Guest Post written by Bev Chaffin
On the night of January 29, 2016 around twenty-five men converged on the Radford Baptist campus to pray. We read and prayed through several passages of scripture. We also took a block of time to pray for about eight individuals in our church body who were facing trials of various kinds. Their pictures were posted in different stations with a brief description of their difficulties. We individually took time at each station to pray for that person, sign a card, and include a personal message. When I came to April, the familiar word anchor came to mind. I started to think about what an anchor was. Two thoughts came to mind.
Depending on your perspective, an anchor can have two variations in its purpose. It can have a positive or a negative connotation. If I am in a boat race dropping anchor would not be a good idea. It would either severely hinder or stop my progress all together.
But, if I were moored in a harbor an anchor would hold the vessel in place to keep it from drifting away or running aground. As I considered this I thought of how our circumstances can be viewed in the same way. We can either see them through the negative lens of hindrance or the positive lens of securing.
We’re all familiar with the phrase, “Everything happens for a reason.” But do you know where this phrase originated? The Bible states:
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
This is a very comforting verse but it is often looked at out of context. It doesn’t say all things are good, but that all things work together for good. This verse comes out of an amazing chapter which talks about the sufferings we must endure in this life because of sin. The world is marred by the effects of our wrong choices.
“For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.” (Romans 8:22-23)
If we stop there we can take on the negative perspective of being held down. Oh but wait! Let’s back up. The chapter starts by saying:
“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.“ (Romans 8:1-4)
The passage continues:
“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” (Romans 8:18)
“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)
Amen!!! Therein lies the positive perspective that we are secured to the only anchor that can keep us from being shipwrecked no matter what storm may come our way.
Great news, but you may still be asking, “Why would this good God let us even be subjected to these trials?” That is something we individually need to press into God about. It could be that he drops anchor when he sees us drifting into danger.
“My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.” (Hebrews 12:5-6).
Perhaps God is mooring us close to his side to keep us from depending on anything lesser than him.
“He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul.” (Psalm 23:2-3).
Keeping us near to his side, the place we find refuge and satisfaction, is the most loving thing he could do. In both of these situations the anchor is tied with the tethers of love.
So, child of God, the next time you start to wonder, “Why?” ask your Heavenly Father what he is trying to teach you, and thank him that He cares enough not to let you drift away. Jesus spoke:
“Satan demanded to have you that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” (Luke 22:31-32)
“So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.”(Hebrews 6:17-20).
Keeping us near to his side, the place we find refuge and satisfaction. Our anchor is tied with the tethers of love.
Written by Bev Chaffin
Photos courtesy of Pixabay.com