All quotations taken from the NKJV of the Bible.
When a ship comes into port it must be kept from drifting. The tides ebb and flow, causing a ship to drift. A storm may drive a ship onto the beach, causing extensive damage. A ship may moor to a pier and be secure. Or the captain may order the anchor lowered to keep the ship from drifting.
Religions emphasize emotion as an indication of spirituality. Then, leaders will seek to whip up emotion. This may be done through ritual, singing, shouting or meditation. At times repetition of a phrase will work up a crowd’s emotions. An Islamic crowd can become intensely emotional, shouting the praises of Allah. A man once said to me, ‘I love to go to that church to get high on Jesus’. But emotions come and go. It is impossible to sustain a ‘high’ indefinitely.
How can one know that he is right with God? How can one be sure of forgiveness and of God’s commitment to him? A Christian who is relying on his emotions for satisfaction and security may have times of deep depression and will then feel God has abandoned him. All people have times of elation and times of depression. It is part of our human experience.?
An anchor holds a ship steady because it is outside of the ship and is gripping a solid base. To live a stable, happy, Christian life one needs an anchor outside of oneself and our subjective emotions. God desires His children to be happy and secure in His love, not questioning His devotion to them. ‘Thus, God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise?the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath, that by two immutable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us. This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil’, Heb. 6. 17-19.
An anchor for the soul is that which will keep one from drifting into confusion and despair. God has made a promise and then confirmed it with an oath, doubly binding Himself to His word. A person’s word is only as good as his character. God’s character is impeccable; He cannot lie. One is saved when one becomes a ‘believer’; he takes God at His word. Jesus said, ‘Most assuredly I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life’, John 5. 24. Faith is tied to believing God’s word. God told Abraham he would have a son, which, because of age, was impossible. ‘He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was able to perform’, Rom. 4. 20, 21. Abraham is a glowing example of faith. He did not look at himself and trust his ability or his emotions; he looked at God and His promises. This is the essence of faith.?
The anchor of the soul is the word of God. It grips the unchangeable character of the God who cannot lie. Faith is the anchor chain that secures one to that anchor; it is the link with God and His word. Would you be a stable, happy Christian? Then focus on God and His promises to you. Do not look within, trusting your emotions for happiness and peace. By faith, cling to God and His word.
Donald Norbie was a regular contributor to Precious Seed International and other assembly magazines. His ministry was widely appreciated throughout North America and the UK. As this magazine was being prepared, we learned of our brother’s home-call to glory. He had submitted this article before illness incapacitated him and we include it as a tribute to him and the legacy he has left.