Updated: Apr 23, 2020
By Lillie Leach
Denver Seminary Resident
Sitting in my living room, I have one of those customizable letter boards. It often shares a good word from the week that I want to remember, a thought from a book I’ve read, or some quote from The Office. Sometimes my husband laughs at me, because it starts to blend into the background of our apartment, and I forget to change it for weeks. But right now, it reflects a truth I want to be reminded of daily during these unprecedented times: “We have a sure hope.”
It’s a quote from a song on an album I love (link at the bottom), an interpretation of Romans 8:38-39, which says,
For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
On a second album, the composer uses the same melody to put Hebrews 8:18-19a to music, which says,
Thus 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 strongly encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and steadfast.
The use of this same tune is intentional to draw a strong connection between these two passages of scripture. God’s love for us is just as sure as Christ as the anchor for our souls in salvation, despite any situation happening here on earth.
But life has changed drastically in the last few weeks. Our in-person communities have been cut off. Schedules have been disrupted. Daily life is not what it once as. We are tempted to feel anxious and can’t help but feeling lonely. We fear the virus, or the possible economic collapse, or the sadness that comes from being stuck with only ourselves for days.
So, how can we take heart in this truth? How can we set our minds to focus on things above? Let’s remind ourselves of four things.
You are not the anchor.
If you feel unsteady and out-of-control, you are here in the same boat with the rest of us. This feeling is understandably prevalent as we sit back and watch our workplaces close, the stock markets nosedive, and our governments enact new laws that affect us in ways we never wanted.
But we were never actually in control. We often manufacture a sense of security to cope with our daily lives. Psalm 27:1 says, “The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” As we grasp for any foothold on the crumbling rock of our financial security and our health, let’s remember that Christ’s anchor is deeply embedded in us, holding us tightly to himself.
You are not the hope.
The whole world also feels very hopeless. Will the doctors be able to treat all the patients they need to? Will the scientists develop a vaccine to eradicate the disease? Will I ever be able to get coffee at my favorite shop or go back to church? Will I lose a loved one to this virus?
But, our hope has always been in Jesus. In his 1948 essay On Living in an Atomic Age, C.S. Lewis says,
It is perfectly ridiculous to go about whimpering and drawing long faces because the scientists have added one more chance of painful and premature death to a world which already bristled with such chances and in which death itself was not a chance at all, but a certainty.
Death was always inevitable. The scientists can’t prevent it, and we can’t will ourselves to live forever. But our hope lies in our salvation through Christ’s sacrificial death, and that hope hasn’t dissolved in light of this virus. It is eternal and unchanging. Believers will enter into fellowship with Christ, either now or later, something Paul calls a gain (Philippians 1:21). The economy will eventually improve, the virus will become old news, and your hope can always be in the firm foundation of our God, not doctors or economists.
Christ is with us always.
Being stuck at home can leave us feeling lonely and sad, especially if we live alone and miss our loved ones. The house feels empty when all the day’s Zoom meetings are done, or when the kids go to bed, or as we wave at our friends through the window of our apartments.
Let’s remember Christ, offering comfort and joy, holding out his arms, saying “I am with you always, even to the ends of the world” (Matthew 28:20).
Christ is Lord over all.
Not only is Christ omnipresent, our anchor, and our hope, he is sovereign over all of creation. Not one sparrow falls without his knowledge and allowance (Matthew 10:29). He is sovereign over bank accounts. He is sovereign over the stock market, over jobs and bills. He has given authority to our government leaders, and He directs their decisions (Proverbs 21:1). He is sovereign over biology, over disease and over viruses (Colossians 1:16-17). Finally, let’s remind ourselves that there is nothing out of the Lord’s control.
Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all. Both riches and honor come from you, and you rule over all. In your hand are power and might, and in your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all. (1 Chronicles 29:11-12)
Hebrews by Psallos: