A naval student was being put through the paces by an old sea captain. "What would you do if a sudden storm sprang up on the starboard?" asked the captain. "Throw out an anchor, sir." replied the naval student. "What would you do if another storm sprang up aft?" asked the captain. "Throw out another anchor, sir." answered the student. "And if another terrific storm sprang up forward, what would you do?" asked the captain. "Throw out another anchor." replied the student. "Hold on," said the Captain. "Where are you getting all your anchors from?" The student replied, "From the same place you're getting all of your storms, sir."
I love the imagery and the picture that is presented in vs. 19 of an anchor.
Fellows from the navy can probably add much to this but it a picture of our life in Christ.
Thesis: Let’s talk about this picture and what is associated with it.
I. Every believer is like a ship.
We are blown and tossed by the wind like a ship upon the sea. This world is a troubled sea. Jesus said in John 16:33: In this world you will have trouble.
We are so unsure and unstable. Reminds me of a fishing trip my brother and I went on. We had no anchor. My brother caught a fish in front of a stream that let into the lake. There was the fishing hole. We had no anchor. He told me to take the oars and keep us in front of the stream. No way! We kept drifting away.
We need something firm, secure, steady, and unmovable. If we don’t find something solid to anchor us, we will get seasick and be unable to function.
William C. Martin- Mighty tides about me sweep, Perils lurk within the deep, Angry clouds o’ershade the sky, And the tempest rises high; Troubles almost ’whelm the soul; Griefs like billows o’er me roll; Tempters seek to lure astray; Storms obscure the light of day But in Christ I can be bold, I’ve an anchor that shall hold.
II. We have an anchor- hope
1 Corinthians 13:13: And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. Of these three hope seems to be the least important.
However, this is not just the hope of I wish such and such would happen. In the NIV, Paul seems to say such things. Romans 15:23-24: I have been longing for many years to see you, I plan to do so when I go to Spain. I hope to visit you while passing through. I wish to come to you.
No, this is a different kind of hope that is described earlier in Romans 8. Vs. 23-25: we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. What hope is being talked about here? The belief that through the gospel we are and will be redeemed.
Romans 8:28: And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. “It’s all good.”
This hope enables the Christian in distress to say from Psalm 42:11: Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.
How can we have that attitude? Because we have Jesus. 1 Timothy 1:1: Christ Jesus our hope
III. We have an anchorage
We are not talking about Anchorage, Alaska but it does apply. During the Alaskan gold rush, the town nearest the gold did not have a good anchorage near the ocean. The ships found better anchorage a distance away and thus came the town of Anchorage.
To have good anchorage is to find a place where anchors can be held fast to the bottom without slipping or dragging. It is best if one can get an anchor embedded among rocks. This is good anchorage but difficult when the ship is trying to get anchors aweigh, the anchor to let loose from the sea bottom.
Our anchorage is the best because our anchor is embedded in rocks of God’s promises. It is firm and secure.
Vs. 18 talks about how God does not lie and because of God’s promises we are greatly encouraged.
Joshua 21:45: Not one of all the LORD’s good promises to the house of Israel failed; every one was fulfilled.
Priscilla Owens- We have an anchor that keeps the soul Steadfast and sure while the billows roll, Fastened to the Rock which cannot move, Grounded firm and deep in the Savior’s love.
We are anchored to the Rock of Ages, the Solid Rock. 1 Samuel 2:2: There is no Rock like our God.
IV. We have a cable
An anchor is no good unless it has a strong cable attaching it to the ship.
Our cable (or rode in nautical terms) is faith. Hebrews 11:1: Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. We don’t see the anchor much like a sailor will not see the anchor once it goes into the water.
Hebrews 11:6: without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
Plan of salvation
V. We have a scope
“The ratio of the length of rode to the water depth is known as the scope. Anchoring with sufficient scope and/or heavy chain rode brings the direction of strain close to parallel with the seabed.” I think this means that it is not good to have a lot of slack in the cable, need a tight scope.
Hebrews 7:9: a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God.
Hebrews 10:22: Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.
Need to keep close by prayer and daily Bible reading/ study.
VI. We have our destination
We are anchored but where is the anchor located. Regular anchors are on the sea bottom. Our anchor is in heaven, but our ship is on earth.
Vs. 19 says that Jesus, our anchor, has gone into the inner curtain, the Holy of Holies.
Priscilla Owens- It will firmly hold in the Floods of Death, When the waters cold chill our latest breath, On the rising tide it can never fail, While our hopes abide within the Veil.
Vs. 20 says that he is our forerunner (KJV). The Greek word for forerunner was used in the second century a.d. of the smaller boats sent into the harbor by larger ships unable to enter due to bad weather. This smaller boat carried the larger boat’s anchor inside the harbor and dropped it there, anchoring the larger ship. Thus, Jesus is not only our anchor but He is like a runner boat that has taken our anchor into heaven and secured it there.
Since our hopes and dreams are centered in Jesus we will be drawn to Him and go to Him. One day we will pull all the cable in (rode) and reach our destination. No more separation
When we reach heaven, we will not longer need an anchor because the sea will be calm and beautiful. No drifting away. “An interesting element of anchor jargon is the term aweigh, which describes the anchor when it is hanging on the rode, not resting on the bottom; this is linked to the term to weigh anchor, meaning to lift the anchor from the sea bed, allowing the ship or boat to move. An anchor is described as aweigh when it has been broken out of the bottom and is being hauled up to be stowed.
When we reach heaven’s port, we will be under way meaning a ship that is no longer anchored. We will no longer be restricted by earthly things and we will be free to sail the seas of heaven and enjoy without fear. All barriers will be gone like the barriers we find in the temple.
Not that we will no longer need Jesus. He’s also our captain- Hebrews 2:10 (KJV)
From the Kingsmen- A ship is anchored in the harbor today, destination paradise. Whosoever will can freely sail away, the captain has already paid the price. Passengers are coming from all over the world, securing reservation for that beautiful shore, the course is clearly marked, the journey is planned, one stop Gloryland. Anchors aweigh, this ship is ready to sail, Anchors aweigh, bid this world farewell, all hands on deck, let the wind blow, batten down the hatches, we’re ready to go. Passengers are looking toward the Eastern Sky, listening for the trumpet to sound, the tide is moving and the weather is right for a vessel that is heavenbound, the sights are perfect and we’re feeling a breeze, that Old Ship of Zion is getting ready to leave, the final passenger could come any day, Are you ready to sail?