The design of an anchor, of course, is to hold a vessel firmly to one place when winds and currents would otherwise remove it. God has given us certain truths, which are intended to hold our minds fast to truths of God, holiness, and His perseverance—in a word, to hold us to Him. But why hold the vessel?
The first answer, which would suggest itself, would be to keep it from being wrecked. The ship may not need an anchor in calm waters, when upon a broad ocean a little drifting may not be a very serious matter, but there are conditions of weather in which an anchor becomes altogether essential. When a gale is rushing towards the shore, blowing great guns and the vessel cannot hold her course, and must surely be driven upon an iron-bound coast, and then an anchor is worth its weight in gold! If the good ship cannot be anchored there will be nothing left of her in a very short time except for here and there a spar; the gallant vessel will go to pieces, and every mariner drowned; now is the time to let down the anchor, the best bower anchor if you will, and let the good ship defy the wind.
Our God does not intend His people to be shipwrecked—shipwrecked and lost forever; however, they would be if they were not held fast in the hour of temptation. Brothers and sisters, if every wind of doctrine whirled you about at its will, you would soon be drifted far away from the truth as it is in Jesus—and concerning it you would make shipwreck; but you cost your Lord too dear for Him to lose you; He bought you at too great a price, and sets too great a store by you for Him to see you broken to pieces on the rocks; therefore He has provided for you a glorious holdfast, that when Satan’s temptations, your own corruptions, and the trials of the world assail you, hope may be the anchor of your soul both sure and steadfast. How much we need it! For we see others fall into the error of the wicked, overcome by the deceivableness of unrighteousness, and left forever as castaways. “Having no hope and without God in the world.”
If you have done business on the great waters for any length of time, you must be well aware that were it not for everlasting truths of God which hold you fast, your soul had long since been hurried into everlasting darkness, and the proud waters had long before this have gone over your soul. When the mighty waves have lifted themselves up your poor boat has seemed to go down to the bottom of the mountains, and had it not been for His unchanging Love and immutable faithfulness, your heart had utterly fainted. Nevertheless here you are today convoyed by grace, provisioned by mercy, steered by heavenly Wisdom, and propelled by celestial power! Thanks to the anchor, or rather to the God who gave it to you, no storm has overwhelmed you; you are under way for the port of glory!
C. H. Spurgeon
A sermon delivered on Lord’s-Day morning, May 21, 1876 at the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington