My Anchor Holds!

Hebrews 6:17-20

"My soul in sad exile was out on life's sea,
So burdened with sin and distressed,
Till I heard a sweet voice, saying, "Make Me your choice";
And I entered the "Haven of Rest
"!

I've anchored my soul in the "Haven of Rest,"
I'll sail the wide seas no more;
The tempest may sweep over wild, stormy, deep,
In Jesus I'm safe evermore
."

Most of us are aware that our world is like a restless sea.
It is unstable.
It is dangerous.
It never stands still.

The affairs of our life may be compared to waves driven and tossed by the wind.
We are like ships that sail upon the sea.
We are subject to its change and motions.
We might be carried off course by its currents.
We might be driven by winds, and tossed by storms.

We have not yet come to our land of eternal rest that will come to the people of God.
God does not want us to be "carried about with every wind of doctrine." (Ephesians 4:14)
So, God has provided an anchor of hope for us that is sure and steadfast,
and enables us to outride the storm.

Let us think about some truths that is suggested by the image of an anchor.
If you know the meaning of that anchor, you may even feel it holding you securely by its grip.
I hope that you will be enabled to cast your anchor overboard for the first time,
and to feel the strong comfort that such a safeguard will give to your believing heart.

We know that the purpose of an anchor is to hold a ship firmly in one place
when the winds and currents would move it off course or into dangerous conditions.
God has given us some wonderful truths that will assure us that we are secure.
To say it more directly, these truths will hold us firmly to our great God.

There are times that an anchor is needed to keep our ship from being wrecked.
The ship may not need an anchor in calm waters, or on the ocean when a little drifting
may not be a serious matter.
But there are weather conditions in which an anchor is really essential.

When a gale force wind is rushing toward the shore, blowing with devasting force,
and the ship cannot hold its course, and is in danger of being driven into the rocky coastline.
During those times, the anchor is worth its weight in gold.

If the ship cannot be anchored, there will be nothing left of it after the storm
except a few pieces of debris.
The ship will go to pieces, and every sailor could be drowned.
This is the time to let down the strongest anchor so that the ship can stand against the wind.

God doesn't intend for His people to be shipwrecked.
We could be shipwrecked and lost, if we were not strongly anchored in the hour of temptation.
Christian, if every wind of doctrine whirled you about, you would soon drift far away
from the truth as it is in Jesus, and your faith would be shipwrecked.

But God bought you at a great price -- the death of his only Son -- and values you too much
to see you broken to pieces on the rocks.
So God has provided a safeguard for us from the temptations of Satan,
and from our own sinful nature, and when the world attacks us.
Hope is the anchor of our soul.
It is sure and steadfast.

We really need this anchor!
We see many that fall into the error of the wicked, and are overcomed
by the deceitfulness of unrighteousness, and abandoned as castaways,
"having no hope, and without God in the world." (Ephesians 2:12)

If you have been sailing on the waters of life for many years, you may well be aware
that if it were not for the everlasting truths of God that continue to hold you securely,
you would have been thrown in the everlasting darkness long ago.
The dangerous waters would have gone over your soul long before now.
When the mighty waves rose higher and higher, it must have seemed to you
as if your little boat had been resting on the bottom of the sea.

If it had not been for the unchanging love and immovable faithfulness of God,
your heart would have utterly failed.
Nevertheless, here you are today, carried by grace, provided by God's mercy,
and steered by heavenly wisdom, and propelled by the power of the Holy Spirit of God.
Thank God for your anchor.
He gave it to you, and no storm has overwhelmed you.
Your ship is still sailing for the port of glory.

An anchor is also needed to keep a vessel from distress, so even if it is not wrecked,
it is so miserable to be driven here and there in one direction and another
and in whatever direction the winds may blow us.

A person who is controlled by external influences is an unhappy person.
This person is blown like a feather in the breeze or rolls along the ground
like something blown by a strong windstorm.
We need an anchor to hold us so that we may remain peaceful and have rest for our souls.
We are looking at solid and sure truths that will always hold us in any storm.
These truths operate powerfully on the mind in order to prevent it
from being harassed and dismayed.

