In the 1990's Sandra and Harry taught us that Hope floated.
You can imagine my surprise, then, when I read in Hebrews 6 that hope is actually an anchor. At first glance, it seems like a contradiction. I don't know about you, but when I am feeling particularly hopeful I would describe it in words more like floating and less like laying-on-the-bottom-of-the-ocean.
How on earth is hope like an anchor? I did what any reasonable human would do and busied myself in anchor research. What? Not everyone would do that?
Anchor Anatomy 101
Welcome class. The first anchors were simply rocks or lead-laden logs. They worked well with small boats but, as boats got larger and heavier, anchors needed a way to dig into the ocean floor. The flukes were the solution to this issue but they only worked if the anchor fell juuust right. If a fluke didn't stick in the bottom, the anchor had no hold.
Enter the stock. The stock was positioned in such a way that it would always cause one of the flukes to dig in and hold the boat in place. Brilliant! I'm not pretending to understand HOW that works (I only passed Physics in high school because my teacher was a merciful human being) I only know it DOES work.
Behold dear friends, I have made you a diagram. Please save your applause until the end.
So what does that have to do with hope?
In order to remain hopeful, we need an Anchor! Our world is changing quickly. Take the smart phone for example. Information assaults our senses at dizzying speeds. We can know anything in about 4 seconds. We don't need to wear a watch or look at a calendar. Thanks to my iphone, I don't ever need to hunt down a map, a flashlight, or even a level to hang pictures on my wall.
We are silly little comfort-seeking creatures. We are hooked on current and hip and we lose our bearings on what is true quite easily...that is, unless we have an anchor.
Ah, but God knew.
He knew what you and I would be like, He knew what 2014 would be like, and He knew about smart phones (even before Steve Jobs did). In His mercy, He gave us promises that He keeps 100% of the time. Those promises anchor us in Him because in Him alone we find hope that sticks around.
A promise anchoring me these days is Philippians 1:6 "I am sure that the One who began a good work in you will carry it on until it is completed." I will be less of a mess in the future! My close friends and family find this to be great news!