Bible Journaling: Hope in an Anchor
One of my favorite hymns is “We Have an Anchor,” written by Priscilla Owens who lived in the 1800’s. I love the serious questions she asks at the beginning of the song.
Will your anchor hold in the storms of life, when the clouds unfold their wings of strife? When the storm clouds lift and the cable strains, will your anchor drift or firm remain?
Ms. Owens wrote a number of hymns. I can’t imagine the events that might have inspired her to write such words as wings of strife, but I think I’ve read before that she was a Sunday school teacher and wrote them for her children.
It’s hard to imagine life without modern conveniences. And it’s hard to consider the things Ms. Owens would have called conveniences as such. And the storms of life? Sometimes I fear the things we define as “storms” might seem trivial to someone who had to heat their home with no electricity or travel by foot or horse to get where they needed.
And yet, the passage that likely inspired this song, Hebrews 6:13-20, is timeless. First, in verse 13, it references the promise God made to Abraham to bless and multiply him. With patience, he endured the promise. So therefore, we can know if we endure like Abraham, we can access the promise that has been made for us. And then, verse 17, it says God confirmed this promise more abundantly by an oath that we would have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us. What an incredible thought. Essentially that if we endure to keep ourselves spotless from sin, we have this hope.
I think Ms. Owens probably knew the difficulties her students would have in remaining steadfast and enduring to remain sinless. And as Scripture abundantly teaches, we cannot do this without Christ. Being in Christ–a true, Biblical Christian–assures us that His blood covers our sin and allows us access to the hope of eternal life.
Verses 19 and 20 of Hebrews 6 compare this hope to an anchor, which keeps us held down, or anchored in our resolve to follow God’s will. That Jesus is behind the veil (a reference to the holiest of places, in God’s presence like the priests of the Old Testament were), our ultimate High Priest, who intervenes on our behalf if we are obedient, faithful Christians. He was the forerunner, entering before us and carrying the shame of our sin.
This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil, where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.
I love how this verse reads “High Priest forever.” Jesus has always been our mediator and He always will be. Back in the 1800’s when Ms. Owens penned these words, and today, January 10, 2017. If we keep our focus on Him, then we can be sure that our path is steadfast in God’s plan for our salvation.
Journaling for today:
- I underlined: “This hope we have as an anchor of the soul” and “Jesus, having become High Priest forever”
- I circled and highlighted: “sure and steadfast”
- I drew an anchor in the margin and wrote “We have an Anchor!”