Our Scripture text speaks of "strong consolation."
That is a magnificent truth.
We do not merely have a consolation that will hold us securely,
and hold us up against storms in times of trouble, but we have a strong consolation.

So that when trouble hits us with unusual strength, like a furious tornado,
our we have a strong consolation that like a powerful anchor.
It is more than a match for the forceful temptation, and will enable us to triumph over all.
The person who has a strong belief like this in God is a person with peace in their souls.

"Hallelujah! I believe!
Now the giddy world stands fast,
For my soul has found an anchor
Till the night of storm is passed
."

An anchor is also needed to keep us from losing what we have gained.
Suppose our ship of life is making good progress toward its intended port,
but then, the wind changes and blows directly at it.

Our ship is in danger of being carried back to the port from which it started,
or to an equally undesirable port unless it can resist the turbulent wind.
Therefore, we put down our anchor.
We have made it this far, and we are not going to be carried back.
We are going to let down our anchor and stop here for a while.

Sometimes, believers are tempted to return to the country from which they came,
that is, to their old ways of living.
They are almost inclined to announce the things that they have learned,
and to conclude that they never have been taught by the Lord at all.

Our old sinful nature grabs hold of us and tries to pull us back,
and the devil also tries to drive us back.
If we did not have a secure anchor to hold us steady, we would go back.

We will hear people who would have us believe that there is nothing very certain or sure.
They say that though black is black, it's not very black,
and although white is white, it's not very white.
If we start doubting that that there are no eternal truths and no divine certainties
and no infallible truths, then we might willingly surrender what we know, or think we know,
and wander about on the ocean of speculation as vagabonds of mere opinion.

But while we have the truth, which has been taught to our own spirit by the Holy Spirit,
we cannot drift from it.
And we will never drift from it, even though people may consider us to be fools
for our steadfastness.

Christians, do not aspire to the kind of love and goodwill that grows out of uncertainty.
There are saving truths, and there are "damnable heresies." (2 Peter 2:1)

Jesus is not both yes and no at the same time.
His Gospel is not a deceitful mixture of the honey of heaven and the bitterness of hell
that is flavored to suit the taste of either good or bad.
There are fixed principles, and there are revealed facts.

Those who know anything about divine things from personal experience have cast their anchor down,
and when they have heard the chains going down, they have joyfully said,
"I know the truth and have believed it.
In this truth I stand secure and immovable.
The winds may blow fiercely, but they will never move me from this anchorage.
Whatever I have attained by the teaching of the Holy Spirit,
I will hold onto tightly as long as I live
."

The anchor is a necessity so that we may be faithful and useful.

The person who is easily moved and believes one thing today and another tomorrow is fickle.
Who knows where we will find such a person next?
Of what use is he to young people or to those who are weak in faith, or to anyone else?

Like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind, what service can he give
in the work of the Lord, and how can he influence others for good?
He himself does not believe, so how can he make others believe?

I think that the Christian who knows orthodox theology, but who does not really believe
is responsible for more unfaithfulness to God than a person who believes heresies.

In other words, I'm more concerned that a person who earnestly believes in error
has a less harmful influence on others that a person who holds the truth with indifference
and with secret unbelief.
The latter is tolerated in godly company, for he professes to be a believer,
and he is therefore able to cause harm within the body of Christ.

This person is not sure of anything.
He only "hopes" and "trusts," and when defending truth,
he concedes that there is much to be said on both sides,
so that he kisses and stabs at the same time.

Our God has provided us with an anchor to hold us securely so that we will not be shipwrecked.
Our God has provided us with an anchor to keep us in peace.
Our God has provided us with an anchor to prevent us from losing ground.
Our God has provided us with an anchor to enable us to remain faithful and useful.

These purposes are the result of God's kindness and wisdom toward us.
Let us bless the Lord who has so graciously cared for us.

We cannot see our spiritual anchor for our anchor who is Christ ascended to heaven,
and is at the right hand of the throne of God.
But that same Jesus also lives within us.
And though He is out of our sight, we can feel His heavenly presence within us.

