What is your hope anchored to? This past Sunday morning, guest speaker Mark Davis directed our attention to Romans 15:13 to consider real biblical hope. What really stood out to me, and what I want to focus on, is how our hope in God connects to our suffering.
If I may be so bold, as one who has tried to find hope in things other than God, I can confidently say that anything our world says will give you hope is a lie. Whatever pleasure you are told to indulge, or feeling you are encouraged to chase, will never satisfy. Whoever on this earth you are told to trust, be it another person or even yourself, cannot save you. Any object you value will eventually deteriorate. But God is everlasting (John 1:1-2).
If you have spent any significant time with our church family, you would know that many within our family have or are going through times of great hurt and sorrow. To be honest, I am also walking through my own season of sorrow, enduring circumstances I never thought I would face. I would like to say that I have perfectly anchored my hope to God through this time, but in my sinfulness I have looked to other “things” (tangible objects and intangible feelings) to sustain me. Praise God that, “if we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
Notice that nothing has been said about hardships going away. I would love to tell you that your suffering will end tomorrow, but I cannot. Though God certainly has the ability to end your hardship, our hope is not in our desire for changed circumstances but in our unchangeable God (James 1:17). Many of us will face hardships that last our entire lives, but those who hope in God know that their suffering will end when they stand before the Lord (1 Peter 1:3-12). I would strongly encourage you to look up the full lyrics to the song Christ the Sure and Steady Anchor, as the entire hymn beautifully captures the hope one has in Christ. I will conclude with the last stanza of the hymn, as it is an excellent reminder for us as those who strive to place their hope in God:
Christ the sure and steady Anchor
As we face the wave of death
When these trials give way to glory
As we draw our final breath
We will cross that great horizon
Clouds behind and life secure
And the calm will be the better
For the storms that we endure
© 2014 Getty Music Songs LLC.