Below is an address that I recently sent for the March 2023 graduating class of Antioch Biblical Seminary and College located in Pondicherry, India. This message is offered here as an encouragement that our anchor is firmly fixed in the heart of God — and it holds! May He still your heart on this Sabbath day with His peace.
If a vessel is not securely anchored and a storm blows toward a rocky coast, even the greatest of ships may be wrecked. When dropped, the pull of the anchor chain, which ties the anchor to the ship, embeds that anchor deeply into the ocean floor. Once secure, a greater storm only drives the anchor deeper into the seabed.
We encounter many great storms through life: personal trials that buffet our souls, but we know that God is our firm and steadfast anchor, and He will carry us through. When all is done, we will arrive at the safe harbor – our heavenly home. These trials are welcome; they are the blessed means by which our trust in God is strengthened.
As these wonderful years of study at Antioch Biblical Seminary and College pass by, you will have dropped your anchor in the Truth. You will have rejoiced in the Living Word of God and learned the eternal truths that this world is hungering for. You are now prepared for years of fruitful gospel labor in the vast harvest field of India.
In the years ahead, your lives will show to all that the Word of God is true. When storms arise, you will anchor your souls deeper into the heart of God. You will find in the practice of daily life that you can make God your dwelling place and be held steadfast amidst the storms as well as the calms.
Through the continued work of God’s Spirit, what you have learned will become reality. Each of your callings and experiences will vary, but all of you will be strengthened. This will include quiet trust like that of Paul the Apostle as he awaited trial before the Roman Emperor Nero. As the first martyr Stephen knew the face of God, so will you when people violently oppose the gospel message. As Elijah the prophet was fed at the Brook Cherith, so will you trust God to provide when no earthly supply is seen. Just like the Good Shepherd, you will seek the lost, help the wounded, and strengthen the sheep.
As we look beyond the borders of India, we have faith that the gospel will reach the rest of the world. There is something operating on this earth that is more than what we can see with human eyes. There is a heavenly anchor that holds all things together and assures us that everything will turn out all right. That anchor is our Lord Jesus Christ. Be encouraged today knowing that His mercy and power have no limit, and stay encouraged through all the coming years!
(My dear wife, Parimala, was in the first graduating class of Antioch in 2000; the college has since graduated more than 750 students, the great majority of whom are now serving Christ in India.