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Sara Whitten: "The Weight of Hope: An Invitation to Deeper Waters"

Sara Whitten, Kerrville, TX
May 11, 2024


During worship at our church, I recently had a vision of an anchor. Immediately what came to mind was "hope," because of Hebrews 6:19 which reads, "We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain" (NIV). The New Living Translation puts it this way: "This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God's inner sanctuary."

I saw the ship trying to sail, but the anchor was dragging, holding it back. The Lord impressed on me the first few words of that Scripture: "We have this hope." We possess our hope. This means that it is ours to do with what we choose.

Going Deeper

Returning to the ship vision, the Lord reminded me that when our hope is deployed in the wrong place, we hold ourselves back. We are held back from deeper waters, held back from our next port, or held back from our intended pace. The first verse in that same chapter of Hebrews confirms this:

"Therefore let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity..." (Hebrews 6:1 NIV). In other words, "Let's move to deeper waters." The Lord is inviting us deeper! And our response to that call involves our hope.

Our Anchor of Hope

The Lord uses the image of an anchor to describe hope, and He never does anything by accident. Anchors have weight. The root of terms like "I'm weighing these options" is a distant thing in this era of credit cards and paper money, but in biblical times, if something was paid for with gold or silver, it had to be weighed. To weigh something meant to ascertain its authenticity. The reason currency was weighed was because other materials could appear like gold or precious metals, and a fake could be caught if it didn't have the correct weight. (Photo via Creative Commons)

In our culture, "I hope so" carries far less weight than "I know so." The world tends to give knowledge precedence over hope. But as Believers, when we "weigh" our hope in the Lord against our knowledge, our hope in Him should always be more weighty. That passage from Hebrews chapter 6 talks about our hope being "firm and secure." Those words denote an ability to carry weight, or a sure place to put one's footing. Our hope in the Lord is not only safe to lean on, but it's also safe to stand on, walk out on, and put our full self into.

When our hope is in the Lord, we are operating like a ship with an anchor. When He says go, we can move without dragging. We don't get stuck in our ways. When He says stop, we can be steadfast and immovable, anchoring ourselves in Him. We are not "tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming" (Ephesians 4:14), which is a sign of spiritual immaturity.

Like the Israelites on the way to the Promised Land, who followed the pillar of fire by night and pillar of cloud by day, our every move can be directed by the Lord when our hope is placed fully and securely in Him. So what does it look like to place our hope in the Lord?

Hope Is the Entire Journey

The Hebrew word for hope in Strong's Concordance is tiqvah, which is rooted in the word qavah. This word is a picture of twisting together and stretching like a rope. It means "to wait for," "endure," and "gather."

In the past, I would have thought of hope as a fixed point or thing in the future. This picture of hope, however, shows hope as the entire journey.

We fully possess the hope of Jesus and all the good news He communicated as the embodied Word of God, and all that continues to be spoken to us by the Holy Spirit. We also are in the process of discovering its fullness as we get to know more and more of the Lord and all He's done for us and planned for us. Each confirmation, each teaching, each testimony along the way is another thread twisted into our "rope," connecting us to our "Hope Anchor." All of a sudden, with this view, our in-between time, our waiting, and our adverse circumstances all take on new meaning. When we spend our journey looking for the "threads" that continue to confirm and strengthen our ties to God's promises, it becomes a joyful hunt. The process of endurance and persistence in faith becomes a tether.

In order to be useful, anchors have to be tethered by something like a chain or rope. Not having something to tether to does not negate an anchor's existence, just as our disconnection or unawareness of the hope God has for us doesn't negate its existence. Just like an untethered anchor, however, an untethered "hope" can become lost under the waves. In Hebrews 6 it mentions that hope enters with Christ beyond the veil. The things the Lord has spoken over us (the Word of God, the gospel of Jesus, and His plans for our lives) are real things in the heavenly realm. Just like an anchor below the waves is not seen, there are times on our journey when our hope is not yet seen. Not yet seen, however, is a far cry from not yet real. (Photo via Unsplash)

Questions to Take before the Lord

My prayer today is that the Lord would fill you with hope. Wherever we are on our journey, let's check in with the Lord. Take these questions to Him in prayer and see what refreshment, healing, or renewal He has for your hope today:

1. God, where have I put my hope? What am I putting the most "weight" in? If there is something keeping me from putting that full hope in You, would You show me, Lord?

2. God, what specific hopes from Your words do You want to remind me of?

3. Father, give me eyes to see the little "threads" of confirmation that can anchor me to the realness of all You've spoken over me and keep me unshakable.


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Sara Whitten
Arrows of Zion

Sara Whitten is an author, speaker, equipper, and founder of Arrows of Zion Ministry. She and her husband are youth pastors at Impact Christian Fellowship in Kerrville, Texas. Sara is a prophetic writer that is featured on Charisma, The Elijah List, Spirit Fuel, and more. She hosts "Hear God Every Day," a podcast with tools to help amplify the voice of God amidst the noise of everyday life. She participates in developing resources and Bible-based trainings for areas least reached by the Gospel. Sara also facilitates trainings for professionals wanting to use their business or marketplace skills for the Kingdom.


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