The Anchor of Hope
The Anchor of Hope
The penman of Hebrews utilized several nautical themed illustrations to help the reader grasp the importance of the Christian faith. For example, in chapter two, the writer warns the listener to pay close attention to the things taught, lest he drift away. Another nautical themed phrase is found in chapter 6 and verse 19. There, the writer notes how the hope of God’s promises can be seen as an anchor to the soul. In terms of fishermen or sailors, the anchor can be seen as one of the most vital tools of the ship. It is used to help the crew remain in one place without drifting too far away from the desired location. Surely, there is nothing more stabilizing and weighted for a Christian than the hope that is found in God.
Later in the book of Hebrews, the writer looks at faith as a looking glass for hope. The author states, “faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). Hope is established in entities that are not present, nor seen. With such an ambiguous concept, what then is the hope of a Christian? If hope can be seen as steady as an anchor and as valuable as an asset of faith, then what exactly does one hope for?
Perhaps there is no better way to live in hope than to disregard the current earth as a home. Paul, in Philippians 3, may not directly use the word for hope, but it remains as a great example of how to actively live in hope. Paul begins the chapter by discussing how he views all of his earthly status as vain. He does so on the basis of finding an immense value of knowing Jesus and His resurrection (Phi 3:8). Paul goes as far as to say he would obtain the resurrection by “any means possible” (Phi. 3:11). He eventually points his writing down to verse 20 and 21 where he considers his citizenship to be in heaven, and not in the fading world. This language is strikingly similar to that of Romans 8. It is no doubt to Paul’s readers that he has a hope that cannot be found in this present world, but the one to come.
Paul was a great example of how he let his hope influence his perspective on his current situations. It may be that the true test of living a life in hope will come down to the point of dying in hope. There is no one who knows the attribute of hope more intimately than the one who is staring death in the face. The death of Christ and many of His martyrs live as a living testimony to the greatness that awaited them.
Hope is seen as an anchor, an attribute of faith, and a way of life. Through various writers of the New Testament and the collection of the 27 books, hope is seen as a common thread. In books as small as Jude and Philemon, to books as deep as Revelation and Romans, hope is present. In simplistic forms such as Luke or 1 Corinthians, hope is set as a reminder. Few studies in Christian theology carry with it the gravity that hope does. No matter the writer and its context, each follower of Jesus found comfort, confidence, and encouragement in the hope that is only exclusive to the faith of the Messiah.