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An Anchor for Life

Have you ever felt that you needed an anchor for your life? That the storms of life were trying to smash you on the rocks? For some people, it might be family problems. For others, the loss of a job, the death of a loved one, or a serious illness.

Such trials can overwhelm us like a wave that crashes upon a ship. Gone are the memories of peaceful sailing on smooth seas—all we can think of for the moment is the trial we are in right now. Will we survive, or will we sink? And sometimes the turmoil is so great that sinking doesn’t seem that bad of an option!

To weather the storms of life, we need an anchor to keep us in place, to keep us from being swept toward the rocky shore, to keep us from capsizing and sinking. What is our anchor?

The book of Hebrews tells us that we have an anchor—the sure hope of salvation through Jesus Christ.

The book of Hebrews tells us that we have an anchor—the sure hope of salvation through Jesus Christ. This is the hope set before us, the hope that greatly encourages us. “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure” (Hebrews 6:18-19).

Verse 20 tells us that this hope enters the presence of God in heaven, where Jesus is already helping us. Our hope of eternal life is anchored in heaven, where the storms of this life can never sink our ship! Our salvation is safe and secure.

The storms still come, though, and rage around us. The waves beat on us, but we need not fear—our anchor is in the unsinkable heavens. Our lives are safeguarded by Jesus himself. Our anchor will keep our lives safe—as long as life itself will last. That means forever! We have an anchor for life, a point of stability when life gets rough. Don’t wait for the storms to begin—anchor your life in Jesus now!

Parable of stability

Jesus taught something similar in the Sermon on the Mount:

“Everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash” (Matthew 7:24-27).

Jesus describes two groups of people: those who follow him, and those who don’t. Both types of people build good-looking houses. Both types of people can appear to have their lives in order. But the storms of life strike them both, and the houses are tested not so much for how they look on the outside, but how well they are built underneath.

Listening to Jesus does not prevent the rain, water and wind—the problems of life—but it does prevent collapse. When the storms of life beat upon us, we need some solid foundations to keep us steady.

Jesus advises us to build our lives not just on hearing his words, but on putting them into practice. We need more than the name of Jesus—we need a willingness to do what he says, to trust him not just with the future, but to trust him in life right now.

If we hear the words but do not obey what Jesus says, our lives might look good on the surface. But eventually the trials come, and our lives can fall apart, or become unraveled or capsize—choose whichever metaphor you want. The point is that life works best when we do what Jesus says.

Jesus does not force us to obey, but he gives us a choice. He tells us what will happen if we don’t. Our behavior shows whether we believe him, and whether we trust him.

Seeking a foundation

If we want a basis of stability in times of trouble, then we need to consult the teachings of Jesus. We should not wait for the storms to begin—we should get right habits right now.

But how do we do that? Wait for Jesus to pop down in our home to tell us what we ought to do? Of course not—in most cases the words of Jesus are already in our homes. What we need to do is to take the initiative to learn what they are, and to do what he says. Don’t assume you know, just because you read it a few years ago. If you really want a stable foundation, you need to read it again. You can’t build on the right foundation unless you know what it is.

What you learned a few years ago may have been good enough for then, but you have probably forgotten a few things, and you might learn even more, now that you have some more life experience. I encourage you: Keep learning—keep growing—keep strengthening your connection with the true foundation of life. No one else can do it for you.

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