This Living Hope Is an Anchor in Every Storm

As 2018 came to a close, the new year slipped into the night quietly for us. My husband and I weren’t shooting off fireworks or blowing horns. We didn’t even make it to midnight. Without any late night parties or fanfare, we gently released this year and opened our arms to the new.

This new year brings hope for answered prayer and demonstrations of God’s tendency to go beyond what we could think or imagine.

Back in 2015, shortly after Moody Publishers asked us to write Men Who Love Fierce Women, my husband, LeRoy, began having some odd physical issues. We spent two years on the medical merry-go-round of doctors, clinics, and tests, but we had no answers. In the summer of 2017, while I was speaking at The Gospel Coalition Atlantic Canada conference (more than 2,000 miles from home), LeRoy collapsed. Long story short, we flew to a hospital in Dallas, Texas, where he spent almost three weeks. We left that hospital in a bit of shock, while he struggled to walk with the assistance of forearm braces.

My husband was diagnosed with a rare neurological disease that attacked his spinal cord and left him partially paralyzed. Every morning he enters a new battle with pain. Every morning he fights for joy and for the opportunity to glorify God in this illness. But as we move into 2019, we’re moving in with hope, with a determination to not lose heart and an awareness that we are completely relying on God’s mercy and grace to meet each day’s great needs.

We know that if “hope” is based on our circumstances, then it’s a flimsy thing. It will waver like the wind, blowing here and there, and on days when winds of adversity hit, we’ll be knocked to our faces and ready to give up . . . on days when blessings come on the wings of cool breezes, we’ll say that “all is right in the world.” That is not solid hope. That is not the hope of gospel reality.

The Secure Hope

The hope of the gospel is not a “hope” for something that may come that you anticipate might happen or that you’re looking to as a possible outcome. Instead it’s the “living hope” that Jesus secured for us—our safety and assurance through every difficulty. Hebrews describes this hope as an anchor that has been tested through Jesus’ entrance in the holy of holies—where He paid our sin debt.

So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf (Heb. 6:17–20).

Reframe Your Thinking

If you will reframe your thinking and base your perspective (for today and for the future) on the work of the cross, your hope will become a certain confidence. Not a confidence in future events but a confidence and assurance in the person of Christ.

Jesus is the Lamb of God who laid down His life to deliver us from the mess we made and reverse the effects of the Fall. When we receive what He has done, we have the solid foundation of the living hope He secured for us. As we function in life and consistently walk in that hope, it shapes our reactions to adversity and our interactions with others. That living hope shapes us into living examples of His grace, filling the earth with His glory.

Take Time to Reflect

First Peter 1 gives a beautiful description of Jesus’ payment for us. Slowly read through these chunks of Scripture and pause to give thanks:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time (1 Peter 1:3–5).

Jesus set us free from bondage to the corruption produced by the Fall. Do you know that you’ve truly been set free because of His blood that was shed for you? Are you experiencing that “living hope”?

And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God (1 Peter 1:17–21).

Evaluate Whether You Are Experiencing That “Living Hope”

Today, I encourage you to evaluate your understanding of hope and find security in the living hope that is the anchor in every storm. Below are some questions you might find helpful in doing that:

  • Is your faith and hope in God?
  • Have you been rescued, redeemed, “born again to a living hope”?
  • How does the “living hope” of the gospel affect the way you respond to circumstances?
  • How does it affect your outlook on life in general?

About the Author

Kimberly Wagner

Kimberly Wagner

Kimberly Wagner is the author of Fierce Women: The Power of a Soft Warrior and is a frequent guest on Revive Our Hearts radio program, as well as a regular contributor to the blog. Kimberly's passion is Christ and she … read more …

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