Hebrews 6:17-19 (NLT) God also bound himself with an oath, so that those who received the promise could be perfectly sure that he would never change his mind. So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary.
I used to coupon quite a bit. Printing off discounts for the household items and food as I made a carefully detailed list to go grocery shopping each week. There are many websites now devoted to helping frugal moms like me make the most out of their weekly budget that I would also study each week to get more bang for my buck. At first, I practiced couponing out of necessity. As our household size decreased and resources increased, I stopped my faithful weekly ritual claiming this time for other endeavors. Instead, I have a shopping app that allows me to scan receipts into the system, it compares prices at the surrounding competitor’s locations, and then credits me the amount of discounts to use on my next shopping trip. I use it because it is convenient and easy. However, I do not save near the money that I did when pouring over ads, scanning the internet and printing coupons.
Couponing is great as long as you read the fine print on each one. What may seem to be a great deal at first quickly turns into an embarrassing situation when the cashier points out the details you missed due to a ridiculously tiny font. When redeeming a coupon, you must know what the restrictions are, is there an expiration date, and is there a limit on its use. All these factors save time and inconvenience when you are checking out. It is very disappointing to have your heart set on something only to discover it is out of reach on your way out.
God has made us a promise. He has made a covenant with us through His Son, Jesus Christ that we can one day exchange this life for eternal life. We call it hope. It is fully redeemable to those who hold on to it to the very end. God also made us an oath. At first, it is easy to assume that these two words, promise and oath, mean the same thing but they are slightly different. A promise is God’s expressed assurance on which our expectation is based. We expect Him to save us, heal us, deliver us and redeem us or maybe I should say, we can expect these things of Him. Whether we do or not is completely up to us. An oath is God’s fully affirmed promise that He has accepted these terms and is bound by Who He Is to make it happen. Why? There is no higher power to swear by than the Name of God. He is the Supreme Power in all the universe. God made us a promised and sealed it with His Name so that no other power can overturn it. We have been given confident hope that if we present ourselves to God with confident hope represented by a life of faith regarding this hope, He will keep his end of the bargain or contract.
A coupon is a contract with the vendor who sells the product to a store. We redeem our coupons at the store which equals a discount. In turn, the store sends the coupons to the distributor who reimburses them. What if we considered hope a binding contract? Would we be more willing to live by faith in the hope we have been assured of?
Hebrews 11:1 (NLT) Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see.
Hope is referred to in Hebrews 6 as the “anchor” of our soul. When an anchor is thrown overboard into the sea, it falls to the bottom. You cannot see the anchor yet it is still doing its job. It is connected to the vessel by a chain of many links. Faith is like that chain. It connects us to our hope. When a storm comes, the boat depends on the anchor to keep it safe. Though no one can see it, they know it is there because though it may rise and fall with each wave – the vessel is secure. Now if the chain is weak, it can break off releasing the boat to the mercy of the wind and waves. Or if the anchor is too short, it will not allow the boat room to move with the current and it may sink as the waves continue to crash into its bow or stern. We must have confidence in the anchor for our souls. It is called hope. Faith shows the reality of what we hope for and is evident in the way we live our life.
Psalm 119:57-64 (NLT) Lord, you are mine! I promise to obey your words! With all my heart I want your blessings. Be merciful as you promised. I pondered the direction of my life, and I turned to follow your laws. I will hurry, without delay, to obey your commands. Evil people try to drag me into sin, but I am firmly anchored to your instructions. I rise at midnight to thank you for your just regulations. I am a friend to anyone who fears you—anyone who obeys your commandments. O Lord, your unfailing love fills the earth; teach me your decrees.
The definition of hope is to look forward with desire and reasonable confidence. It is to believe, desires and trust. Is our hope in Jesus Christ reasonable? Is faith logical? Is trusting the Lord in all things considered sound judgment? Not according to the worldly standards, faith in God is a sign of weakness and a lack of rationale. However, God did not leave us to be ignorant. He warns us in Hosea 4:6 that a lack of knowledge can lead to our destruction. I believe the only way to have confident hope is to make faith logical.
God’s Word makes faith logical. It is a full explanation of God’s Plan, His Promise, and the Oath that He has made to His People. If we take the time to read, study and connect with God’s Word, the links in our chain called faith grow stronger and longer so that we are able to maintain our hope even in the great tempests of life.
