In Times Like These

“Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul,
both sure and stedfast.”
Hebrews 6:19

Now in our eighties, Jerry and I have never known anything close to what the world is experiencing now. For over a week, I have been singing the hymn In Times Like These.

Searching for the composer and the story behind this hymn, I found it was written by Ruth Caye Jones, a pastor’s wife and the mother of five, living in Pennsylvania during World War II. She was distressed by the headlines of her Pittsburgh newspaper. She saw the World War II causality lists and she knew the Allies were making slow progress through the boot of Italy. Supplies were rationed at home, and everyone was living under incredible strain.

(Jerry was six years old and I was three at that time. I was born in 1939, when the war started, and I remember where I was when it ended in 1945. Jerry and I felt part of the aftermath of the depression of the late 1920s. But I had never heard of the pandemic of 1918 until I read about it two days ago.)

“Opening her Bible to 2 Timothy 3, Ruth studied the page and pondered the opening words. But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come. A song began composing itself in her mind. She jotted some lyrics on a small pad in her apron pocket. A series of notes also played in her mind. Only later did she realize they came from the old clock on the mantle with its iconic Westminster Chimes. Soon the notes and music congealed to become one of the most beloved Gospel songs of the 1940s and 1950s,

Ruth’s song may have been inspired by 2 Timothy 3:1, but it’s based on her knowledge of another verse—Hebrews 6:19, which says: This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast.” Robert J. Morgan

Many of my thoughts during this time could be the source of articles on times like these, but I hope to share the encouraging ones for God’s people as minutely as possible. Not many of us can focus too long at one time.

Soon I want to look at the effects of times like these, how we can keep our focus on our Heavenly Father, thrive as His people even under the strain, and to share important and encouraging messages from pastors who are leading their flocks through this dark time.

Our Father in heaven, You are answering life-long prayers in ways we never expected, seeing and hearing things that are difficult to understand. We need your Holy Spirit to know how to pray. We are seeking your kingdom and your righteousness more and more. Draw us closer to you and help us to exhort one another to a deeper faith in you ~ for your glory and our joy. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Fran

Words of Life ~ ANCHOR

We ended 2018 with AMEN. How gracious our Lord is to give us ANCHOR as our first of Words of Life for 2019.

Although ships are mentioned in the Old Testament, the word anchor is only used in the New Testament. The first three references are found in Acts and as an anchor used in the ship in which Paul was a passenger.

“Then fearing lest we should have fallen upon rocks, they cast four anchors out of the stern, and wished for the day.” Acts 27:29

ANCHOR G45
Strong’s Concordance defines agkyra ä’n-kü-rä, A metaphor. Any stay or safeguard

The fourth reference is used figuratively. Because of Paul’s own shipwrecks, he could very well be the author who used the metaphor in the book of Hebrews.

 “Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath:

 His covenant blessings with Abraham were confirmed by the oath given through Christ for eternal salvation. The promise and oath are the two prongs of the anchor.

“That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:”

Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil;” Hebrews 6:17-19

An anchor cast into the bottom of the sea cannot be seen. Neither can Christ be seen, but our faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1

The soul in this life is either anchored to the world, its promises, and pleasures, or to Christ who is God’s fulfilled promise and our hope to the end. He has entered heaven as our high priest and holds us to Himself. God has made us sit in heavenly places in Christ. And Christ in us is the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27). This is why we set our affection on things above, not on things on the earth (Colossians 3:1-3).

Dear heavenly Father, you promised eternal life and fulfilled that promise in Christ, your Son, who is our hope of eternal life. Your sure and steadfast anchor keeps us through even the violent storms of this life. No one can move this anchor; no one can snatch us out of your hand ~ this to your glory and our joy. In Jesus’ name, we thank you and praise you. Amen.
Fran

Related Articles: Staying in the Ship         Laying Hold of Eternal Life