My Anchor Holds
When I lived in Western Australia, one of my favourite museums was Fremantle’s Shipwreck Galleries.
If you ever visit, it’s hard to miss their collection of anchors. Some are massive—thousands of kilograms—and amazingly durable. Even after three hundred years in the Indian Ocean, while the rest of the ship has broken up and washed away, sometimes it’s only the anchors that remain.
Those rusted chunks of iron illustrate the strength of the image in Hebrews 6:19,
This hope we have as an anchor of the soul.
Hope, says the Spirit, is our anchor. It’s true, of course, that it is human to hope. “Hope springs eternal,” they say, because we will cling to any possibility of improvement or relief. We want to look toward the good things that tomorrow might bring. But human hope is a hollow wish—it’s a Styrofoam anchor. No one knows if they’ll actually get what they’re hoping for.
But the Spirit means hope of a kind more certain. A believer in Christ has hope with substance, for he hopes for all the good things God has promised. “This hope,” Hebrews says, “we have as an anchor of the soul.”
It’s a weighty comparison next to all the dangers of being on the seas. Recall Paul’s journey to Rome in Acts 27: a thrilling account of how a storm ravages his ship or two weeks straight. When they finally approach land, they drop four anchors, but even that isn’t enough to save the ship, and it’s broken apart by the waves.
So for us—we’re often overwhelmed by a godless world’s hostilities.
When we’re not sure of our place or calling, we feel adrift.
Abandoned, it’s like you’re floating away and no one’s noticing.
When you’re anxious, there’s a sense of being at the mercy of unknown circumstances, and ready to go under.
Lurching from one crisis to the next worry, we wonder where is firm ground. Yet as believers in the Lord Jesus, our hope is secure because of where our anchor rests.
Now, when you drop your anchor, where does it go? Simple question. In Roman times, anchors were made of lead or stone, or cast iron today. When you drop such an anchor, it’s going to plunge into the water, sink to the bottom and there hold fast.
Our anchor of hope in Christ is very different. It doesn’t descend into the deep, but it ascends. This anchor links us to God in heaven: “This hope we have as an anchor of the soul…which enters the presence behind the veil.”
The author is recalling the Old Testament sanctuary. The two rooms of the sanctuary were divided by a curtain or veil, and behind the veil was the focal point of all the worship: the ark of the covenant, representing God’s throne. Once per year atoning blood would be sprinkled on the cover of the ark.
Why does this matter? Because in a symbolic way Jesus has gone through the veil. As a man, He presented a sacrifice of blood to make peace between God and sinners. Through Christ, you can go directly into the presence of God.
And that’s where our anchor is: it’s in God’s presence, “behind the veil.” Not buried in the depths but firmly in the heights of heaven—securely and enduringly lodged in the throne room of God. Christ links us to the Father by an indestructible bond, with a chain that can never be snapped or broken.
God doesn’t cast us sinners overboard. Instead, He throws our wickedness into the deepest parts of the sea (Micah 7:19). This means you can approach God with firm assurance. Feeling alone or guilty or troubled or discouraged, you can pray with confidence.
We’re not at the mercy of circumstances, or the devil, or at the mercy of an unbelieving culture—now while we’re anchored to heaven! Like the old hymn goes,
In every high and stormy gale/ My anchor holds, within the veil.
So how’s your hold on the anchor? Today are you linked to the Lord, sure and steadfast? Are you joined to Christ with strong ties of faith and love?
Or are you drifting? Are you sinking in your guilt, overwhelmed by doubts? You don’t need to be. Because you have hope.
In Christ you have an anchor for the soul, now and always.