The nuclear aircraft carrier USS Eisenhower has four and a half acres of flight deck, a displacement of 95,000 tons, and can launch sixty aircraft. It has not one but two anchors, each weighing 60,000 pounds, and each with a chain that is 1,082 feet long. Each link of the anchor chain weighs 365 pounds. The Eisenhower is built for stability. It's designed to give a smooth ride even in rough and stormy seas. A warship that must launch its aircraft at a moment's notice cannot be tossed about by the elements. It must be a stable platform under any conditions—and the Eisenhower meets that daunting requirement.
Stability! We all want to live stable, predictable lives without having to deal with nasty surprises. Unfortunately, this fallen world does not afford much stability. Circumstances change. Obstacles arise. Opposition invades our lives. When trouble comes, when the seas of life turn rough and stormy, our stability as believers is tested. Will we be tossed about by the storms? Or will we remain stable, firm, and anchored in the Lord Jesus?
Believers will need supernatural strength and God-given stability in order to stand firm.
In a real sense, the Thessalonian church was like a ship being tossed on a raging ocean. These believers needed an anchor to keep from being tossed about by the turbulence of shifting opinions and the storms of life. They faced pounding waves of persecution. They faced storm billows of false teaching. So Paul told them he was praying for them—especially for their spiritual stability. He was praying that they would stand firm on the teachings he had delivered to them.
Paul's prayer was not merely for one local congregation in one coastal city in northern Greece. His prayer extends to all believers in all places in all times who face the destabilizing forces of trials, persecutions, and false teachers. Above all, he prayed for those who would have to face the antichrist, who would experience the end-times upheaval when all hell breaks loose. In that time of lawlessness, anarchy, terror, and unrestrained evil, believers will need supernatural strength and God-given stability in order to stand firm.
Paul reminds all believers of the anchor that holds as strong and secure as the 60,000-pound anchor of a nuclear aircraft carrier. He reminds us of the bedrock of Truth that keeps us firmly in place. He reminds us of the unshakable hope and encouragement we have in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Prayer: Jesus, You are my rock and my salvation. I will trust in You as my sure anchor in the storm. Thank You for the Gospel on which I can stand firm forever. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
"We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure" (Hebrews 6:19).
*Excerpt adapted from Fearless Living in Troubled Times by Michael Youssef © 2017. Published by Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, OR. Used by permission.