What do you hope in? Do you place your hope in money? In the things of this country?
Hope: to look forward with desire and reasonable confidence; to believe, desire, or trust.
Our anchor of hope is Jesus Himself, who died for our sins and was raised for our justification. The author of Hebrews says, “We have this hope…” It is written in the present tense, meaning we have it now, continuously. When we face our trials, we have it. At our death, we have it. When we’re alone, we have it.
We have Jesus, our hope, as an anchor “for the soul.” This doesn’t necessarily mean that He is the anchor only for the immaterial part of our being; it means that Christ is the anchor of our entire life, both body and soul. Life’s ship is not immune to severe winds, torrential downpours, and catastrophic storms. But we are securely fastened (or moored) to Jesus, who is moored to God, who dwells in the Holy of Holies of the heavenly sanctuary.
Sailors do not see the anchor that grips the bottom of the harbor. But they are certain of their safety because of it. Even so, by faith our anchor, Jesus, though invisible to us, but visible to faith and hope, is in us as the hope of glory. But he is also with God. We have two chains linked together: one is promise, the other is oath. In Jesus our hope is linked to us and linked to God. He is in us, the hope of glory (Col. 1:27). He is also with God, for he has entered the heavens and is seated on the right hand of God as our high priest forever to intercede for us.
We are told this anchor is sure. The Greek word means it does not slip. Jesus will not fall asleep and lose his grip on us. He also will not change his mind. Even when we slip and sin, our anchor still holds and grips the solid rock. Our anchor Jesus is steadfast and dependable forever. In the hour of our sickness, persecution, and death, when all other anchors fail, Jesus will hold us fast. As the hymn writer says, “Heaven and earth may pass away, but Jesus never fails.”
When the storm arose and filled their boat with water, the disciples were afraid and cried out, “We are perishing. Save us, O Lord!” Jesus saved them by calming the storm. Even so, Jesus our anchor of hope makes great calm of all our great storms. The peace of God that passes all human understanding shall grip and guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus (cf. Phil. 4:7).
He tells us, “Fear not, I am with you. Peace, be still, in all of life’s ebbs and flows.” Jesus, our anchor of hope, has died, risen, and entered the heavenly Holy of Holies as our forerunner, our scout. He arrived in God’s presence on our behalf, that he may bring every one of us to God’s presence, and he shall never fail in this mission. By his sacrifice, he made the way for us to God. He is our shepherd, who guides us and brings us to the Celestial City, to the Holy of Holies, behind the veil to God’s presence.
The mission of Jesus Christ is to bring many sons to glory (Heb. 2:10) and he has done it. He is there already, and we will be there soon, one by one. In fact, Paul says that, in one sense, we are already seated with Christ (Eph. 2:6), for as branches are united to the vine, so we are vitally united with him.
Therefore, fear not, dear ones. Fear not the fiery trials. Fear not your own death. To us, to live is Christ and to die is gain (Phil. 1:21). To us, to depart is to be present with Christ (Phil. 1:23). By faith and hope, fix your eyes, not on the storms of life, but on Jesus our hope, Jesus our sure anchor, Jesus in heaven, Jesus our forerunner, Jesus our high priest, Jesus our atonement.
Is your salvation securely held by the Saviour? Does your faith grip to the Solid Rock or is it gripping onto the traditions of men and religion? This will collapse like a house built on sand. Are you depending on good works through sacraments, penance, baptism and purgatory to get you to heaven? This, again, is building your faith on sand. Christ is the Anchor – His salvation/Gospel is built on the Solid Rock – it is unshakeable – immoveable – impenetrable – and everlasting!
What does it mean to place our hope in Jesus? What would that look like?
It means bank on that hope. Trust in it. Feel secure in it. Be satisfied with it. Long for it the way you long for the coming of the dawn after a long, dark, scary night. There are at least five practical things you can do to move your heart toward “laying hold of your hope.”