The Sure and Steady Anchor

The anchor of the USS Nimitz (CVN 68)

“We have this as a sure and steadfast Anchor of the soul, a Hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain'”

Hebrews 6:19

THE CHAIN AND ANCHOR OF OUR SOULS

Living in Florida for the past three years, I have enjoyed taking a drive down to the local Jetty and watching all the sailing vessels sail out from the inlet into the open ocean. They set out daily in the deep waters of the Atlantic in hopes of bringing large amounts of fish. These are not really big boats. They are rather small but all of them have a common tool they need and require. The Anchor. There are days where the currents of the ocean are strong and to make matters more challenging are the winds that come along, causing the currents to be even more of a tempest. The anchor was design to hold boat steady so that it may not drift along with the currents of the fierce ocean. This is why the ancients feared the ocean due to the fact the ocean can not be tamed by any man. Hence, the invention of the anchor has helped many of ships over the course of history not be carried away the shifting currents of the ocean and wind.

We have come a long way with the invention of the anchor. For example, the USS Nimitz is pictured above with it’s anchor being examined by contractors who were at the time doing some repairs and updating to the aging anchor. Consider these facts about the Anchor and chains of the USS Nimitz. The Anchor itself weighs 60,000 pounds and there are two anchors on each side(120,000 pounds total). There are 57 links of chain weighing 350 pounds that make up just one 90-foot shot of chain that weighs a total of 20,500 pounds. Think of the feeble person that weighs just 200 pounds in comparison to these chains and anchors. These anchors were designed hold such a large vessel in place when in port and to prevent the currents of the ocean from moving it away from port.

The writer of Hebrews must have had this in mind when he penned his epistle. After all, at the very beginning of Hebrews, he warns his hearers in Hebrews 2:1 where he writes, “Therefore, we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it.” The word “drift” denotes a ship that is attached to a mooring, failing to attach the vessel to the mooring will cause it to drift into the open waters and thus, into the dangers of the currents. Not being secured, the ship will no doubt be swallowed up by the tempestuous waves of the ocean and destroyed.

In chapter 6 of Hebrews, the writer refers to the Lord Jesus Christ as the sure and steady Anchor. Why? For Christ Jesus is immovable and immutable, unlike the changing currents of the world in which we live. He uses to words as well, “sure” and “steady”. These two words represent immovable and firm.

John Calvin says of this passage:

“It is a striking likeness when he compares faith leaning on God’s word to an anchor; for doubtless, as long as we sojourn in this world, we stand not on firm ground, but are tossed here and there as it were in the midst of the sea, and that indeed very turbulent; for Satan is incessantly stirring up innumerable storms, which would immediately upset and sink our vessel, were we not to cast our anchor fast in the deep. For nowhere a haven appears to our eyes, but wherever we look water alone is in view; yea, waves also arise and threaten us; but as the anchor is cast through the waters into a dark and unseen place, and while it lies hid there, keeps the vessel beaten by the waves from being overwhelmed; so must our hope be fixed on the invisible God. There is this difference,—the anchor is cast downwards into the sea, for it has the earth as its bottom; but our hope rises upwards and soars aloft, for in the world it finds nothing on which it can stand, nor ought it to cleave to created things, but to rest on God alone. As the cable also by which the anchor is suspended joins the vessel with the earth through a long and dark intermediate space, so the truth of God is a bond to connect us with himself, so that no distance of place and no darkness can prevent us from cleaving to him. Thus when united to God, though we must struggle with continual storms, we are yet beyond the peril of shipwreck. Hence he says, that this anchor is sure and stedfast, or safe and firm. It may indeed be that by the violence of the waves the anchor may be plucked off, or the cable be broken, or the beaten ship be torn to pieces. This happens on the sea; but the power of God to sustain us is wholly different, and so also is the strength of hope and the firmness of his word.”

 Calvin, J., & Owen, J. (2010). Commentary on the Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Hebrews (pp. 153–154). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

We are but fallible and frail vessels in the world and are everyday being tossed to and from by the violent waves of the world, but what holds us, what grounds us is not our own works, but our faith in the immovable Cross of the Lord Jesus Christ. He holds onto us as our faith is in Him and Him alone. Yes, the winds will come, our sails may tear, but we shall not be moved.

I leave with you with the lines from my favorite hymn, Christ, the sure the Steady Anchor as I close this out tonight:

Christ the sure and steady Anchor
In the fury of the storm
When the winds of doubt blow through me
And my sails have all been torn
In the suffering, in the sorrow
When my sinking hopes are few
I will hold fast to the Anchor
It shall never be removed

Christ the sure and steady Anchor
While the tempest rages on
When temptation claims the battle
And it seems the night has won
Deeper still then goes the Anchor
Though I justly stand accused
I will hold fast to the Anchor
It shall never be removed

No, It shall never be removedChrist the sure and steady Anchor


Through the floods of unbelief
Hopeless somehow, O my soul, now
Lift your eyes to Calvary
This my ballast of assurance
See His love forever proved
I will hold fast to the Anchor
It shall never be removed

Christ the sure and steady Anchor
As we face the wave of death
When these trials give way to glory
As we draw our final breath
We will cross that great horizon
Clouds behind and life secure
And the calm will be the better
For the storms that we endure

Christ the sure of our salvation
Ever faithful, ever true
We will hold fast to the Anchor


Songwriters: Matt Boswell / Matt Papa

I pray that this blog post edifies and strengthens you. Always be reminded, Christ is our Sure and Steady Anchor and nothing upon this earth cane move Him.

Soli Deo Gloria,

Stephen J. Melniszyn 111

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