God has given us both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can take new courage, for we can hold on to his promise with confidence. This confidence is like a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain of heaven into God’s inner sanctuary. - Hebrews 6:18-19
A symbol points beyond itself to something significant. For instance, the flag of the United States symbolizes the fifty current states with stars and the thirteen original states with bars. The most common symbol of the Christian faith is the cross, which points unerringly to the central doctrine of Christianity—that the Lord Jesus died and rose again for our redemption. But in the early days of the Christian church, other important symbols were commonly used. In the catacombs of Rome, where large numbers of Christians were buried, the murals painted there often depicted a dove, a fish, and an anchor. The dove symbolizes the Holy Spirit, the Greek word for fish is an acrostic of the Greek words for “Jesus Christ God’s Son Savior,” and the anchor depicts security in the storms of life.
The writer of Hebrews chose the symbol of the anchor to speak about the truthfulness of God’s Word, the certainty of his promises, and the integrity of his person. Abraham proved a great example. When the Lord reiterated to the patriarch that he planned to give him many descendants, he said, “Because you have obeyed me and have not withheld even your beloved son, I swear by my own self that I will bless you richly” (Gen. 22:16-17). God not only promised; he underlined the promise by swearing an oath by himself—for no greater oath was possible—that he would do as he promised. And eventually he did!
This example, and many others down through history, should suffice to convince even the most skeptical heart that what God says, he means; what he promises, he does; and what he commits to do, he is perfectly willing and able to accomplish.
Recognizing this does something for a man’s confidence. If he has “fled to [the Lord] for refuge, [he] can take new courage, for [he] can hold on to his promise with confidence” (Heb. 6:18). No matter how lacking he might be in confidence in his own abilities, such a man has no grounds for doubting God’s capabilities. Regardless of how untrustworthy he has found men to be, he knows in his heart the Lord’s integrity. So he faces life with hope and confronts challenges with confidence. He knows that, as he relies on who the Lord is and counts on what the Lord has promised, his anchor will hold. The storms may blow, his anchor holds. Life may drag, his anchor won’t!
For Further Study: Hebrews 6:13-20
Excerpted from The One Year Devotions for Men, Copyright ©2000 by Stuart Briscoe. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers. All rights reserved.
For more from Stuart Briscoe, please visit TellingtheTruth.org.