I love how the psalmist begins, “Lord, you are mine!” Do you love the Lord today? Do you have faith in His Promises? Do you know what He has promised? Do you want His Blessings…with all your heart? Those who “believe, desire and trust” the Lord to keep His Promises will be “firmly anchored to your instructions”. I wouldn’t take a coupon to the store without first reading the fine print yet we give our entire life – body, mind and spirit – to Jesus without knowing what He has promised or will do. This makes faith illogical. Jesus Christ is the Word of God wrapped in flesh sent to share God’s Love with all mankind, (John 1:14) Think about it. How can we know Jesus and not know the Word? Not logical. Not reasonable. Not faith. No hope.
Romans 5:3-5 (NLT) We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.
I have a good friend who I used to work with that during our lunch break we would look at coupons and weekly ads on line during our lunch break. As we would share our discoveries back and forth, she would tell me about a coupon for something that I had never bought before or even tried. When I told her so, she would begin to convince me of all the reasons why I should try this certain item. If it was food, she would go on and on about how delicious it was. If it was a cleaning product, how useful and effectively it cleaned her stubborn messes. Whatever the case may be, she would convince me by her experience. How can I share faith and hope to anyone else if I am not convinced?
Hope will not lead to disappointment. This promise is pretty huge when one considers how many times disappointment appears in a single day. You order a pizza and it never shows up. Leaving for work, your tire is flat. Walk in the door, the kids are fighting and there is an unexpected bill in the mail. You lay down exhausted ready for sleep and suddenly you are wide awake. Life is full of problems, trials and troubles. If you read the news, watch television or surf the internet, the state of affairs is quite grim not just for America but all around the world. Christians are targeted for their faith in God and confident hope expressed in life. In some countries, even tortured and killed because they profess to love the Lord. Forget all the four-letter words thought to be profane, just try mentioning the five-letter word, J-E-S-U-S and see what outrage it sparks. We are living in the end times. The boat of life is definitely rocking. How is your anchor today? Is your faith keeping you secure? Can we really rejoice in the midst of such uncertainty? Yes, we can!
Romans 15:13 (NLT) I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.
I made a commitment in 2009 to get up thirty minutes earlier for 21 days to spend time with the Lord. To hold myself accountable, I would write down details of this time in a journal. The journal became a blog. Twenty-one days became seven years seemingly overnight. I thought this was just a commitment of my time to the Lord. But what I discovered is that five years ago when my faith was challenged and my anchor yanked by our son’s cancer diagnosis, it held secure. This was only possible, in my opinion, because the Lord began preparing me and pouring His Word in me two years earlier. There was definitely a connection. When trouble came, I knew what God had promised me. It was with confident hope in my hand that I charged into His Presence to demand His Immediate Intervention because this was not what He said in His Word. This was not the Promise that He made me. This was not the Oath sealed by His Good Name. Friend, we must make our faith logical to secure confident hope that is reasonable. Blind faith is useless. We must know who we have faith in. We must know the terms of the covenant or it is just another worthless piece of paper…junk mail if you will.
Ephesians 1:18-23 (NLT) I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance. I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms. Now he is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else—not only in this world but also in the world to come. God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church. And the church is his body; it is made full and complete by Christ, who fills all things everywhere with himself.
We must understand the Promise and Oath of God for our life. We must find our purpose and live for fulfillment or our life is not fully redeemed. I can take a certain coupon to one store and save some money. With a little research and knowledge, I may find that another store has the same product on sale so my coupon is worth more. God has already provided everything that I need for this life. He has given me divine power to experience His Kingdom right here in my everyday life. I must connect my faith to the confident hope that is the anchor for my soul. I must dig a little deeper. Go a little bit farther. Spending time in God’s Word to extricate the Promises hidden there for me. There will be storms in life. God has already provided for my safety. There will be problems. The Lord has given me the solution. I have all I need as a result of faith and confident hope. I may need to spend a little more time discovering it. God’s Word makes my faith logical. Confident hope comes from continually evaluating and examining my life next to His Word for validity and proof that my anchor is secure. All things have been put under Christ’s Authority. Greater is He who is in me than he that is in the world. This world has nothing for me. I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. His Strength is made perfect in my weakness. I must decrease – He must increase. All these things fortify our faith and secure hope that anchors our soul so we can be fully redeemed and have every promise God has given us.
Psalm 62:5-8 (NLT) Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will not be shaken. My victory and honor come from God alone. He is my refuge, a rock where no enemy can reach me. O my people, trust in him at all times. Pour out your heart to him, for God is our refuge.