“Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the veil.” -Hebrews 6:19
I encourage you to read the entire chapter of Hebrews six. Remember, Paul (the most highly considered author) is writing to the Christian Hebrews.To really get the import of this message, you have to understand the battle it took for many of them to make the transition from serving the law to walking in grace.To begin, let’s look at the first ten verses to put into perspective what this message is really talking about.
(1)Here Paul tells them there is a need to move on.The fundamental principles of the doctrine of Christ are foundational.These are supporting truths to a life of grace.Repentance is an elementary truth of trusting in God grace to change you and not the works of the law.Faith is also very elementary.You have to believe in God’s righteousness and not try to operate through the law to establish your own righteousness.Doctrine of baptisms – fundamentally different from offerings and sacrifices; also the resurrection from the dead and eternal judgment – each pointing to the reward of living by faith through grace. (2)Paul adds, “And this we will do if God permits”; meaning that we never want to leave these principles entirely, only after we have become well grounded in them. (3)Paul then goes on to say, “It is impossible to renew to repentance those who have become enlightened, tasted the heavenly gift, made partakers of the Holy Spirit, tasted the good word of God; and the powers of the world to come.”If you think with the mind of a Hebrew, you can very easily understand what Paul is saying.He is simply pointing out the futility of trying to go back to the law in order to obtain life once you have already experienced Christ and have been filled with the Holy Spirit.In other words, God has established a new covenant and to try and go back to the old covenant for renewal is meaningless.
(4)He adds, that just like the rain that comes down and waters the earth and brings forth blessing, so your life when it comes into agreement with the principles of the new covenant will be positioned to receive the blessing of God. (5)If you try and do it your way or go back to what has now passed away, you will find yourself without the rain of heaven, resulting in a dry, frustrated, and fruitless life.
(6)Though the warning was strong, Paul was still encouraged by the progress they had made. So he reminded them that his expectation was to see more out of their commitment.He also wanted to remind them that God had not forgotten their labor of love.
Everything you do in Christ’s name and for the saints will be rewarded.That is God’s promise! Paul then talks to them about maintaining diligence and confidence in their hope firm unto the end. There is a hope that we must maintain to reach to end of our faith. Just as those in the old covenant stood and believed God, even against very difficult odds, we must also make our stand.And to do that we need to add patience to our faith.That should explain how the promises of God come to pass.
Very seldom do things occur immediately.The path to seeing God’s promises fulfilled usually take time.Ecclesiastes said, “Cast your bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days” (Eccl. 11:1).
Everything about seedtime and harvest involves a season of waiting patiently. What keeps us patient is the fact that God has made a promise through his Word and he cannot lie.This is the truth that Paul lays out and it is vital we understand the principle behind it.
If we look back to the promise God made Abraham we can see very easily how this waiting period can be reinforced by our faith and patience.Number one, he said to Abraham “I will bless you.”Number two, he said “I will multiply you.”This is a covenant promise that is available to every one of us.We can believe that God will “bless us” and he will “multiply us.”
Blessing comes through adhering to the Word of God.If we live our lives in accordance to the Word, then the rain of heaven will fall on us.Secondly, if we follow after his Word, there will be an increase—a true multiplication of the life that is in his Word will begin to manifest in our lives.By these two immutable truths, (on which God cannot lie) we have a strong consolation that enables us to run for refuge to lay hold on this HOPE.And it is here we find that HOPE becomes the anchor of our soul.
There are basically two different kinds of hope.The first one is the BLESSED HOPE.This has to do with staying faithful to God throughout our entire life knowing that in the end there is a promise of eternal life.According to the Word of God, Jesus is the first-fruit of the resurrection.We have the promise that one day he will come to receive us to himself and we will be changed and fashioned like unto his glorious body.
But there is another kind of HOPE. I call it a SUSTAINING HOPE.It is the kind of hope that we function with when it come to receiving answers to our prayers; to seeing the promise of God fulfilled in our life; of reaching the end of what we believe is our destiny.This is the hope described here in Hebrews six, where Jesus entered into that which is beyond the veil as the forerunner.Because of his finished work we can put our Hope in Him.He sustains us from the right hand of the Father.You can see this line of truth even in the very next chapter where Paul calls him the surety of a better covenant.
