Anchored in Christ

“And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.”- Hebrews 11:6

 

Nearly 12 years ago, Samantha and I said, “I do,” and raced off to our honeymoon on the beautiful beaches of Hawaii. Since we believed that this could be a once in a lifetime experience for both of us, we decided to do every excursion and tourist attraction that we could possibly afford.

 

After experiencing a luau, helicopter ride, beautiful beaches, and much more, we decided to try out a catamaran tour we read about in the pamphlet we found in our hotel room. We looked forward to our journey on the north side of the island where we could see dolphins and whales up close in the ocean. Soon enough, we found ourselves living the dream.

 

It was beautiful. We saw dolphins jump in and out of the water. We were able to see the spray of a whale out off in the distance. But it wasn’t long before the choppy waves on the north shore caught up to us. Samantha and I turned 50 shades of green and we desperately needed something to anchor us in place. We really wanted solid ground.

 

An anchor is a person or thing that provides stability or confidence in an otherwise uncertain situation. The tossing of the boat made us sick that day several years ago. Today, we all experience things in life that can get us even more stirred up. Whether it is uncertainty in your finances, difficulty in a relationship, or changes in your life in the home, at work or at church, it doesn’t take much for an upset to occur. Is there a person or thing that can provide stability or confidence in our otherwise uncertain situations that we might face this day, week, month or year?

 

The answer to that question is, “yes!” There is an anchor for the soul to give us peace in the turbulence of life, and that is the person Jesus Christ (Heb. 6:19). At the heart of the Christian life is trusting the love of God that is demonstrated through the redemptive work of Jesus Christ.

 

Jesus Christ is the preeminent expression of God’s love to us. We must accept the love of God by receiving the blood of Jesus as our sacrifice and payment for sin. It also means that we find our acceptance and worth in life in the place of God’s love. Trusting God’s love is the highest priority in the Christian life.

 

In other words, we must have faith. Without faith, it is impossible to please God. Faith, this abiding trust in God, is the essential and non-negotiable requirement to having favor with God. At the heart of faith is believing that God wants to bestow favor on you despite your sin and brokenness. That can be hard to swallow when we carry such an enormous amount of guilt and shame before Him, but that is exactly what faith means for our life. Faith is the act of going to God because we are certain that we have been set free from sin by the blood of Jesus, and we are no longer captive to sin.

 

Faith is motivated by the promise of reward. Our greatest reward is Christ, but He promises us that he will supply all our needs according to His riches in glory (Philippians 4:19). In fact, one of the emotional and intellectual obstacles that must be overcome in our hearts before we are ever willing to detach the anchors of our souls from idols and onto Christ is that His reward and promise is much greater than what we are offered by our idols. The motive to anchoring on to Christ is the promise of His rewards.

 

That might not sound right, but that is what His word teaches us in Hebrews 11:6. Not only is this theologically true, but it is also true when applied to life. The only way that we will overcome our addictions and idols in life is when we believe that the promise of what Christ offers has a much greater reward than what the promises of pornography, alcohol, destructive anger, legalism, materialism and idol after idol offers.

 

Part of the vision statement of our church states, “…in Christ, we pursue a better way to live.” In other words, our vision is to be a gathering of believers who increasingly detach our soul ships from anchors of idols that don’t keep us stable and to attach ourselves to the anchor of Christ.

 

If your life is being rocked back and forth by troubles in this world and changes that are happening around you that are not within your control or approval, then I would encourage you to examine yourself. Test yourself and see whether you are in the faith (2 Cor. 13:5). See what you are trying to be anchored with.

 

For some of us, our anchor might be the comfort of a relationship that looks the way that we wish for it to look. It might be for church and the worship experience to be something different. It might be more money in the bank. It might be to have our job turn out a certain way. But what happens if these circumstances don’t turn out to our favor? They will disappoint and we will be like a catamaran drifting in choppy waters.

 

I pray that you and I will increasingly stay anchored to Christ, especially during uncertain times in life. Our idols offer a promise of comfort, security and hope. But they always disappoint. Jesus also offers comfort, security and hope, yet his promises never disappoint (Matt. 6:25; Josh. 1:5; Ps. 37:25; 2 Cor. 4:9). Which anchor will you trust? One that has abandoned you over and over again, or Christ who has demonstrated His love to you by laying down his life for you, even when you were still a sinner (Rom. 5:8)? As for me, I choose Christ. How about you?