Hope as an Anchor
By Gary Piper of Fort Gratiot, MI, USA
Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord. Lord, hear my voice! Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications! If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities, Lord, who could stand?
But there is forgiveness with you, so that you may be revered. I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in God’s word I hope. —Psalm 130:1–5 NRSV, adapted
Hope is the groundwork for the future. Hope is the invisible substance of God. Hope is the active ingredient of God’s promises, which, though unfilled, stand as an ensign to the present, future, and beyond. Hope is spelled out for us in Genesis 17:7: “I will establish my covenant between me and you, and your offspring after you throughout their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you.”
Misguided hope is perhaps the most dangerous and deadly of hope’s detractors. It can swell inside us when what we see tries to overshadow God. Despite our belief in God’s constant presence, when we find ourselves facing impossible tasks, misguided hope blinds us to the task of fulfilling of God’s promises.
God’s word is an anchor for hope. An anchor is only as good as the ground holding it. Anchoring ourselves to the misguided hope that we are responsible for doing the impossible is like expecting a ten-pound anchor in sand to steady an aircraft carrier in gale-force winds.
Jesus endured everything humankind threw at him. And yet he remained faithful to his calling and role as God’s Son and our Savior. The anchor of our hope is the undeniable fact that God not only reached behind the curtain and tore it to shreds but also reached behind the rock and breathed new life into a dead Jesus.
Besides experiencing hope as an anchor we also experience it as the breath that gave Jesus new life—the breath of hope God breathes into each of us.
Prayer for Peace
Faithful God, even on our soul’s darkest night, we have hope in the coming dawn. When we cannot see the sun, we see its reflection in the moon. When we cannot see your Son, we see one another, reflecting your love and grace. When we see only war, we hope for the peace you have promised.
Spiritual Practice: Rejoice in Hope
Close your mind to troubling thoughts from the past by placing them in God’s generous hands and letting them go. Let God speak to your fearful heart. Think of your hope for the future—open windows in your mind through which you can see compassionate actions. Reflect on the saving hope of the life of Christ. What is your part in the reason for that hope? Rejoice in the Hope of the world.
Today, God, I see your creation and know you are here. I read your words and know there is hope.