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Our Hope and Our Rope

During worship at our church, I recently had a vision of an anchor. Immediately what came to mind was “hope” because of Hebrews 6:19 which reads “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain” (NIV) -or as the New Living Translation puts it, “This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary”. I saw the ship trying to sail, but the anchor was dragging, holding it back. The Lord impressed on me the first few words of that scripture: “We have this hope”. We possess our hope. That means that it is ours to do with what we choose. Returning to the ship vision, the Lord reminded me that when our hope is deployed in the wrong place, we hold ourselves back. We are held back from deeper waters, held back from our next port, or held back in our intended pace.

 

The first verse in that same chapter of Hebrews confirms this by opening with “Let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity”. In other words, “Let’s move to deeper water”. The Lord is inviting us deeper! And our response to that call involves our hope.

 

The Lord uses the image of an anchor to describe hope, and He never does anything by accident. Anchors have weight. The root of terms like “I’m weighing these options” is a distant thing in this era of credit cards and paper money, but in Biblical times, if something was paid for with gold or silver, it had to be weighed. To weigh something meant to ascertain its authenticity. The reason currency was weighed was because other materials could appear like gold or precious metals, but a fake could be told because it wouldn’t have the correct weight.

 

In our culture “I hope so” carries far less weight than “I know so”. The world tends to give knowledge precedence over hope, but if we “weigh” our knowledge versus hope in the Lord, hope is always meant to be more weighty. As a result of this backward trend, our hope tends to be “leaned on” less than our mental number crunching. That passage from Hebrews chapter 6 talks about our hope being “firm and secure”. Those words mean to be able to carry weight or a sure place to put our footing. Our hope in the Lord is not only safe to “lean on”, it’s safe to stand on, walk out on to, and put our full self into.

 

We most commonly think of anchors in the “down” position- something that holds a ship in place because the anchor has been sunk, but a ship has an anchor in order to be movable and directable. When our hope is in the Lord, we are operating like a ship with an anchor. When He says go, we can move without dragging. We don’t get stuck in our ways. When He says stop, we can be steadfast and immovable. We are not “tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheminga sign of spiritual immaturity. Like the Israelites on the way to the promised land who followed the pillar of fire by night and pillar of cloud by day, our every move can be directed by the Lord when our hope is placed fully and securely in Him. So what does it look like to place our hope in the Lord?

 

If you were to look up the Hebrew word for “hope” in Strong’s concordance, it’s “tiqvah” which is rooted in the word “qavah”. This word is a picture of twisting together and stretching like a rope. It means “to wait for, to endure, to gather”. In the past, I would think of hope as a fixed point or thing in the future. This picture of hope, however, shows hope as the entire journey. We fully possess the hope of Jesus and all the good news He communicated as the embodied Word of God and all that continues to be spoken to us by our Reminder, the Holy Spirit. We also are in the process of discovering its fullness as we know more and more of the Lord and all He’s done for us and planned for us. Each confirmation, each teaching, each testimony along the way is another thread twisted into our “rope” connecting us to our hope anchor. All of a sudden, with this view, our in-between time, our waiting, or our adverse circumstances all take on new meaning. When we spend our journey looking for the “threads” that continue to confirm and strengthen our ties to God’s promises, it becomes a joyful hunt. The process of endurance and persistence in faith becomes a tether.

 

 I also marveled at how- to be useful- anchors have to be tethered by something like a chain or rope. Not having an anchor tethered doesn’t negate its existence in the same way that our disconnection or unawareness of the hope God has for us doesn’t negate its existence. Just like an anchor, however, an untethered hope can be lost sight of under the waves. In Hebrews 6 it mentions that hope enters with Christ beyond the veil. The things the Lord has spoken over us (the “Word of God, the gospel of Jesus, His plans for our life) are real things in the heavenly realm. Just like the anchor below the waves, there are times on our journey when our hope is just not yet seen. Not yet seen, however, is a far cry from not yet real.

 

            My prayer today is that the Lord would fill you with hope. Wherever we are on our journey, let’s check in with the Lord. Take these questions to Him in prayer and see what refreshing, healing, or renewal He has for your hope today.


1.     God where have I put my hope? What am I putting the most “weight” in?” If there is something keeping me from putting that full hope in You, would You show me, Lord?

2.     God, what specific hopes from your Words do you want to remind me of?

3.     Father, give me eyes to see the little “threads” of confirmation that can anchor me to the realness of all you’ve spoken over me and keep me unshakable.

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Thank you, Sara. This was enlightening and encouraging. I can visualize my hope in Jesus and through the journey of that hope.

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