Thursday, September 23, 2010

An Anchor for the Soul

So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek. (Hebrews 6:17-20)

What is it that ultimately provides stability for our lives? What will keep us steady through the highs and lows, the ups and downs of life? The author of Hebrews points at several things in this passage. First, the character of God - that it is impossible for Him to lie. Second, God's promise. What can God not lie about? His intention to call a people to Himself and bless them, as first promised to Abraham and now received by the heirs of the promise. Third, the method God has used to bring this about - the eternal priesthood of Jesus on behalf of his people.

In short, the anchor for the soul is the gospel.

Now why would he point there instead of, say, their experience or feelings? These converts were enduring persecution, and the threat of apostasy was seemingly constant. What kind of spiritual malpractice - nay, cruelty - would be required to exhort these people to search their feelings and try to discern what God is telling them through their circumstances? How crazy would it be to trust your feelings when your family is disowning you, you're being kicked out of the synagogue, thrown in prison, and everything you own is being confiscated? Thankfully, we have a more reliable guide than our wildly swinging emotions - we have the unchangeable nature of God, the certainty of His promise, and the complete work of Christ.

As Jesus himself said, pointing us squarely to Him: In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world!


DJP said...

Amen. He didn't tell them they needed drugs of fortunetellers, did he? Persecution wasn't a "sign" that God had rejected them.

They needed to hold to Jesus and the covenant in which He offers Himself.

trogdor said...

It's weird, it's almost like this would have been a good comment for this thread. You know, if the comments hadn't been closed before I could get there.

DJP said...