Advent 2022: Hope, An Anchor for the Soul

Published December 8, 2022 by Jana and Kelly Bryant

We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf. (Hebrews 6:19-20)

Movie fans may remember when the first Star Wars movie was released in 1977. If you saw it then, it was quite the epic story. Fewer may remember though when it was rereleased in 1981, we learned it wasn't just the beginning, but the middle of the story of the Jedi warriors, Luke Skywalker, and The Force. The movie was retitled Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.

It was easy to overlay a connection with the movie as some of the main themes and characters could be related to the biblical story of Jesus. It contained good versus evil, a hero, an antihero, a journey into the depths of a struggle, and an unseen force that could be used for good.

As Christians, our hope is not dependent upon or fashioned after a movie script, but rather based in a resurrected Christ. Jesus' journey not only gave us redemption, but an eternal significance beyond this life. That act gives us hope that there's more to come after this life is over.

For believers, Christmas symbolizes when hope became reality in the person of Jesus. His birth signaled the fulfillment of prophecies foretold long before, and His death and resurrection sealed the deal, taking away everything standing between us and God. It was the fulfillment of God's plan.

When we place our hope in Him, we can experience the fulfillment of God's plan in our lives.

Sometimes you see evidence of hope in the rearview mirror. During our 44-year marriage, we have both had career situations that we didn't anticipate. There were decisions made and steps of faith taken that grew us as individuals and as a couple. In retrospect, we are confident that God sustained us continually. It is good to remember specific lessons and times when God was at work.

Jesus' resurrection gives all believers the same mission, to live confidently and become ambassadors for Him. Hope for the believer is more powerful than just having a dream of something you think might happen. It is claiming the promise of the future in an eternal existence.

Edward Mote's words of the hymn "The Solid Rock" express hope this way: "My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness? When all around my soul gives way, He then is all my hope and stay."

Lord, let us not grow weary of walking in faith, grounding our hope in Jesus Christ the solid rock and the anchor for the soul.