18 Mar 2011
“This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters
the Presence behind the veil,” (Hebrews 6:19)
Hope is an interesting aspect of daily living. However, many secular philosophers dismiss hope as a viable idea. Despite this opinion someone once said:
“Man can live about forty days without food, about three days without water, about eight
minutes without air, but only one second without hope.”
According to this author and God hope is essential for our existence. Scripture confirms its importance by adding that hope serves as an anchor for our soul. In other words whatever or whoever we place our hope in has a dramatic influence on the condition and functioning of our soul.
Now, many agree the soul is comprised of the mind, will and emotions. So this means our hopes directly affect what we think, how we feel, and the very decisions we make. Clearly, this tells us this hope thing is pretty important stuff.
Essentially, what or who we put our hope in shapes and governs our daily lives. For example, when a young couple decides to marry, they have hopes and dreams of what their future will be like together. So their thoughts, emotions, and choices revolve around their plans for their wedding day.
Then there is the young aspiring actor who hopes to one day make Broadway or Hollywood. All his thoughts, feelings, and decisions revolve around the steps he must take and the effort he must make to see his dream achieved.
In yet another instance, is the young lady who hopes to achieve fortune and fame by using her musical and vocal talent to land a major recording contract one day. Her daily thoughts, emotions, and choices will fluctuate according to the ups and downs of pursuing her career as a professional singer.
While we all have hopes and dreams current world situations threaten to short-circuit our future plans. Actually, our world seems to be spinning out of control. Ever since the terrorist attacks on September 11th, global conflict, political upheaval, violence, and major catastrophes have become increasingly regular. Our sense of normalcy and stability seems to have gone out the window and has been replaced by regular doses of stress, uncertainty and eminent danger.
So far this year we’ve had violent protests, governmental overthrows, increased tensions in the middle-east, and a major earthquake and tsunami devastating and crippling Japan. As if all this isn’t troubling enough we are now looking at the catastrophic possibilities if several Japanese nuclear reactors melt down and release radioactive elements into the atmosphere.
Never before has there been such great need for the souls of humanity to be anchored to something or someone that is sure, immovable, and steadfast. I can’t imagine how many of the Japanese people feel as their hopes and dreams have disintegrated right before their eyes. Their once orderly lives in disarray and the horrific loss of family, property, and livelihood must be truly disheartening. To many it may seem that all hope is lost.
The unfolding drama in Japan should cause us to step back and assess what is the hope that anchors our souls. Some of the questions we might ask are: What or who is the author of our hope? Does our hope originate with God or with man? Is it based on the promise of man or the promises of God? Is our hope rooted in the earth realm or does it emanate from eternal dimensions? Is our hope a legitimate hope?
God declares that He is the “God of hope” (Rom. 15:13). He is the author of ultimate hope and any hope that He authorizes is legitimate hope. Hope that originates outside of His revealed will is unauthorized and illegitimate – and shall ultimately and utterly fail.
Because God has put eternity in our hearts (Eccl. 3:11), man’s greatest hope is that he will live forever. Our hope and desire for eternal existence resonates from our hearts because God put it there. The God of hope placed the desire for eternity in our hearts so He could fulfill that hope!
However, the god of this current world system would throw you a curve ball to get you to invest in all kinds of illegitimate hope. The hopes and dreams he counsels you to embrace are mere distractions designed to anchor your soul to temporary and unsustainable fulfillment. His promises of fulfillment are actually seductive enticements that eventually ensnare and enslave your soul.
Using substances, processes, positions, and persons his objective is to captivate your soul rather than fulfill your hope. Thus, through captivity your soul is anchored to the temporal realm and is ruled by a taskmaster you’ve unwittingly attached yourself to.
There are some things we anchor our souls to that hold little merit in comparison to the eternal everlasting immovable hope that is in Christ. So when the storms, trials, and disasters of life descend upon us we find ourselves blown off course and crashing into the rocks of disappointment, discouragement, and despair. In many cases some people never fully recover from the dashing of their hopes and dreams.
There are many Old Testament Scriptures where the word hope has been translated from the Hebrew term “tiqvah.” This Hebraic word literally means a cord – as an attachment. The word “tiqvah” originates from the Hebrew word “qavah” – which translated means to bind together. So in a very real sense God’s word tells us that our souls can be bound by invisible cords to the person, place or thing in which we’ve placed our hope.
This can be especially troubling if that which our soul is attached to is addictive, an agent of Satan, an object of idolatry, or is slated by God for destruction. Remember, what you place your hope in will consume your thoughts, shape your emotions and attitude, and govern your decision-making. So, when God starts dismantling, debunking, and many cases, destroying illegitimate hope – will your soul survive the onslaught or will it go down with the ship?
This could be why scripture encourages us to place our hope in the Lord God Almighty above all else. When the world’s systems fail and whole societies crumble and crash will your hope evaporate and your soul be ravaged beyond repair? Or will your hope in Jesus Christ keep your soul firmly anchored in Him – steadfast and immovable?
© Copyright 2011 Ivan Doxtator