Hebrews 6-8

"We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure."  Hebrews 6:19, NIV 

Every seaman knows the importance of the anchor. It is the anchor that holds the ship where the sailor wants the ship to stay. In a storm, it is the anchor that ties the ship down and keeps the ship from drifting into areas that the sailor does not want it to go, such as the reefs along the shore where the ship would be dashed to pieces were it to be carried there by the turbulent waves and powerful currents of the storm.

God tells us that hope is our soul's anchor. When you think about it, that's a pretty powerful statement. This life comes with storms, from the everyday disappointment to the great turmoils such as serious illness and death. I have often wondered how people get through the serious struggles that come with life without God. That's kind of like a sailor on a ship at sea in a violent storm without an anchor. He does at least have a ship, but he is out of control and totally at the mercy of the storm.

Without hope, we are swept along by the currents of life - often in directions that we do not want to go, and we are tossed by the waves with such power that we are in danger of capsizing or being thrown into the rocks along the shore.

But with God there is hope. Many people look at hope like a desperate person looks at a lottery ticket - it probably won't do any good, but maybe this time he will hit the jackpot. That's not hope, it is gambling with your soul.

Hope is a longing expectation. A longing because we are looking forward to it, an expectation because we trust in God an believe in His promises. He has promised us that if we become Christians by obeying the gospel, and if we walk in the light by remaining faithful to His commands, and if we repent of our sins by turning away from them and turning back to Him, that we will be saved. It is not a gamble - it is an expectation!

And because of this absolute trust in God to keep His promises, we are looking forward to being in Heaven someday despite being occasionally tossed by the storms of life. God, who does not lie, has promised eternal salvation for everyone who will receive it on His terms. That knowledge gives us hope, and hope does not disappoint!

"And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us."  Romans 5:5, NIV

"a faith and knowledge resting on the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time."  Titus 1:2, NIV