a hope that can be caught

There’s a reason hope  is described as an anchor in Hebrews 6.

We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain,
(Hebrews 6:19 ESV)

An anchor is unmovable – it’s what holds the ship in place when the waves are doing their darndest to toss it out to sea. The anchor is solid, stubborn weight digging deep into the sand and there’s nothing slippery about it.

If this is how the Bible describes hope – sure, steadfast, and stored in the deepest place within us – why do we treat it like such a slippery thing? Why does our culture insist that hope is elusive and uncertain and temperamental?

This article, The Urgency of Hope by Chris Castaldo over at The Gospel Coalition captures this dreadful misunderstanding. He writes about the alarming suicide rates around the world and what we offer as substitutes for true Hope,

The great English journalist and satirist Malcolm Muggeridge, reflecting on forms of despair in the 20th century—particularly among proponents of Stalin in Russia and Western nihilists devoted to materialism and abortion—said modern man has a “suicidal impulse,” a type of self-hatred. This impulse has spawned a bewildering number of proposals to cure, or at least curb, the problem. Unfortunately, varied as they are, these remedies share a common thread: their ingenuity and power are limited to human resources.

We’ve replaced the anchor of hope with something like the Claw arcade game. The child stands and stares for several minutes with growing excitement – imagining the plush toy that could be hers in a few moments. Then, she puts two quarters in the machine and moves the joystick around  tentatively, preparing to make a move. She starts to breathe faster as she decides to go for the pink teddy bear. With one last shaky breath, she pushes the read button and watches speechless as the metal claw descends on the mound of stuffed treasures. The claw grabs the pink teddy’s right ear and her premature delight comes out in a squeal… quickly silenced by shock as the pink teddy wiggles out of the metal grasp to land in the pile once again.

Nothing about the child’s hope to walk away with the plush, pink teddy is certain.

This kind of hope is slippery. We spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to hold on tight enough to keep it around for another day.

This kind of Hope is nothing like an anchor. The next verse from Hebrews 6 reads like this:

where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.
(Hebrews 6:20 ESV)

There’s no speculation – nothing slippery or elusive about what Jesus did on the cross. Our HOPE is anchored in Christ’s definitive work on the cross. He went before as a forerunner on our behalf  – He walked right into the punishment we deserved, suffered in our place, and then sat down because the work is finished. Our Hope is seated, like an anchor, at the right hand of the Father because He is so sure that our future is secure in light of His sacrifice.

No other message of hope will steady a boat amidst the waves.
No other message will do. 

If it’s hope you are looking for, don’t look to a politician or a parent or a partner unless you want to anchor your ship with another ship being tossed about. Don’t reach for a medication or a work promotion or a new burst of self-esteem unless you are confident your ship can survive the strongest storm sailing solo.

If it’s hope you are looking for, you will only find it in Jesus – seated like an anchor next to the Father without even the slightest chance of movement.

If it’s HOPE you are looking for, reach for the one that can be caught.

let LOVE fly like cRaZy

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