An Anchor in the Time of the Storm


Special Note: This article is included in Jim’s book “An Attitude of Thankfulness” along with 19 other articles and is available for purchase in Paperback and eBook formats at this link:  Jim’s Books

Background:

The 2012 USA Presidential Election is now history and in an extremely close finish our president for the next four years will again be Barack Hussein Obama.  Half of the USA population is ecstatic and the other half is tremendously disappointed.  Legislative gridlock will continue as the Republicans retained control of the House and the Democrats still control the Senate.

Hurricane Sandy – Sunday October 25, 2012 begins its northern trek toward the USA NE coast.

Almost two weeks prior to the election, Hurricane Sandy made landfall in Jamaica on Wednesday, October 24, 2012. “The storm turned deadly in the Caribbean, and a hurricane/winter storm hybrid decimated regions along the U.S. East Coast” centered on New Jersey on October 29, 2012. Sandy has been described by many as the “storm of the century.”  Certainly it will be one of the ten costliest in the USA since 1900.

Robert Connolly, left, embraces his wife Laura as they survey the remains of the home owned by her parents that burned to the ground in the Breezy Point section of New York, Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012. More than 50 homes were destroyed in the fire which swept through the oceanfront community during superstorm Sandy. At right is their son, Kyle. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

The coverage for the Presidential election suddenly took a backseat to the continuous news reports of the significant destruction, power outages to more than 8.5 million homes and businesses, and the mounting death toll (74 in the USA and still rising as of November 3, 2012), particularly in New Jersey and New York, that resulted from Sandy.  CNN and other networks chronicled the event both before and after the storm for days (‘A loss for everybody’: Communities start cleanup after Sandy).

Military rescues trapped victims in New Jersey

Military and emergency response units  rescued people from homes and businesses isolated by the flooding.  Major portions of New York city’s subway system were crippled due to flooding. Mayor Bloomberg of New York City under pressure from all sides cancelled the New York Marathon as outrage mounted over using generators to power tents in Central Park that could power hundreds of homes still without power.

In the aftermath and recovery from the storm, there was an ongoing debate among USA and international news agencies that because of the storm’s massive disruption on everyday life a significant number of voters would not able to reach the polls to cast their vote … thus giving the edge to one candidate or the other.  Most of the storm victims were still dealing with personal priorities that are currently more important than the election.  What many were/are looking for is  An Anchor in the Time of the Storm.  

Scripture:

Hebrews 6:17-20 (ERV) – 17 God wanted to prove that His promise was true. He wanted to prove this to those who would get what he promised. He wanted them to understand clearly that his purposes never change. So God said something would happen, and He proved what He said by adding an oath. 18 These two things cannot change: God cannot lie when He says something, and He cannot lie when He makes an oath.  So these two things are a great help to us who have come to God for safety. They encourage us to hold on to the hope that is ours. 19 This hope is like an anchor for us. It is strong and sure and keeps us safe. It goes behind the curtain.[a] 20 Jesus has already entered there and opened the way for us. He has become the high priest forever, just like Melchizedek.

Discussion:

Hurricanes are not the only storms we will face in our lifetime.  Life’s storms take many forms including health issues, family problems, job loss, job issues. financial trouble, divorce, death of a family member, anxiety, depression, doubt, fear, relationship issues, unjust rumors, chronic pain, etc.  God Almighty knows that we will face such adversity throughout our lives.  He knew the storms in our life would have the potential to sweep us away. So God provided a sure anchor for us in such times.  That anchor is Jesus!

God’s word, The Bible, is also an immovable anchor in the time of storms.   In his sermon “Our Anchor in Times of Storm”, Dr. Charles Stanley related … “In the midst of hardship and pain, we can rely on the Bible for the stability, guidance, and security we need.” Every word of The Bible is true and without error.  As Dr. Stanley so aptly says, “the Bible is the record of God’s unfolding revelation of Himself through the spoken Word, nature, history, and ultimately the coming of His Son Jesus Christ into the world.”

In approximately 68 AD the writer of Hebrews, commonly attributed by most scholars as Paul … but not conclusively, offered encouragement to those Christian Hebrew followers who were in the service of the Lord but in need of further spiritual maturity.  Paul provided them the assurance that God would keep ALL of His promises by reminding them of the example of how Abraham received the promise of God through his faithfulness.  In Hebrews 6: 13-15  Paul said 13 God made a promise to Abraham. And there is no one greater than God, so he made the promise with an oath in his own name—an oath that he would do what he promised. 14 He said, “I will surely bless you. I will give you many descendants.”[c] 15 Abraham waited patiently for this to happen, and later he received what God promised.”

