
Kingdom of God
Commands
Provision
Sex Before Marriage
Mothering
Women in Leadership
Halloween
Honesty
Testing
Crucifixion
Conversion
Guilt
Sacrificial Giving
Church Merger
Equipping
Saints
Leadership Team
Priesthood
Jehovah's Witnesses
Women In Ministry
Fruit of the Spirit
Womens Ministry
Messiah
Mind Idolatry
Megachurch
Biblical Paradox
Honouring God
God's Manifold Wisdom
Church Leadership
Church Life
Giving
Kindness
Revival
Water Baptism
Servant Heart
Living for Jesus
Covenantal Relationships
Division
Accusation
Flesh
Sexual Sin
Scripture
Customs
Provider
Living for God
Mothers
Female Leaders
Calling
Christian Fellowship
Backsliding
Easter
Witnessing
Infidelity
Biblical Culture
Merging Churches
Prophetic Equipping
Gift of Prophecy
Apostle
Priesthood of All Believers
Finance
Servanthood
Biblical Church
Praise
Atheism
Church History
Living the Gospel
Paradoxes in the Bible
Honouring People
Church Planting
Community Leaders
God the Father
Leaders
Salvation
Women
Afterlife
Protection
Dating
Decisions
Eldership
Fleshly Desires
Shame
Truth
Traditions
Works
Morality
Wisdom
Women Leaders
Ordaining Elders
Christian Community
Backslidden
Resurrection
Testimony
Masturbation
Communal Culture
Partnering Churches
Prophesy
New Churches
Five Fold Gift
Trinity
Tithe
Relationship
Employment
Thanksgiving
Atheists
Old Testament Prophet
Ambassadors
Truth in Tension
contradictions
Treasure Hunting
treasure

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