But to really put this in perspective, we have an example in the life of Abraham.God gave him a promise that he would be the father of many nations.Abraham had to decide whether to believe the testimony of his body, which was now old and had a vivid history of being childless, or trust in the Word of God.The Bible says, he hoped against hope.In other words, he decided to hope in God’s promise against the hope of his natural body being unable to produce a child.This spiritual hope sustained him during that period of waiting for the promise to come to pass. And it was strong enough that he never waivered in his faith.
What is so important about having hope is that it creates life.Everything about life involves movement; it involves motion.If you’ll keep moving spiritually you’ll experience life.The moment you shut down or stop moving you will begin to move away from life.That’s why hope is so vital…it is sustainable.It keeps you moving toward your desire.
Oftentimes we hear the phrase when someone is negative, “Oh, they just don’t have any faith!”But when you look at Hebrews 11:1, it goes much deeper than that.Faith is a product of a deep abiding hope that refuses to be denied, and refuses to observe the circumstances. Hope is the real key to faith.If you lose hope, you lose vision; you lose that sense of expectancy that stimulates you to keep seeking after the things you believe to come to pass.
Any time you lose hope you suffer in three areas:
1)Objectivity.Objectivity is the ability to perceive something without the aid of your senses.You have to be able to oversee the scope of what it takes to reach your goal. That involves the seed being sown and then holding firm during the growing season, and not losing sight of it until ultimately you see the harvest.
2)Creativity.Creativity is where you receive your inspiration. It is how you find those hidden resources within your heart that compels you toward a goal even when the circumstances in life are saying otherwise.
3)Purpose.When you lose hope you lose your way.You become aimless.That’s what happens with folks who lose hope; they become narrow-minded and short-sighted.You have to be determined to be a purpose-driven, purpose-directed individual.That is what will keep the picture in front of you all the time showing you what you know is possible.
A group of students did a group study on behavioral characteristics with mice to see what the outcome would be in their reaction to being contained.They held the mice for an undetermined amount of time firmly in their hands not allowing them to squirm around.They fought it for some time and then eventually stopped moving.The students then released the mice into a tub of water and immediately the mice began to sink.
A second experiment was conducted, but this time they didn’t hold them so firm.They allowed them to squirm around but still maintained them in a forced confinement.Eventually they too quit squirming.As they released the mice into a tub of water they immediately began to swim to the rim.The conclusion of this test showed that when mice see the hopelessness of escaping they give up completely.The mice that swam to the rim never gave up, because they never lost hope!
This is the power you hold in your hand.You can never give up.You must maintain hope regardless of the circumstances. And when you do, something deep inside will keep you targeted toward victory…not defeat! David told us that he looked to the Lord as his shield and buckler.I’m sure in his day this was in reference to his protection against the armies that opposed him as King, and Israel as God’s people.But I think it also had to do with his personal heart and mind.The Word of God became a shield and buckler against the doubt and fears that try to rob him of his hope in God “Remember the word unto thy servant, upon which thou hast caused me to hope” (Psalm 119:49).I believe this is one reason why Paul called it an anchor of the soul.
So how do we build Hope?
1)Meditate in the promise of seeing Hope fulfilled.Find scriptures that show where individuals were faced with seemingly impossible odds and through persistence and faith they received the promise.[David, Joseph, Abraham, Bartimeaus].
2)Grow in your patience.That is what helps you possess your soul.If you become locked in your mind that you will stand forever, then you will never waiver with impatience.
3)Realize the integrity of God’s Word.It is the final authority.Nothing can usurp authority over the Word of God.Heaven and earth will pass away but the Word will endure forever.This is a reality that will change your life. God’s Word being unerring means that you can stand upon it forever and it will never change!You will change.Your circumstances will change, but God’s Word will never change.That is the power of hoping against hope!
"Where the winds of revival blow...healing rivers flow."