Focus on the Essential

“We who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain.” (Hebrews 6:18b-19 ESV)

As believers, we are on the way to heaven, but we have not yet arrived. Yet we have this hope that is set before us. It is God’s intention that we keep this hope as an anchor for our souls, so that by faith we are sure of our destination and rejoice about being with the Lord soon. 

If we have this sure and steadfast hope, it will help us through the difficult circumstances of everyday life because it encourages us and keeps our hearts focused towards heaven. As followers of Jesus, life is not without problems and temptations, and these need to be overcome.

The enemy of our souls will not only try to get us down, depress, hinder, and hassle us, but may try to put all sorts of obstacles in our way in order to discourage us. Here are a few real-life examples:

• Non-believers may not understand why we do certain things. Since they do not relate to the way we act, they may misunderstand our motives and think we are conceited and have a holier-than-thou attitude. That hurts us and can tempt us not to follow Jesus with all sincerity. 

• When we stand up for Jesus, we often experience rejection and the hatred of the world. In John 15:20, Jesus said: “A servant is not greater than his master. If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you.” Through peer pressure or colleagues making fun of us, we may be tempted to make wrong decisions or questionable compromises.

• Unfortunately, it is also possible that other so-called Christians or believers may be the reason we are no longer committed to follow the Lord with all of our hearts. If we take them as our examples, even though their actions do not conform to the teaching of our Lord, then they will become a stumbling block for us. 

• In following Jesus, we should not look for any kind of recognition for ourselves. All praise and honor belong to the Lord. Our old human nature does not like that. If we are not ready to deny ourselves, then we cannot be true followers of Jesus Christ. 

We live in a world that has no desire to know God. At the same time, we notice that even Christianity itself is turning away from God’s Word. And then our own failures and lack of faith trouble us. When we look at our own strength and the environment we live in, we can come to the conclusion that it is impossible for us to reach the heavenly goal. The obstacles are too great, and our faith is too small.

That would be true if we had only ourselves to rely on. But we do not have to depend on us and our own resources. God is able to keep us from falling! The Bible says: “Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, to God our Savior, who alone is wise, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever. Amen” (Jude 24-25). 

God is able to help us in every situation so that we can stand fast in our faith and be kept from stumbling and falling. No one who is redeemed by the precious blood of the Lamb will be left abandoned on the road to heaven. God will enable all believers who trust in Him to reach the goal. His power is greater than the power of the world and the power of the devil. 

Therefore, we need not be discouraged by opposition on the path of faith. If we hold firmly to our God every day and count on His help, we can take sure steps of faith and avoid the snares that the enemy puts in our way. At the heavenly goal, we will recognize how often God has saved us from stumbling. For this we will thank Him from the bottom of our hearts and praise His greatness.

It could even be that the enemy whispers doubting questions to us: Will you even make it to heaven?

In these trials, let us remember that through faith we have “a sure and steadfast anchor of our soul” in our hope. When a ship lies at anchor, you cannot see the anchor, because it lies at the bottom of the sea. Just as a ship’s anchor remains connected to the ship by a chain, so our soul is connected to the Lord Jesus in heaven, who is beyond all storms.

Is there any greater comfort for our trembling hearts than this? There is no one greater than our Lord who can help us through all the difficulties in this world. Our anchor is “both sure and steadfast, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain.” Our anchor is secure during all the storms of life because it has already taken hold in heaven. Soon we will be in glory with Christ and will rejoice in His wonderful grace. 

Therefore, focus on the essential, on our refuge, and “hold fast to the hope set before us.” Keep your eyes on the Lord Jesus Christ and follow Him without compromise, without wavering, and faithfully. This hope is secure. 

Alexander Gross

Eppingen, Germany

1 Comment

  1. Dear Pastor Ens

    Thank God for the Church of God teaching the truth everywhere they are. I have gone through this site and the resources have been a blessing. God bless your labours, especially your efforts at the work in the Rep of Benin. We enjoyed your stay and appreciate your kind words and admonition. May the Lord richly bless you and your family as well as the work in Canada.

    Oluwole Josiah
    Akure, Nigeria

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