Gospel Daily Devotional
Hope: Our Invisible Anchor
Day 3 – Faith, Hope, and Love
I. START WITH PRAYER AND THEN READ…
“We remember before our God and Father . . . your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ” — 1 Thessalonians 1:3
READ: Hebrews 6:1, 10–20
The hope of Christ is not something like, “Oh, I hope I win that free trip to Disneyland”. The Greek word for hope means “a joyful and confident expectation,” not a wish or a dream. The hope of Christ is an expectant hope. We don’t wish Christ would bring us peace, joy, love, contentment, and eternal life, we know He will. And because we know He will, we have hope in the future.
Jesus has made many promises to us, including that He will deliver us. He promised that if we have faith in Him, we will be with Him someday forever. He loves us and is trustworthy, so we can have expectant hope that allows us to rest assured of a promise that is coming.
II. DIGGING DEEPER
The writer of Hebrews encourages his readers to have endurance, to be diligent to the very end. This New Testament book tells us that we can do this because we hope in what has been promised by God (Hebrews 6:10–11). Those who have faith wait with confidence in what has been promised, with and expectant hope. We know the promise will be fulfilled; it’s just a matter of time.
We can have confidence in His promises because “it is impossible for God to lie” (Hebrews 6:18). Ours hope in the future promise of salvation is what encourages us in the difficulties of this life and gives us the strength to endure (Hebrews 6:19–20). When life gets hard, the days seem bleak and we aren’t sure if things will ever get better, we can have hope. There is a God, there is a plan, there is a purpose for all that is happening. Most importantly, there is a joyful ending. No matter what happens here on this earth, our hope is in heaven—that glorious inheritance that will never perish, spoil, or fade (1 Peter 1:4). Our hope is not in the things of this world but in Christ (1 Corinthians 15:12–19).
The writer of Hebrews calls this hope “an anchor for our souls.” This is what keeps our faith firm in every doubt and storm. As the words to the old hymn say, “When darkness seems to hide His face, I rest on His unchanging grace. In every high and stormy gale, my anchor holds within the veil.” In ancient times, the anchor was regarded as a symbol of safety, and Christians adopted it as a symbol of hope in God’s promise of a future kingdom of safety and peace.
When you think about an anchor, don’t confuse the anchor itself that keeps the ship still and safe. It is what the ship is anchored upon. The anchor is just the go-between. For the anchor to work, it has to attach to a large rock, foundation, or seabed. An anchor just drifting through the water doesn’t do anything. In the same way, it is not our hope that keeps us firm, still, and at peace. It is what—or Who—we put our hope in.
Hope only works if we are hoping in the solid rock of Jesus.
III. APPLYING IT TO LIFE
What we put our hope in matters. Paul told Timothy to instruct “those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment” (1 Timothy 6:17). Putting your hope in riches is a wishful-thinking kind of hope. Not only should you not trust in riches, you cannot trust in riches. You can lose it all in the blink of the stock market ticker. Money itself is not bad, but you can’t put your hope in it. Like everything else in this world, it is fleeting, temporary. It will not last into eternity. But putting your hope in Jesus is expectant hope. It’s secure. The only firm and secure hope is Jesus, the Rock to which we hook our anchor.
The anchor is a small piece of metal—much, much smaller than the ship it holds. But it can hold a ship because it is lodged securely into the rocks at the bottom of the sea. Jesus isn’t the anchor. He is the rock. The anchor is our hope. Our hope is a small thing, a somewhat fragile thing. But if it is lodged firmly in the Rock, it can hold us steady through any storm.
REFLECTION QUESTION: Be honest in reflecting on your own life. What things, other than God, have you been putting your hope in?
REFLECTION QUESTION: How does it make you feel to hear that our hope is not in this world but in heaven?
REFLECTION QUESTION: How can putting our hope in Christ and His promises help us endure to the end, no matter what happens?
IV. SPIRITUAL PRACTICE: WORD SEARCH BIBLE STUDY
When we feel like the world is falling apart all around us, and the things we have put our hope in have failed us, we have to turn to Scripture to find real hope. One of the best ways to do that is to immerse ourselves in what the Bible has to say about the hope we have in heaven and the spiritual promises of love, peace, and abundant life God gives us for this life.
Using an online concordance or search, find passages about hope, heaven, and our inheritance. Search for “spiritual riches” or “spiritual blessings.” Search for fruits of the Spirit—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Look up what Jesus says about “abundant life” in John 10:10 and see if there are cross references to any other passages (pro tip: New American Standard Bible has the best cross-references). Pray for the Spirit to guide your study and let the cross-references lead you into a deeper, richer understanding of the hope we have in Christ. Look at what the Bible has to say throughout the whole witness of Scripture, Genesis to Revelation, and pray for God to fill you with hope.