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                               The Anchor of Hope         
                                    by Pastor Ray Dare

Most people when they are in a storm they typically look to everything else except God for their anchor. They don't look to hope. When people are in deep pain or in deep discouragement or deep despair they often look at the bottom of a bottle for their hope. Or some medicines for their hope. Or entertainment or a vacation or... It could be good or bad. They're looking for somebody or something to anchor their lives. And God says, what you really need is hope. Job 8:13 says, "Those who forget God have no hope." We see the proof of that statement in literally every single sector of our society. The further away we get from God the less hope we have.
The converse is true. The closer you get to God the more hope you're going to have in your life. The most hopeful people on the planet earth are those who live closest to God. And the most hopeless people on the earth are the people who feel far away from God.
The Bible talks about the anchor of hope. Not wishing. Not feeling. Not simply expecting. But knowing for certain that you are going to have what you hope for. The Bible says in Hebrews "faith is the assurance or the confidence of things not yet seen. It is the certainty of the things you hope for that are not yet seen." Faith and hope go together.
Where do you get it? Where do you get hope when everything feels so hopeless? One day Jesus gave a key to hope. He says it in Luke 18:1 "Jesus taught his followers that they should always pray and never lose hope." Circle "always pray" and "never lose hope" and draw a line and connect the two because they are connected! Those, my friends are the two alternatives in life. Every single moment of your life you're choosing one of those two alternatives. When stuff bad happens, you will either panic or you'll pray. It's your alternative. If you pray you don't panic; if you panic you don't pray. You'll either worship or you'll worry. Those are the two alternatives in life.
Another key to getting more hope in you is getting more of God's promises in you. Certain hope is based on the fact that God cannot lie. And he's given in his book, over seven thousand promises. When you put your hope in these promises that's going to give you an anchor of hope to steady you, to secure you, to give you the peace you need in the middle of a storm. You've got to stop listening to your feelings and start listening to the promises God gives you. Start reading the Bible. Start in the book of John and in Psalms, then turn your cares into prayers and hope will anchor your heart and mind.

See you Sunday!
Pastor Ray

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Updated 6/16/17
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