"Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast.
A friend of mine fishes the Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska for a living. He has faced huge waves and high winds numerous times aboard a boat almost a hundred-feet long.
One time he and his crew were trying to get out of the strong wind. They anchored behind Cape Sarichef close to Unimak Pass at the end of the Alaska Peninsula. The wind was blowing from 80 to 100 knots due to a record high pressure in the Bering Sea. They set their thousand-pound Danforth anchor on the sea bottom but could not keep from dragging anchor and drifting.
About 30 other boats were huddled in the same spot and chatter from the skippers was heard on the radio about the conditions. One boat reported it lost its anchor. Another said it had something new to report -- the anchor winch got pulled right off the deck.
Wayne and his crew set their anchor about 20 times due to the dragging conditions. Finally, they decided to try a little adjustment. They changed the angle of the flukes, the flat pointed blades on the anchor, just a few degrees. To their amazement and relief, the anchor held and they were able to get some rest.
It is surprising what a small adjustment can make to change the situation, or help to cope with conditions that are difficult.
The Word of God is full of promises to help believers through life's problems. However, they need to be "mixed with faith" (Hebrews 4:2) or the spiritual profit won't be realized.
I am still amazed at how portions of scripture, which I have previously read maybe hundreds of times, can seemingly "come alive" and speak to my situation. The guidance and comfort that come from God's Word can be found no where else. Hope is born where previously there had been helplessness.
The crucifixion of Christ and his resurrection are commemorated this month. Three days separated two events that were devastating, then dynamic for the disciples of Jesus.
For three years they had followed Jesus of Nazareth and watched in awe as he performed miracles of healing and provision. His teaching was like nothing they had ever heard.
It suddenly ended with his tragic death on the cross. Dark, despairing days followed.
However, it was not to remain that way. How thrilled they were when just three days later they knew he was alive, victorious over death and the grave. They saw him and heard him talk again.
Before his departure, he told them to go to Jerusalem to "wait for the promise" (Acts 1:4-5). In obedience, they did so and discovered the power of the indwelling spirit and the strength of the saving name of Jesus (Acts 2:38). It may have seemed a short journey from the Mount of Olives to Jerusalem, and a relatively brief time to wait, but what blessing they received for their efforts.
Likewise, today, small adjustments can be made in our understanding of God and his word that will make a tremendous difference in our lives. Consider Romans 15:4 and 13 which make mention of hope several times. Make the necessary adjustments in your life to God's ways and word, and you will be helped by the hope that can be an "anchor of the soul."
Mitch Glover pastors the Sterling United Pentecostal Church on Swanson River Road at Entrada where Sunday services are at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.
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