Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Hast Thou Not Known"1 (Lyrics)
1 Peter 1:3-4 – 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, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil, or fade — kept in heaven for you. (NIV)
When I was a young parent, I made a rule that my children hold my hand when crossing streets or in crowded places. I wanted to make sure that they were safe or that they didn't wander away. I've often seen children just automatically reach up to grasp the parents' hands because they know that they can rely on their present and strong help. Holding on sometimes starts with the parents reaching down with love and the desire to protect, while at other times, it begins with the children reaching up for reassurance and comfort. Learning to trust that loving presence is so important to children.
Recently, I watched a travelogue that included a visit to an old church building. The interior was full of beautiful designs throughout. I imagined what the worshippers might have found meaningful as they spent time sitting in the old wooden pews. The sturdy end pieces of the old oak pews had been carefully carved with symbols of interest. Several of these end pieces had images of a simple anchor. The person guiding the tourists explained that the anchor is the traditional symbol of hope. Perhaps, worshippers whose lives revolved around fishing or sea travel might meditate on the meaning of that visual reminder. The traditional shape of the carved anchor also made its top portion look like a cross. Recognizing a cross in the anchor brings to mind the reason that we have hope in the finished work of our Saviour Jesus Christ. To work best, an anchor must attach to a reliable rock that won't move. Jesus has been referred to as the Rock of Ages. Like children who gain confidence when they hold on to their parents, we receive hope from our anchor in Jesus, the Rock, as we live in the present shifting times.
Isaiah 26:4 – Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord, is the Rock eternal. (NIV)
Hebrews 6:19a – We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. (NIV)
Dear friends, consider afresh the gift of living hope given to us through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. That living hope sustains, anchors, and steadies us as we face the future and wait for His return. Let us trust daily in God's plans and provisions for us.
Jeremiah 29:11 – "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (NIV)
Prayer: Our Father, it is so reassuring to realize Your constant presence with us and to know that we can trust in the strong anchor of faith that You have given, which is made secure in the solid Rock of Ages. Help us always to hold on to Your promises and to trust You as You hold on to us. Amen.