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THE ANCHOR OF YOUR SOUL
“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12
Does hope seem as distant to you as the horizon across the ocean?
Are you wondering whether you can ever regain the stability of hope in your life?
Have you ever felt a sense of hopelessness because your life was turned upside down and you didn’t know where you were headed—that your life had drifted off course?
When you are in trouble and feeling overwhelmed, you need something to stabilize your life. You need an anchor. The Women of Faith resources will help anchor your life by explaining the unshakable hope you have in Christ. Learn the difference between cultural and Christian hope, how to identify unreliable anchors you may mistakenly look to for help, and how God’s unchanging Word offers hope and stability for uncertain times.
The world cries out for hope.
From individuals and families to cities and nations, the cries for justice, for peace, for hope ring out around the world. We cry out for answers, for guidance, for comfort . . . to make it through one more season, to overcome one more tragedy, to persevere one more day.
There is only one hope that will satisfy our longings and our cries, one hope that will anchor us during the storms of life—the hope of Jesus Christ.
From His first cry as a baby to His last cry on the cross, Jesus Christ came to give us hope. The Bible says of Jesus:
“In his name the nations will put their hope.” Matthew 12:21
What an anchor is to a ship, hope is to the soul. They both stabilize whatever needs to be held steady amidst the storms in life. Every Christian has been given a secure anchor in the person of Christ… for the Bible says about Jesus…
“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.”
We have all been “in the same boat” with cloudy thinking about hope. The common view of hope in our culture is quite different from Christian hope. If you live by cultural hope, you will have a boatful of wishful thinking, and what you hope for will sometimes happen … and sometimes not.
However, Christian hope is based on the Bible—God’s unchanging Word. By patiently relying on what God says, you will have all the hope necessary with all the certainty you will ever need. The apostle Paul states the source of our hope…
“Everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” Romans 15:4
What Is Hope?
When we live with biblical hope, we have an anchored life. We are held steady in the midst of any storm. Because hope is often misunderstood, an accurate understanding of the meaning of hope is crucial. The Bible says that when your hope is anchored in God, He will teach you His truth and lead you in the way you should go. This prayer is yours to claim …
“Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.” Psalm 25:5
- Hope identified as cultural hope is merely an optimistic desire that something will be fulfilled. This hope is not a guaranteed hope because it is subject to changeable people and circumstances.
- Hope identified as Christian hope is an optimistic assurance that something will be fulfilled. This hope is a guaranteed hope, not subject to change but rather anchored in our unchangeable Savior and Lord.
Although the Bible uses the word hope in both the secular and the spiritual sense, the focus of our Christian hope is always based on the guaranteed promises of God. Thus, this hope will never be a disappointment. As Christians, we are promised peace with God...
“We also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” Romans 5:3–5
What Is Hopelessness?
Hopelessness is characterized by absolute despair with no expectation of good. Hopeless thinking can result in a desire to die. Those who feel hopeless are unable to envision any viable option for their problems—death seems the only solution.
The popular understanding of hope is quite different from the powerful truth about hope that is taught in Scripture. If you lean on the contemporary meaning, you will experience a hit and a miss. Sometimes what you hope for will come about, and at other times it won’t. The believer’s hope is based on the Bible—the unchanging Word of God. When you feel unsure of yourself, the Scriptural truths provide all the security you will ever need. In them, you will find your hope.
The first thing to keep in mind is that this is not a feeling, rather it is a gift to you from God − hope is His anchor that He has already thrown out to stabilize your heart and life.
"Sustain me, my God, according to your promise, and I will live; do not let my hopes be dashed.” Psalm 119:116
Inner Feelings of Hopelessness
Do you feel...
- Deceived: duped by someone you trusted?
- Disliked: deeming yourself unwanted by others?
- Dejected: dull, flat, and emotionally stuck?
- Deadened: dry, numb, and lifeless?
- Downcast: downhearted, assuming life will never change?
- Deprived: discriminated against with no chance to succeed?
- Disqualified: discounting that you have value?
- Degraded: demeaned and belittled by others?
- Detached: discarded by God and separated from others?
