I wanted to ask my question because it follows the logic and the need to verify. I wondered what do others identify as the reason for their personal ‘soundness’? What anchors you in your life? Should anchors be fluid? Or does fluidity change the effectiveness of an anchor?
Great question @cer7! What anchors my faith is moments of personal revelation of God’s work, love and grace in my life that align with the character of God as revealed in the Bible. Any reasoning that violates this character of God is what changes the effectiveness of my trust. My perception of the anchor is what alters the personal ‘soundness’. I don’t believe anchors can be fluid, only our perceptions are.
I am with @Lakshmismehta. It is moments of personal revelation along with truth that anchors me. An anchor is not fluid, it is described in the dictionary as “restricting the motion of a vessel.” Restricting the motion so the vessel does not “wander off course.” We are the vessels, God is the Anchor.
My mind races in so many different directions. I have a difficult time focusing. Some days are worse than others and I find myself asking God, where are You? I need You.
Yesterday was a good example. I am in the process of finding a new chruch home. I woke up and decided I was going to go whether anyone went with me or not. I got ready, got in my car and started driving. I had a particular church in mind that I had visited before but ended up going in a different direction. I wanted a church that was closer to my home.
I ended up at a small Methodist church. I had never been to a Methodist church but the worship service was just about to start so I pulled into the parking lot. I was by myself and I was so nervous. I sat in my car thinking, “maybe I will just go back home and study.” I know it seems trivial and silly but I was really nervous.
I pulled out a pen and piece of paper and stared writing out my feelings in prayer.
“Lord, I am so nervous, I am weary in my soul and I feel so alone. I am here in front of this little church and I’m afraid to go in by myself. Why am I here?”
I looked at my phone to see what time it was and then clicked on my daily devotional. A portion of the devotional read: " I want you to know how safe and secure you are in My Presence. That is a fact, totally independent of your feelings. When you forget that I am with you, you may experince lonliness or fear. It is through awareness of My Presence that Peace displaces negative feelings. Practice the discipline of walking consciously with Me through each day."
I started smiling and crying at the same time. I didn’t feel alone anymore.
Coincidence? Some may say it was but I don’t believe that when it concerns our relationship with God. Our Lord is so personal, loving, and kind. When you seek to do what is right, He is there with you.
That moment of personal revelation gave me the courage I needed to get out of my car and go in. Everyone was so kind and welcoming and the service was good.
“Safe and secure in my Presence…Anchored.”
Hello @cer7 I really appreciate your question. I also really appreciated the replies that were shared.
There is a sermon that Ravi Zacharias gave that has been helpful to me. The title of it is Having a Triple Strength to your life.
He talks about a triple strength that can be found in community. Faith, hope and love. I Corinthians 13:13.
Also a triple strength in our own lives from 2 Timothy 4. Paul tells Timothy to bring him his cloak, his books but especially the parchments. Care for your body physically. Care for your mind through reading good books. Care for your soul through Scripture, where truth can be found and guidance for how we are to live.
These things have been helpful to me to build “soundness” of life and anchor me through the storms that come.
Then we trust Him with the rest. As Ravi says there is the Grand Weaver in the shadows, weaving his pattern for our lives. As we live in obedience to His Word, He creates that beautiful picture of our lives that He has in His mind for us.
Not sure if that is an answer to your question or not.
A short passage that may be of encouragement (it is to me!) is Hebrews 6:16-20, in particular verse 19. It speaks of exactly what we have put our trust (faith or belief) as Christians.
In Ephesians 2:8-9; the famous passage about faith in response to God’s gift of grace, this is the anchor in which we rest.
Verse 19 is so rich, and it speaks of when Jesus was crucified and said ‘It is finished’; the temple veil/curtain that separated the Most Holy Place from the Holy place; was ripped from top to bottom (from the top showing that it was God who ripped it), opening the way for direct access to Him through Jesus Christ. It showed the need for the temple sacrifice system has finished, and Jesus is now our High Priest who is now at the right hand of God and intercedes for us.
16 People swear by someone greater than themselves, and the oath confirms what is said and puts an end to all argument. 17 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. 18 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 set before us may be greatly encouraged. 19 We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain (or translated veil in the NKJV), 20 where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.
@Lakshmismehta, @sig, @Kevin_Hurst, and @matthew.western. Thank you so much for the joy and warmth of each answer. I am surprised at how much I needed to hear such reassuring words. I can only be happy for each of you.
What seems to drive my inquiry, at this time, are the many ways people survive grief or disappointments. It seems contradictory when I hear statements like; “family is everything.” Or “I can’t imagine life without someone or something.” “My children are my life.” Or even, “don’t talk to me until I have had my coffee then I am normal.”
