The bitter Tennessee winds breeze across my front yard as I gaze out the window. I’m going to need a warm jacket and boots. As I walk across the yard, the frost-covered leaves crunch under my feet. After a handful of minutes, I begin to regret not wearing gloves seeing that my fingers are nearly too frozen to move.
This is not worth it. It’s too cold. I want to stay inside next to the burning fire where it’s safe and comfortable and easy.
Nevertheless, stepping into the icy January abiss is impossible to avoid. The cold, harsh winds and frosty roads must be faced.
Life has its way of bringing pain and injustice and poverty and lies and hurts when we’re least expecting it. When it’s the last thing we see coming. When it’s the last thing we want to come. When it seems unbearable and too much to handle.
It’s too cold. I want to stay warm and safe.
When we look life in the face, we oftentimes don’t see rainbows and blooming flowers. Perhaps more times than not, our windows are icy and frost-covered with more questions than answers. More insecurities than confidences. More doubts than assurances. More tears than laughter. More confusion than clarity.
What do we do? Where do we turn when life gets too icy, and we don’t want to step into the cold? When we don’t know how to step into the cold?
However icy and windy and unsure life may get, there is one truth we’re to be sure to always hold on to. That is the truth of Hope. The truth of the Person of Hope because Hope is, in fact, a Person. The person of Jesus not only offers hope; Jesus himself is Hope. When Jesus became flesh and came into this world, he came to bring life and light and love and hope to all of humanity. And how did he do this? He gave himself. He gave himself because he possesses all of these qualities both fully and perfectly. He gave himself because this was the only means to offer to us complete hope. In giving himself, he gives hope because he is Hope. When the winds are howling louder than all the other sounds in life, we can always whisper the truth under our breath that there is a sure and steadfast hope set before us as an anchor for the soul (Hebrews 6:18-19).
I have an anchor. I have Hope.
An anchor for the soul. How reassuring it is to know that Hope is always holding on. So we must always hold on to it. When the winds are out of control, the anchor of Hope holds secure. The anchor is still there. It is always there. Don’t let go of the anchor. There is always, always Hope because Hope does not fade away or die or disappoint because it has existed from the dawn of creation. And it will exist until the end of time.
“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.”
As I flip through the pages of the stories of the kings of old, I come across this little verse: But the LORD was gracious to them and had compassion on them, and he turned toward them, because of his covenant with Abraham, Issac, and Jacob, and would not destroy them… (2 Kings 13:23)
See, we have Hope because we serve a covenant-keeping God. His graciousness and compassion does not stem from our goodness because, unlike God, we are covenant-breakers. If it depended upon us, we would never have hope but would fail in that pursuit every time because there is nothing that we can possibly do in and of ourselves in order to earn or somehow gain Hope. So we are thankful that his mercy does not depend upon us but upon his covenant, his promises. And this is why we have a sure and steadfast anchor-type Hope. God is gracious and compassionate; that’s who he is. It’s part of his character. It is in this truth that we anchor our hope.
In all of Israel’s wanderings and failures, God never completely destroyed them. Why? Because of the prayers they prayed? Because of their sacrifices? Because God just liked them better than all the other nations? No. God didn’t destroy Israel because of the covenant he had made with Abraham, Issac, and Jacob. God gave Israel hope, not because they were good, but because he is good. He is Good, and he is our Hope. So we don’t put our hope in our own strivings or in the winds. We put all of our confidence in the covenant-keeping God of Hope. Because to all of our questions, he is the Answer. In all of our insecurities, he makes us confident. When we doubt, he is the Assurance our soul needs. He turns our tears to laughter in his good timing. And when confusion clouds our vision, he provides Clarity.
It’s too cold. I want to be warm. I want to be safe…Hope, Hope, Hope.
As we continue to trod down the icy roads covered with frosty leaves, we are able to boldly proclaim that the covenant-keeping Hope of Abraham is our anchor, our Hope.