- Doomed: damned or trapped with no way out?
Outer Evidences of Hopelessness
Do you look...
- Drained: drowning with exhaustion?
- Debilitated: depleted of energy and strength?
- Disinterested: drifting on a sea of apathy?
- Defeated: deadlocked from moving forward, feeling like a failure?
- Disgusted: down on life and pessimistic about living?
- Disconnected: divorced from meaningful people and meaningful purpose?
- Despondent: deteriorating in appearance and emotionally withdrawn?
- Displaced: desolate and lonely with no place to go?
- Distraught: driven to end dreams, end emotions, and end life?
Are You Harbored in Hope?
When you have Christ, you have...
Contentment: Being patient because of God’s hope for you.
“If we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently”. Romans 8:25
Courage: Being bold because of God’s hope within you.
“Since we have such a hope, we are very bold” 2 Corinthians 3:12
Confidence: Being assured because of God’s hope within you.
“You have been my hope, Sovereign Lord, my confidence since my youth” Psalm 71:5)
Cheerfulness: Being joyful because of God’s hope for you.
“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer” Romans 12:12)
Comfort: Being encouraged because of God’s unfailing love for you.
“May your unfailing love be with us, Lord, even as we put our hope in you” Psalm 33:22
Conviction: Being anchored in hope because of God’s Word within you.
“May those who fear you rejoice when they see me, for I have put my hope in your word” Psalm 119:74
Christlikeness: Being conformed to the character of Christ because of God’s hope for you.
“I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death”. Philippians 1:20
“No one who hopes in you will ever be put to shame, but shame will come on those who are treacherous without cause.” Psalm 25:3
Christian Hope Is...
- Not dependent on another person or a group of people—but rather is dependent on the Lord alone
- Not wishful thinking, vague longing, or trying to fulfill a dream—but rather is assured, unchangeable, and absolute
- Not determined by circumstances, events, or abilities—but rather is determined by what is already secure and promised
- Not merely a desire—but rather is delayed fulfillment of reality
- Not dependent on the stars, luck, chance, or timing—but rather is predestined and settled in the heart and mind of God
“In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will.” Ephesians 1:11
The Root Cause of Hopelessness
Wrong Belief: “Nothing is meeting my real needs, and I have no reason to believe that will ever change. The future offers no hope for me.”
Right Belief: “I refuse to base my hope on anything that can be taken away from me. My hope is in my unchanging relationship with Jesus, my Lord and Savior. He is my Need-Meeter. In Him I have found the love, significance, and security that I need to embrace this life and to anticipate my future life in heaven.”
“The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him.”
Different Kinds of Hope
- Living Hope
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Peter 1:3).
- Better Hope
“The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God” (Hebrews 7:18–19).
- One Hope
“There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when you were called” (Ephesians 4:4).
- Good Hope
“May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts” (2 Thessalonians 2:16–17).
- Future Hope
“There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off” (Proverbs 23:18).
- Blessed Hope
“We wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13).
The Benefits of Hope
- Provides you joy in living
“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer” (Romans 12:12).
- Generates faith and love in you
“We have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all God’s people—the faith and love that spring from the hope stored up for you in heaven and about which you have already heard in the true message of the gospel” (Colossians 1:4–5).
- Causes you to live a pure life
“All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure” (1 John 3:3).
- Uplifts your downcast soul
“Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God” (Psalm 42:5).
- Anchors your soul
“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain” (Hebrews 6:19).
- Generates boldness in you
“Since we have such a hope, we are very bold” (2 Corinthians 3:12).
- Develops your patience
“If we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently” (Romans 8:25).
- Establishes your security and safety
“You will be secure, because there is hope; you will look about you and take your rest in safety” (Job 11:18).
- Guarantees your eternal life
“He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life” (Titus 3:5–7).
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God desires to give you hope as you face life challenges, problems and difficult trials. The good news for us, God specializes in redemption and transformation. He takes that which was lost and restores it. He takes that which was dead and gives it life. He takes that which had no hope and rewrites its story. This is our God! As you pray today, ask God boldly to transform the thing inside you that you want to see changed forever!
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