Thursday, May 15, 2014

Hope Anchors the Soul Hand Painted Sign

You might have seen this understated version of Hebrews 6:19 that has shown up everywhere.  Let's not underestimate the power of these words because they pack a punch that you aren't expecting if you simply take them at face value.  Let's investigate.

Hebrews was written by Paul (for those that don't know who Paul is [no judgment here], he is one of the apostles, or men who started the first churches after Jesus' resurrection) or someone in Paul's inner circle to an audience of Christians who understood their Jewish roots as painted in the Old Testament.  They were having trouble adapting to the freedoms they were given after Jesus fulfilled all the old rituals and customs they were used to performing.  The message was that if they went back to their rituals and customs that preceded their belief in Jesus, they weren't going to experience the promise of God because he had come to set them free from sin and the law.  Their rituals were now useless.

Maybe you don't see the relevance because you don't have any Jewish rituals to lead you astray from your freedom in Christ, but maybe you have a different kind of ritual that leads you away like control over food in either an eating disorder or overindulgence.  Maybe you have an addiction to drugs or alcohol.  Maybe you find yourself overindulging in retail therapy, zoning out on technology, or riding the escalator of workaholism.  Maybe you're seeking the affection of a love interest or prospective social circle that has gone beyond a healthy desire and has hit the crazy-obsessed meter.

We seek these misguided appetites to try to fill up the holes in our sinking boat.  We fantasize.  We justify our quest with examples of circumstance that lead us to feel entitled, and we become convinced that our ritual is the choice that brings us closer to the dream come true.  Ritual is the quest to make life feel right.  That is why Jews were taught to sacrifice- to alleviate their guilt so they would have a fresh start.  Placing hope in ritual was not what God had in mind because God had a purpose for this life he gave us, and it wasn't so he could sit on his throne waiting for our next slip up.  No! His purpose is that we would grow in relationship with him.

Ready to steer this ship home? Great! His purpose has been the same since the Old Testament days, the days of the early church and now- like an anchor he has done what he said he would do. We can have hope that he will continue to fulfill his promises.  "We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure." This is what all those "Hope Anchors the Soul" signs and printables and Instagram posts are really saying.  All those times you did what was right and no one noticed, he knows about it.  He promises an inheritance that you can be sure you'll receive because God is faithful.

When you see this new item in my shop, please know that it isn't just an empty, trendy warm fuzzy.  It's packed with truth.

Keep up, Honey! 

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