Christ the Sure and Steady Anchor

By Pastor Matt Sikes

Suffering and Song

In the sermon last Sunday Pastor Mark reminded us of the offensiveness of Jesus and, even more specifically, the offense of the gospel. He reminded of Jesus’ warning to his disciples that they would be rejected just like he was because of the offensiveness of the gospel. He also moved to the place of realizing that the whole point of the Christian life is complete dependence on Christ.

I think that this one of the most difficult challenges of the Christian life because it is in complete opposition to our sin nature. In the world around us we are often told the story that true maturity is becoming more and more independent. I think that this is one of the reasons that we struggle so much with prayer. In order to pray we must stop trying to do life on our own and humble ourselves before God – to worship Him, confess our sins to Him, give thanks to Him, and make our requests known to Him.

This is why I love that God has given us the gift of singing and music. You have probably heard me say this before, but there is a famous quote that comes from one of our most important church fathers in history, Augustine. He says that singing is praying twice. That is a simple and beautiful statement that helps us capture that power of song. Sometimes when we are in such a rut from running away from God and trying to live self-sufficient lives the only thing that can help us taste and see that the Lord is good (Psalm 34:8) is to stop and sing praises to Him. What’s even greater is that God has called us to come together as His church every week to worship Him corporately and to encourage one another through song (Col 3:16 & Eph. 5:19).

Singing is a very tangible way that we can experience God’s grace. It’s a way that we can set Scripture and themes from Scripture to music and we can behold Christ (2 Cor 3:18) in the midst of our suffering and temptation. This is one of the reasons why singing is absolutely essential to the Christian life.

A New Song this Sunday

This Sunday we will be singing a new song that was written by Matt Boswell and Matt Papa. This song speaks to our suffering and reminds us of the assurance we have in Christ and to cling to Him when everything around us seems to be crumbling. It is a song that I hope will become part of our congregation’s “repertoire” to give us hope in the midst of our greatest trials. The words speak for themselves:

Christ the sure and steady anchor,

In the fury of the storm;

When the winds of doubt blow through me,

When my sails have all been torn.

In the suffering, in the sorrow,

When my sinking hopes are few;

I will hold fast to the anchor,

It shall never be removed.

Christ the sure and steady anchor,

While the tempest rages on;

When temptation claims the battle,

And it seems the night has won.

Deeper still then goes the anchor,

Though I justly stand accused;

I will hold fast to the anchor,

It shall never be removed.

Christ the sure and steady anchor,

Through the floods of unbelief;

Hopeless somehow, O my soul, now,

Lift your eyes to Calvary.

This my ballast of assurance,

See his love forever proved.

I will hold fast to the anchor,

It will never be removed.

Christ the sure and steady anchor,

As we face the wave of death;

When these trials give way to glory,

As we draw our final breath.

We will cross that great horizon,

Clouds behind and life secure;

And the calm will be the better,

For the storms that we endure.

Christ the shore of our salvation,

Ever faithful, ever true!

We will hold fast to the anchor,

It shall never be removed.

As you can see the song has a running nautical theme that helps paint the imagery for our dependence on Christ. It is reminiscent of the story of Jesus calming the storm that was preached on just a few months ago in Mark 4:35-41. I love that the song ends with reminding us of our eternal hope as we look to the day when our lives on this earth will be over and we will no longer face suffering a temptation to sin. I hope that you find this song encouraging!

As you prepare for Sunday, I would like to challenge you to read through these words again and think carefully about the meaning of each verse and how it helps us in our deepening dependence on Christ. Please remember other ways that you can prepare for our corporate gathering – spending time in prayer for the service and asking God to continue to remind our church of the great importance and privilege of meeting Him as His Bride each week. The sermon text for Sunday will be Mark 6:14-29. If you would like to view the order of worship you can find that HERE.

See you Sunday!

Words & Music: Matt Boswell & Matt Papa

(C) 2015 Matt Boswell & Matt Papa