Set your anchor

patient1Are you a steady person, faithful to God and others through the up’s and down’s of life? Many of us are convinced that being ‘happy’ is so important that we will discard promises, quit a job, leave a marriage, and even abandon our pursuit of God in our quest for fulfillment and not experience the slightest awareness of guilt or remorse.  Feelings reign in some like a king! Emotions do enrich us. God made us capable of knowing joy, sorrow, love, hate, peace, and fear. We need not adopt a stoic detachment to live whole lives. But, beware – emotions as changeable as the weather.

Is your relationship with God primarily based on emotions?
Have you set an expectation that loving God means always feeling ‘in love’ with Him?

Our soul surges with devotion and faith today, but then the next day we wonder if our prayers are making it past the ceiling. We may awaken to the dawn with a joyful songs of assurance in the morning only to find ourselves feeling adrift and lost as evening sets in. Such swings of emotion do not indicate that we are broken or that our faith is flawed! It reveals that we are ‘human.’

That is why the Scripture teaches us about perseverance! “Do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. For in just a very little while, “He who is coming will come and will not delay. But my righteous one will live by faith. And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him.” But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved. Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” (Hebrews 10:35-11:1, NIV)  Where you read ‘persevere’ in that passage, the Greek (the New Testament’s original language) word is ‘hupomone,’ which literally means ‘to stand under.’  It describes a steadfast commitment, the choice to be loyal, to hold onto purpose.

Our Christianity needs to be anchored in God, not in ourselves! We trust in His unwavering promises, in His immutable (unchangeable) character, in His perfect salvation. The Word tells us that “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” (James 1:17, NIV)  God never blows hot and cold like we do. He is not the God who says “yes,” when He means “no.”

After a time of intense difficulties in which he despaired of life itself, Paul wrote about the strength of the Lord that sustained him, that will keep us as well. “For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God. Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.” (2 Corinthians 1:20-22, NIV)

Set your anchor on the Rock, Christ Jesus. Do not deny your emotions, but do control them. Here is practical counsel for us, that will keep us steady, on course, and effective in the service of the Lord.  “Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings. It is good for our hearts to be strengthened by grace.” (Hebrews 13:7-9, NIV)

___

Father, do a work in my heart and mind

that will help me to enjoy the richness of my emotions

but that keeps me from being a slave to my feelings.

 May the promises of Your Word and the

guiding Presence of the Spirit keep me

on true course for my eternal home.

 Teach me to build strong, lasting ties

to those who have a mature, consistent faith

so that their example and leadership will be

a valued resource for this life.

Jesus, may I grow daily in Your grace. Amen

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