As Dr. Stanley pointed out in his sermon, sometimes we are responsible for our own storms.  The sin in our lives is often the cause for a storm.  At other times we show poor judgement in our decision-making bringing on a storm.  Satan also causes adversity and storms in our life as he attempts to draw us away from God. Others, such as family and friends, can bring storms into our lives. At times even God brings storms into our life, but be assured that such storms are always for our own good.  Sometimes it takes a storm to get our attention, purify us from sin, cause us to surrender to Him, and equip us to serve Him.

In closing his sermon, Dr. Stanley gives some scripture verses reminding us that God’s Word is the anchor we can hold on to in the times of the storms in our life.  God’s word:

  • is a comfort – Psalm 57:1-3 (NKVJ)  1 God, be merciful to me. Be kind because my soul trusts in you. I have come to you for protection, while the trouble passes.  I pray to God Most High for help, and he takes care of me completely! 3 From heaven he helps me and saves me.     He will punish the one who attacks me. Selah God will remain loyal to me and send his love to protect me.
  • is a reminder of God’s promises  – Matthew 11:28 (NKJV)  – 28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
  • is a compass for our lives – Proverbs 3:5-6 (NKJV) – Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct[a] your paths.
  • teaches us how the God works – 1 Cor. 10:1-13 (NKJV) –  … 11 Now all[b]these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. 12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. 13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.  1Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. 13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it (click this link to read the entire scripture passage).

God’s Word does us absolutely no good sitting on a shelf in our closet just gathering dust.  For His Word to truly be An Anchor in the Time of the Storm we have to read it, meditate on it, believe it, apply it to our life and obey it.

Reflection:

In the days following the 2012 Presidential election many will still be facing the storm of their life as they deal with the damage resulting from Superstorm Sandy.  These folks “are/will be” in great need of an anchor as they recover.  Jesus and the Bible are that anchor.

I sang my first church solo at the Sunset Hills Baptist Church in Richmond, Virginia when I was a six-year-old.  I was a member of the children’s choir and we sang along with the adults in a Christmas special.  Believe it or not, that solo was “Oh Holy Night,” quite a difficult song for a six-year-old.  That experience started a lifetime of singing solos at church services, weddings and funerals.  One of my favorite solos of all time is “The Anchor Holds” with lyrics by Ray Boltz.  Watch the presentation of this very special song originally released in 1995.

The Anchor Holds

I have journeyed
Through the long dark night
Out on the open sea
By faith alone
Sight unknown
And yet his eyes were watching me.

CHORUS
The anchor holds
Though the ship is battered
the anchor holds
Though the sails are torn
I have fallen on my knees
As I faced the raging seas
The anchor holds
In spite of the storm

I’ve had visions
I’ve had dreams
I’ve even held them in my hand
But I never knew
They would slip right through
Like they were only grains of sand

CHORUS
I have been young
But I am older now
And there has been beauty these eyes have seen
But it was in the night
Through the storms of my life
Oh that’s where God proved his love to me

When I was nine years old our family moved back to Georgia from Virginia where my father had been transferred in the midst of World War II.  We attended White Oak Hills Baptist Church, then located in Decatur, Georgia.  I accepted Christ as my Savior when I was twelve years old and began my spiritual journey toward maturity in that conservative Southern Baptist church.  Julian Wilson was our Music Director at that time.  Our youth choir had more than sixty members and Mr. Wilson challenged us with wonderfully arranged  and often difficult anthems and hymns.  Our youth Choir sang every Sunday Night and the church crowds were large.  We sang Hymns and a few choruses back then … all with piano and organ … and to me all of the hymns were praise music!

Ruth Caye Jones – Mother Jones (1902-1972)

Dwelling  a moment on one hymn in particular that I really didn’t have enough appreciation for as a teenager is an appropriate way to wrap up this article.  Ruth Caye Jones (Mother Jones, 1902-1972) penned the words and music to “In Times Like These” in 1944 in London in the midst of World War II.  How appropriate!  Times were really tough then as millions were giving their lives for the sake of freedom.  Germany had continually bombarded London and was still on the offensive.  That would soon change.  Listen and watch George Beverly Shea present “In Times Like These” during a 1984 Billy Graham Crusade … a wonderful and inspiring message of how Jesus and the Bible are Your Anchor in the Time of the Storm.

In Times Like These

Words and Music by Ruth Caye Jones

In times like these you need a Savior;
In times like these you need an anchor.
Be very sure, be very sure
Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!

In times like these you need the Bible;
In times like these oh be not idle.
Be very sure, be very sure
Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!

