Runs along the river Thames in Oxford at this time of year really do give a postcard perfect scene. Lines of houseboats moored to the riverbank showing off flower pots, vegetable patches, bicycles partly rusting. Curtains on the windows are pulled apart revealing people cooking, eating, sleeping all in complete safety. No fear of sinking, of drifting, of waking to find themselves away from the shore. All trust, complete confidence and perfect peace of the hearts of people in the boat is thanks to the anchor outside.
As long as the anchor remains outside and offboard, the boat is safe, kept steady and close to the shore.
When the anchor remains inside the boat, it only serves to weigh the boat down, to add to the load.
As long as our faith remains anchored in self, it only serves to drag and weigh down, to sink us under the pressure of pride, burden or despair. It is a sinking faith.
But we have an anchor for our souls, an anchor that bears the burden, that keeps us afloat even during stormy waters. We have a confidence and hope that comes not from inside but rather outside ourselves. A faith that saves rather than sinks.
“Hope that is seen is not hope; but glorious is the faith which sees him who is invisible and grasps the substance of the things not seen as yet.”
Spurgeon’s words point us to the beautiful wonder of faith: that it is both not a work at all and the best of works. It rests fully on Jesus, the unseen anchor of our souls, and it launches itself and grasps on.
We all know those moments in a film when a boat is in trouble, usually on a stormy sea, and the sailors desperately throw cargo overboard to lighten the load and keep the boat afloat.
The Bible calls us to ‘cast all our fears and anxieties on Him for He cares for you.’
Faith demands that we launch, hurl, throw, cast overboard all pride and hope, all shame and despair, all desires and fears. As an anchor is hurled overboard to take root and steady the boat, we launch ourselves, with all our heart, with complete surrender, fully offloading all the burden and weight onto Him who bears us up.
Take the anchor of faith in self from weighing down the boat onboard, and fling it overboard, hurl it into the sea, into the deep waters of God’s love for you, to take hold and grasp onto Christ alone. To avoid sinking, there is no other option but surrendering self to the true anchor of our souls, to hope in Christ alone. If the anchor remains onboard it is merely a sinking weight of faith in self.
Saving faith is anchoring our hearts, our hope, confidence and trust in Him alone, casting all hopes and desires overboard not to be lost at sea but to be surrendered to Jesus and anchored in Him.
Saving faith is throwing ourselves onto our gracious merciful God, offloading to Him and confessing all our shame and sin, knowing that he casts our sin into the depths of the sea. This is our hope. This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls.
Micah 7v19: He casts all our sin into the depths of the sea
Hebrews 6v19: This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls.