“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” Hebrews 6:19 (NIV)
Every relationship goes through storms in life. COVID-19 has been one of the most challenging storms for marriages and families to navigate. What causes some to survive, even thrive in the midst of these storms while others are pulled apart? Maybe you are going through a violent storm that is threatening the very core of your relationship with your husband or wife, a son or daughter or even a parent or friend. Christ followers are assured in God’s Word that we have a hope, like an anchor, that keeps our lives firm and secure through the storms of life. In fact, God provides at least three anchors that can hold your relationships together.
The first is the anchor of God’s presence. The Psalmist declared, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. Selah” Psalm 46:1-3 (NIV)
The word, “Selah”, at the end of that verse means to pause and consider what you just read. Meditate on it and apply it to your life. God’s presence with us in the storm offers us hope that keeps us secure. Knowing that He is an ever-present help in trouble reduces our anxiety and calms our fears. In fact, in Hebrews 13:5, God promises, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Here’s how the Amplified Bible puts that verse: “For He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!] So we take comfort and are encouraged and confidently and boldly say, The Lord is my Helper; I will not be seized with alarm [I will not fear or dread or be terrified]. What can man do to me?” Take heart, God has not abandoned you in the storm. His presence is an anchor that will keep you firm and secure.
Another anchor that holds us together is the anchor of God’s people. God created us for community, to do life together. The church is called the family of God. The emphasis is on relationships, not rules. When you’re going through a storm, God’s people provide comfort, counsel, support and strength that will steady you and keep you from sinking. We all need people who will hold our ladder. Faith and fellowship are both essential and inseparable if we are to grow in Christ and survive all that the world, the flesh and the devil will hurl at us. I love the story of the little boy who ran to his mom and dad’s bedroom during a loud thunderstorm one night. When he jumped into their bed, his dad said, “What is the matter son? You don’t need to be afraid. God is with you.” The little boy said, “I know that, but I need somebody with skin on.” The church is not only called the family of God but also the body of Christ. We need to feel His hands reaching out and holding us, and Christ does that through His people.
A third anchor is the anchor of God’s promises. The Bible is full of promises that God offers to you and me. They are there for the taking when by faith we lay hold of them. This is why reading God’s Word is so important. It offers us the truth about our circumstances and gives comfort and direction for what we should do when we’re going through a storm. When Paul was preparing young Timothy for his ministry, he told him,
“The whole Bible was given to us by inspiration from God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives; it straightens us out and helps us do what is right. It is God’s way of making us well prepared at every point.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (TLB) Which of these three anchors do you need to let down today? Realize that God is present, an ever-present help to you right now! Turn to God’s people and share the storm you’re experiencing with a trusted friend in Christ that will encourage you, weep with you and support you. Search God’s Word for His promises and let Him speak the truth about your circumstances into your life. Claim those promises and trust in Him. The storm will pass, and you will have grown stronger in faith and in your relationships!