How to Anchor Ourselves In Life

Over my lifetime, I have various memories of being on water floating vessels of some kind. They all have been memorable, not necessarily because I enjoy being on water, but rather because it has always made me uneasy for the fear of sinking or drifting away. I have taken small boats to visit remote communities in Panama and have sailed the Caribbean in a cargo ferry overnight to reach unprivileged people in Blue Fields Nicaragua.  

The most memorable excursion though was a short trip we took in the Panama Canal through mangroves in a tandem Kayak with one of my students, Nikki. This meant to be a fun touristy activity after our missions’ work. However, this fun became a tad scary when we both flipped out of the kayak and were not able get back on it without flipping it multiple times. The rest of the crew had gone ahead, and Nikki and I were left behind praying for protection from crocodiles while trying to jump back in.   

In the middle of the mangrove forest, we were filled with hope with God’s promise of protection, but also hope came through wisdom for a better solution: swimming and pushing our kayak to a distant shore to anchor it so we could get back on, which we did. We thanked God He kept us safe while pushing through floating vegetation and were able to journey back. 

Finding an anchor to our kayak that day was not only comforting but gave us assurance and hope that we would not continue to drift away while flipping the kayak repeatedly.  

Though not a perfect metaphor, similarly, in this ever changing and dark world we live in, we need such an anchor for our soul to keep us grounded, keeping us from – drifting without direction, or sinking deep into despair. 

It is so easy to drift through life when we encounter trials. We may feel like an unanchored ship during the storm where we are carried away by the winds of fear, isolation, disbelief, persecution, disappointment, and temptations. This is as true when things are seemingly calmed, but if we are not anchored – we can also aimlessly drift away from the truth.  

So how do we anchor ourselves in life and where do we find it? 

We find our answer in Hebrews 6:17-20, which tells us that Christ, as our forerunner, is our steadfast hope, who firmly and securely anchors our soul, leading us into the presence of God.  

“Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath. God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.” 

What a great hope we have in Christ! A forerunner is someone who goes before us. In the ancient nautical world, a forerunner was the person in charge of a big ship’s main anchor who would take the anchor in a smaller boat to set it into a safe shore or harbor. This would secure the ship outside the harbor from swaying and drifting with the waves and winds. Jesus was the one who made a way for us to be saved, and safe from drifting away into darkness and give us great encouragement and hope in our soul.   

In the same manner, Jesus Himself is our ANCHOR for our soul (our mind, will and emotions) and we can experience His hope as we: 

A – Accept Jesus Christ as your only hope. 

Jesus has saved us and made us alive spiritually and redeeming us from sins. If you have yet to accept Christ and ask for forgiveness from your sins, you can do that at this moment. The ultimate hope comes from receiving forgiveness and eternal life through Jesus. As we do that, we have the assurance that we are called children of God.  

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead”  – 1 Peter 1:3 

N – Never put your hope on temporal and worldly things but hope in the unseen.  

There is nothing wrong in seeing your situation accurately and be honest about how you feel. However, we must not put our hope in our current situation, or even what the world offers as a solution. Rather we must linger on the truth that God is unchanging and He will be faithful to you and His mercies are new every morning, which always brings an assurance of hope. 

“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” 2 Corinthians 4:18 

“In this hope we were saved. But hope that is seenis no hope at all. Who hopes what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not have, we wait for it patiently” Romans 8:24-25 

C – Claim God’s promises for your life and hold on to what God says.  

To have a hopeful outlook is possible when we shift our perspective on how God sees things, and His promises, rather than on the storm we might be facing.  As you meditate on God’s promises found in His unchanging Word you and your attitude will be grounded. “It is impossible for God to lie” (Hebrews 6) 

When you think – “I’ve lost hope” 

God says- “Hold on to My hope” (Psalms 62:5) 

When you think – “It is impossible” 

God says – “All things are possible with Me” (Luke 18:27) 

When you think – “I cannot do it”  

God says – “you can all do all things through Christ” (Philippians 4:13) 

When you think – “nothing good can come out of this” 

God says – “I know how to bring good out of this” (Romans 8:28) 

When you think – “I can’t meet all my needs” 

God says – “I can meet all your needs” (Philippians 4:19_

H – Hope in God and His power 

We are called to hope. Hope is not wishful thinking, or imagining things. We can put our hope and trust in the character of God, and His love for us. Pray, rely on Him and expect His perfect will and timing to see His promise come through. 

“Why are you downcast. O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put our hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Saviour and my God” (Psalm 42:5) 

O – Offer to others God’s love and hope 

When you feel hopeless, and in despair, step out from being self-focused to other focused. Give the encouragement and help that you want to receive. This will shift your attitude and start putting God’s love into action being outwardly focused. You fill find yourself being filled by God with hope so you can give it to others. 

“I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong— that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.” Romans 1:11-12 

R – reach out to God and others  

Our Lord Jesus is acquainted with your sorrows and wants you to share your heart with Him. As you do, He will be close and bring healing to any despair and discouragement. In the same manner it is healthy to reach out and share your situation with a trusted and Christian friend.  

“The Lords is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in Spirit” (Psalm 34:18) 

“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2) 

No matter what storms of life you might be going through, or feel like you cannot “get back on your kayak”,  you can always have an assurance of His hope if you have Jesus as your anchor and put into action some of the steps above by faith.