Do you believe because you can see?
That is not believing at all.
That is feeling.
That is not believing.

Jesus said in John 20:29: "Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed."
Blessed is that Christian who believes against his feelings, and even hopes against hope.
It is a strange thing to hope against hope, to believe in things that are impossible,
and to see things that are invisible.
The Christian who can do that has real faith in God.

Our hope is not seen.
This is the confidence that we have in God " whom having not seen, [we] love."
(1 Peter 1:8)
With this kind of faith, we know that our anchor will hold.

Trials and troubles will send our hope deep down into the fundamental truths of God.
You may never have known affliction.
If you have been healthy all your life, you have never gone through a trying illness.
If so, you do not have half the grip on the glorious hope that those who have been tried have.

Much of the unbelief in the Christian church comes out of those who profess Christ,
but who have never had their faith put to the test.
When you have to rough it, you need a solid Gospel.

A hard-working, hungry man cannot live on whipped cream.
He must have something solid to nourish him.
In the same way, a person who is being tried must have a Gospel that is true,
and he must believe that it is true, or else his soul will starve.

In our Scripture text, God swore an oath, and if God swears a promise,
we have the most solid of assurances.
We owe our great God the most firm and real faith.
Therefore, when greater trouble comes, we will believe even more firmly,
and when our ship is tossed in deeper waters, we will believe even more confidently.

When our head is aching and our heart is pounding, and when all earthly joy has left us,
and when death comes near, we will believe even more that our anchor holds.
Our great God cannot lie.
He keeps all His promises.

Our Scripture text concludes with a precious reflection, that although our hope cannot be seen,
we have a Friend in that great unseen land where our hope is sure.
In anxious moments, a sailor might wish that he could go down to the bottom of the sea
with his anchor to make sure that it is firmly secured.

We cannot do that, but we have a Friend who has gone to take care of everything for us.
Our anchor is within the veil.
It is where we cannot see it.
However, Jesus is there, and our hope is inseparably connected with His person and work.

We know for a fact that Jesus of Nazareth, after His death and burial, rose from the grave,
and for forty days afterward, and in the presence of His disciples He ascended up into heaven.
This is an historical fact.
He has gone there, and all of us who are in Jesus will follow Him.
He is the firstfruits of the full harvest.

As surely as Jesus is in heaven as the possessor of all things,
each one of us in Christ will also come to our inheritance in due time.
We only have to wait a little while, and we will be with Him where He is.
It will not be long.

Only a few more weeks or months or years, and we will be with Christ in our home in heaven.
There we will need no anchor to hold us fast.
We will eternally bless God for graciously producing such a marvelous anchor
for our unstable minds while we were tossed upon the sea of life.

What will you do if you have no anchor?
There is no question, a storm is coming.
I see the threatening clouds, and I hear the strengthening winds of the distant hurricane.
What will you do?
I pray that the Lord will help you to flee for refuge immediately to the hope
that is set before you in Christ Jesus.

The Haven Of Rest

"My soul in sad exile was out on life's sea,
So burdened with sin and distressed,
Till I heard a sweet voice, saying, "Make Me your choice";
And I entered the "Haven of Rest"!

I yielded myself to His tender embrace,
In faith taking hold of the Word,
My fetters fell off, and I anchored my soul;
The "Haven of Rest" is my Lord.

The song of my soul, since the Lord made me whole,
Has been the old story so blest,
Of Jesus, who'll save whosoever will have
A home in the "Haven of Rest."

How precious the thought that we all may recline,
Like John, the beloved so blest,
On Jesus' strong arm, where no tempest can harm,
Secure in the "Haven of Rest."

Oh, come to the Savior, He patiently waits
To save by His power divine;
Come, anchor your soul in the "Haven of Rest,"
And say, "My Beloved is mine
."

Chorus:
"I've anchored my soul in the "Haven of Rest,"
I'll sail the wide seas no more;
The tempest may sweep over wild, stormy, deep,
In Jesus I'm safe evermore
."

The sermon was adapted from many sources by Dr. Harold L. White