On the wall of a cute, small-town coffeehouse near my childhood home in rural Pennsylvania hangs a sign that reads “Never Settle.”
Due to the thin line running diagonally through the words, I’m still confused as to whether the sign was favorable or opposed to the statement. The irony strikes me because I remember when this room in which I currently sit, holding my dark roast coffee in my hands, used to be the veterinary clinic in which I sat as a child, holding my shaking Chihuahua on my lap. It’s an old building that had its beginning as a hotel in the early 1800s, then changed into a post office, a vet clinic, an orthodontics office, a tattoo parlor, and now… a coffee shop.
Changes in this life are inevitable. Thanks to the curse of sin, all creation is trapped in a continual state of decline and decay and groans for the glory that is to come (Romans 8:18-25). But the Creator Himself, in all His glory, is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Hebrews 13:8
Within early Christianity, the anchor was used as a symbol of steadfast hope, but I speak from experience when I say the steadfastness depends on where your anchor (hope) is “fixed.” One time, on a family camping trip years ago, my parents, three brothers, and I ventured out in the bay off of Cape Charles, Virginia in a rented motorboat. This was a great adventure for our family whose everyday life consisted of farm scenes from Southeast Pennsylvania and who rarely ventured out to the ocean. Dad took us out to a spot that looked promising for fishing and cut the motor. My brother excitedly picked up the anchor and, with great gusto and confidence, heaved it overboard. We all watched as the rope attached to the anchor (but not to the boat) obediently followed the anchor into the ocean.
The writer of Hebrews declares that we have this hope as a “sure and steadfast anchor of the soul…” (Hebrews 6:19). He is stating that we can have confident assurance in the immutability of God’s character. God does not lie. Actually, it says that it is “impossible for God to lie” (Hebrews 6:18). So, when God made a promise to Abraham, He vowed by Himself, because He is the greatest and He is immutable. He is the ultimate Authority, and His Word stands forever. God is who He says He is, and He will do what He says He will do. You can stake your life on it! Abraham anchored his faith in God, and after patiently enduring, he obtained the promise—though he died in faith before seeing the full fulfillment of God’s promise (Hebrews 6:15; Hebrews 11:8-19). May we have such faith in the Anchor of our souls!
Sometimes, I find that I have wrongly anchored my hope (confident expectations) not in the Eternal Creator, but rather, some aspect of His creation—people, positions, possessions, etc.—all things that are subject to change. This does not provide stability. In fact, it’s about as useless as throwing an anchor that has not been secured to the boat into the ocean. The waves of time and circumstance move in my life, and my heart begins to drift. If I am to settle my heart, I must secure my heart by faith to the Eternal One whose promises are sure (Hebrews 6:18-20; John 1:1-3; John 8:58; 1 Peter 1:3-9). The more I fix my heart to Jesus through prayer, studying His Word, and living according to His Word, the less tempted I am to “settle” for the lesser things of this world, which will only toss me about on waves of change. My heart is only truly settled when I remember that the One who is faithful to keep His promise to Abraham is the same who promised that “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13).