In times like these, I have a Savior;
In times like these, I have an anchor.
I’m very sure, I’m very sure
My anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!

Chorus:
This Rock is Jesus, Yes, He’s the One;
This Rock is Jesus, the only One!
Be very sure, be very sure
Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!

———————————————————————————————————

Links for additional study and reflection:

Related Articles by Jim Davenport

Related Music:

About jimdavenport

Jim Davenport resides in the USA in Northeast Georgia, is a member of a Southern Baptist Church and is a retired Christian business man. Jim and his wife Charlotte have one son and daughter in law, Keven and Amy, four grandchildren - Ashlyn (Davenport) & Josh Murphy, and Mason & Rebecca Davenport. We have three great-grandchildren, Rhory Camile Murphy, Rhett Levi Murphy and Sawyer Joshua Murphy. Jim and Charlotte own a mountain get-away home located on Lookout Mountain in Alabama where they spend many spring, summer and fall days working in their raised bed organic garden. Jim has served as a Deacon and Trustee in his local church most of his adult life and on the Executive Committee and Finance Committee of the Board of Trustees of Shorter University, an intentionally Christian institution located in Rome, Georgia. Jim has a passion for the word of God and has always believed that Christian principles should guide every aspect of his life. He also loves Christian music and often served as a tenor soloist in his church. One of the highlights of his life was the nearly 20 years he spent singing with The Good News, a Southern Gospel quartet. Jim served as an Information Technology professional his entire working career of 50 years holding senior positions in and consulting with hundreds of world-class organizations in the United States, Canada, Europe, Central and South America, Australia and New Zealand. Jim remains as President and CEO of InfoSys Solutions Associates, Inc. and is a retired partner of IT Governance Partners, LLC, both of which are “Trusted Advisor” technology and business consulting firms. Jim has authored a number of books available at www.jimdavenport.me/jims-books. His blog has ben read by readers from more than 170 countries. Jim holds both a BS and an MS in Mathematics from Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia and completed Management Development Training at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.
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14 Responses to An Anchor in the Time of the Storm

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  10. jimdavenport says:

    On Wed, Nov 7, 2012 Carolyn Barden wrotee:
    Jim,
    Thank you for such timely wisdom. We have a lot of storms at the moment and the music as well as the words of encouragement were just what I needed to be reminded of.
    Blessings,
    Carolyn Barden
    —————————————–

    On Wed, Nov 7, 2012 at 1:51 PM MJ wrote:
    Jim, as are many, we are heartsick. I just finished a bible study on Genesis: every story whispers His name. It was wonderful, especially now, because it rem inded us in a powerful way, that the Creator of the universe, always used his plan, and people to bring about his will. We may be going in to a valley now, as a country. But we are his chosen people, and all will be well. Love, MJ

    On Wed, Nov 7, 2012 at 5:47 PM, Jim Davenport wrote:
    MJ, your thoughts align perfectly with God’s instruction to us as His people. As we approach Thanksgiving we will be praying that God will be glorified through these recent events. Lest we forget, God is in control, Jesus is the answer, and His Word the Bible is our guide. Thank God for His love for us in spite of our sin.

    Seeking His guidance,

    Jim D.

    Like

  11. John Hayes says:

    Since we are all in the same boat after the election, it is still not too late for God to help us out of our situation. I pray that God shows our elected officials how to work to together for the good.Thus, God can do anything but fail.
    John Hayes

    Like

    • jimdavenport says:

      John, you are absolutely right. God is always ready, willing and able to help man. He created each of us and loves us. Our collective problem is that we continue to turn further and further away from God and depend more and more on ourselves. There are worldly consequences to both our individual and collective sin. As a nation, the only real answer to our problems is to collectively turn to God, love Him, depend on Him, serve Him and list to Him. As we seek His face and follow His instruction, our nation can be healed. Anything short of this is temporary at best, but if we can just turn the tide towards Him instead on continuing to turn away from Him then perhaps God will show His loving-kindness (mercy) toward our nation and bring us back to prosperity. I love your thinking brother. It is right on. Praying for our nation. Jim D.

      Like

  12. Gerald Littleton says:

    Jim….how well I remember those days at White Oak Hills Baptist Church….it’s so inspirational that you have stayed on your spiritual course and are able to share your insights.

    Gerald Littleton

    Like

    • jimdavenport says:

      Gerald, those were such great days!! The foundation we received as teens could not have been better. Over my lifetime God has proven that a house built on the solid rock of Jesus and His Word will never fail no matter the storm.

      Jim D.

      Like

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