I wondered are we really anchored when life elicits such declarations. Or when we struggle with excess in our living. How grounded are we if our temporal flesh is such a challenge to wholesome living? How grounded are we if even life in Heaven is viewed as only a continuation of life here on earth. Which by its very nature is temporary. I think having lost someone to suicide this year and having the Lord whisper to me about lack of balance in my own living makes me question the soundness of my own anchoring.
I think I am receiving a healthy saturation of the Word that says, “wherever your treasure may be, there will your heart be.” Matthew 6:21. Thank you for the reminder to anchor myself in the eternal. That will surely help resolve the grief of the temporal.
Wow, I am so sorry for your season of grief. That is a tough one. I have been observing extreme grief in my sister who lost her only child 9/4/15 at age 26.
It can be a dark place where our adversary loves to torment us and shake our faith.
I did ponder your question further about “fluidity.” I pondered that although an anchor in and of itself is not fluid, the vessel it resides in is. The vessel can be “tossed about” and thrown off course by storms but the anchor is still there.
Certainly losing someone to suicide or any other way can almost shipwreck a vessel. But you still have that anchor you trust in. And that Anchor (aka God) will always be available to steady you for moments of reprieve.
Bless your heart again, I am so sorry and I will pray for you.
Thank you @sig the pray is always a welcomed friend and staple. Please remember the immediate family as questions concerning Heaven and hell have began to circulate and offer challange to the love of the younger siblings.
I am trusting GOD even when tears come unbidden. I will trust the heart of GOD who remains intimately involved in the lives and future of us all. I will trust GOD despite my limitations.
I will remember your sister in prayer as well. Sometimes life here feels more real and substantive than it actually is. I can understand how easy it is to be locked in a place of pain. Recycling through emotions that give longevity to despair. And cloaks the temporal in a false sense of eternal.
Thank GOD that even the grief of His people is different and walks hand in hand with hope.
@cer7, so sorry dear sister about all that you are having to endure. Praise God for your confession of trust. Your anchor is strong! It’s okay to hurt. Jesus weeps with you. I am with you in feeling fluid about my anchor. Its comforting to remember that it’s not about our abilities but about His ability to take us through. Praying for continued strength in the Lord.
My hope is that you find comfort in the one who knows you and your grief. He heals the brokenhearted. He bandages their wounds. Psalm 147:3
As painful as life can be, I do find that when we have a shaking of our faith, it puts things into perspective. In Matthew 13, Jesus gives the parable of the shower. I think His answer is what you are seeking when it comes to your question:
18 “Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: 19 When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path. 20 The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. 21 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 22 The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. 23 But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”
It’s a condition of your heart.
Seek Jesus for comfort and healing, only He can give this to you. That “shaking” reveals our heart to us and what area in our life we need Him to work on the most. When we ask God to restore us, He guides and brings healing.
Do you remember the story of Job? I once found that professional pottery makers produce their best work by using broken pieces of old clay, shattering them into dust and applying that into the new clay. It not only made a stronger vessel, but was also able to go into hotter fires, which produces durability and shine. Job used potsherd pieces to scrape his sounds and “remove” the puss, which was causing him pain. This brought relief to his pain. Allow God to use this shattered dust in your life and bring healing with His new clay. He will mold you into a stronger vessel. Yes, it is painful, but pain is one of God’s specialities. I hope this helps you.
Thank you for such words of comfort. I agree that in our brokeness GOD builds and grows us beyond the place we stand or started. I am glad for such brokenness. I am comforted that within the brokenness that GOD is molding, building, and equiping with strengths unknown before. The tears, the grief, the longing are well worth the experience because the product from these experiences are huge and sustaining. Only GOD can make pain a good and wonderous thing.
I feel great sadness when I hear that someone committed suicide, because I know something of the pain and confusion they must have been experiencing when they did it. You see, I attempted suicide several times in my younger years, most of them while I was a Christian. Thankfully, God saw my confusion and pain, and saved me from myself.
I don’t believe suicide is the mortal sin that some religions teach. God created human beings with an extremely strong instinct for self preservation, and when someone kills him or herself, they’re going against that powerful instinct, so they’re not rational. They’re not able to respond appropriately to reject the temptation to harm themself. So I don’t think committing suicide is what will send someone to hell. What that person has done with God’s free gift salvation in Jesus Christ is what sends someone to hell. I hope that helps.
When you talk about what anchors someone, it’s probably different things for different people. For me it’s Jesus and His Word.
It says in Matthew 7,
24 Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. 25 Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. ~ Matthew 7:24-25.
