Reference Point Devotional

Anchored in Hope

God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. (Hebrews 6:18-19a NIV)

Throughout our lives, many of us will find ourselves in a season of drift or insecurity. Unmoored and untethered to a comfortable and firm foundation, like a boat without an anchor, it is in these times that we find ourselves searching for truth, connection, and stability. We find ourselves drawn to hope.

In my doctoral research, I have spent a fair amount of time studying hope theory from an academic standpoint. Academic literature defines hope as the belief that there are multiple pathways to reaching a goal and that by employing agency thinking, a person can be self-motivated to explore these various pathways and achieve a goal. This definition of hope eliminates “false” hope because when one path doesn’t work out, there is hope for a different path to produce the desired results.

As believers, we can relate to the academic definition of hope when we think about our life’s journey. We know that God has given us talents and gifts to use in our vocation and relationships with others. We often have one clear path defined in our minds for achieving a specific goal and maybe even feel that we are on God’s path. I know this is the case for me. I have always been a goal person, and until recently, my goals and pathway seemed to work out. However, this past year, I found myself untethered. I was questioning my identity, my purpose, and my goals. I knew that God was working in my life, but I found myself clinging to hope. Paul, in Romans 15:13, writes, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” I found myself walking an unfamiliar path and trusting God to be the anchor of hope in my life.

Maybe a job lay-off, a death in your family, a mid-life crisis, or seeking God’s purpose in your life has left you feeling untethered. Or maybe, God needed you to walk through a challenging season so that he could continue to complete the good work in you that He began before you were created. Whatever the circumstance, the next time you find yourself in an unfamiliar space, I encourage you to think back to the times you have struggled and remember how God showed up. I encourage you to reach out to someone who will fill you with hope. I encourage you to seek God’s word and read His promises for the future. I encourage you to anchor yourself in hope.

April VanPutten

April has served as the ACL Business Manager since January of 2005. She is currently a full-time visiting lecturer at Calvin University and Owner of VanPutten Consulting, where she equips nonprofit leaders and organizations to meet the needs of their communities.