I’ve learned that God is faithful, more faithful than any human could ever be, and His Word true. In fact it’s the Truth, and it can be relied upon, because God said it, and He cannot lie, and He is so good! And He loves me so much!
I think I’ll stop now…
Thank you for your post - I have been encouraged by the responses and also want to express my prayers for all in this time of loss and grief. There are some very good resources that have helped me in that process, CS Lewis, A Grief Observed and Problem of Pain, Gerald Sittser’s A Grace Disguised and most recently Hope in the Dark by Craig Groeshel. I would recommend those in reverse order for those who have more questions than foundation.
I love your question as sailing is something I very much enjoy. The purpose of the anchor is to keep us away from danger, both visible (shore) and invisible (shallows). My initial thought to your question of what anchors me, is Christ. The Holy Spirit is the rode (rope) that connects the ship to the anchor and God is the ground below the water. That might help, it might not help. Actually, I don’t particularly like the metaphor because the type of anchor is different depending upon the purpose; the rode (rope) has variable design and the ocean floor can be sand or rock; and since God is unchanging, that doesn’t seem to hold water (pun intended). That’s a common problem with metaphors, they can breakdown fairly quickly.
But your question is so powerful. We need strong anchors when in the harbor or approaching dangers, and certainly in a time of grieving we need the resources that solid ground provides. In a time of healing, replenishment and repair, we need the resources that can sometimes only be provided while in the harbor. During those times, I have found that remembering the promises of God are a source of foundational security. In my journal, I have those recorded in the front pages (Jeremiah 31:3, John 10:28-29, Colossians 2:13, Hebrews 13:4) along with many that have special meaning during particular seasons (example: Ps 30:5) And, of course especially, Heb 6:19 “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” And many times I simply ask God, “God, do you love me?”. And keep repeating the question until I am satisfied that I hear from Him. And I find encouragement in 1 Cor 13:13 - Faith, Hope and Love. If the greatest of these is Love, our temporal distortion of loving those around us as “our life” will fade as the reality of their loss becomes apparent. Perhaps, in His kindness, this is the way we truly realize we were made for something more. I do not feel confident in my thoughts and words to predict the characteristics of that journey for others, perhaps it can only be shared by experience?
And as several have shared, we are vessels of God, and like ships, we aren’t made for the harbor. Just this year, God imparted the word “ballast” for me - moving from the protection of the harbor to the open sea requires a deep and solid ballast keeps the ship upright and able to withstand the strong winds. I share this to be an encouragement, that as you repair and restore while at rest, know that you are building a deeper ballast with which to withstand the winds that will come.
I pray you find healing in the journey as you embrace and discover that which He has ordained for you.
Blessings and Peace.
Thank you for the warmth of your words. I too walked the path of sucide in my teens. So I understand how the enemy cheats and lies to people about its powers of resolution. The prevailing thought from my own experience was “this is not what I had thought it would be.” GOD spared me from my own foolishness.
But as to the prevailing thoughts surrounding the sin of sucide I think for many of us, there is a logical conclusion to behavior we believe denies GOD the act of redemption. But to conclude either way is to delagate GOD’s ability to things we can touch, see, or consume. GOD has no such limitation. I am very careful to NOT decide what transpires between an indivdual and the Lord. I feel no need to decide whether a person finds Heaven or finds eternal punishment. That is strictly a GOD call. As a child raised in the Church we were taught to not make conclusions about end of life. Because GOD is just as effective between the “stirrup and the ground”, as He is in the saddle during a full gallop.
What I can speak too is the Love GOD has for me and for us all. I know how many times and places that Love has found me and saved me from myself. It is human vanity that would allow me to believe that I get to dictate what that means beyond the grave. I just know sucide robs me in my limited existence to invest in a life beyond the the physical barrier of the grave.
Long before we reach the grave we all practice sucidal behavior. We eat or sleep, think or act in ways we know are wrong or unhealthy. Yet we gamble that these missteps will not consume us before we can correct them. I see this every time I see obesity in my life, or illness born of consuming things I know are harmful to me. Without the guidance of the Lord, we instinctively lead sucidal existences. The ramifications are just more immediate in some actions than they are in other behaviors.
So, with you I will be sure, very, very sure that my anchor holds and grips that solid rock, JESUS!
I could only say after reading your post, amen, amen, and amen. How sweet it is too be Loved by GOD. Just thanking the Lord for the love and genorosity of the hearts of His People. You all are so amazing and it is so wonderful to read each testimony of Grace. I am truly encourage to run on and see what the end will be. Blessing GOD for the anchor of His Word and His People.