Peter and his friends worked all night pouring their blood, sweat and tears into trying to catch some fish. And when they had poured every effort, every good idea, and every ounce of strength into this venture, they came up empty. They failed. And boy, did that hurt!
But Jesus always has His eye on those who taste failure. The Bible says Jesus was teaching the people by the Sea of Galilee, but in the corner of his eye he saw Peter and his friends and He knew they were discouraged. Although Jesus was perfectly comfortable teaching by the side of the lake, He called to Peter and essentially said, “Hey, why don’t you take Me out in your boat and I’ll teach from the boat.” Jesus is so wise. He knew how to get Peter to come over and listen to what He had to say. Then after Peter listened to the anointed message, Jesus said, “Now Peter, go back to the same spot and let down your nets.”
I really believe that if Jesus had called to Peter when he was sitting on the beach in complete discouragement and at that moment told him to go back and throw his nets into the same spot, that Peter probably would have said, “Maybe next time Jesus.” But instead, Jesus put Peter into a situation where he had to get quiet for awhile and listen to what He had to say. Then when Peter’s spirit was refreshed and encouraged and enlightened by hearing God’s Word to him, then Jesus said, “Now Peter, go get your nets and throw them into the same spot.” Then Peter was ready...and he obeyed.
Discouraged comes in many packages. It comes in problems with our children, problems with our husbands or wives, problems with our jobs, problems with our finances, problems with our health, etc. And these problems make us want to either give up or they make us want to run as fast as we can, anywhere, as long as it’s away from the problem. But it doesn’t matter what the problem is, the solution is the same. Jesus says, “Come and listen to what I have to say for awhile.” And we can listen to Jesus in a lot of different ways today. We can listen to Him by opening our Bibles and reading God’s Word, we can listen to Him watching 3ABN, or getting on our knees and just listening with our hearts open to the Holy Spirit. Also getting out into nature and enjoying God’s handiwork and talking to someone you know loves Jesus are great ways to get in tune to that heavenly voice.
And I have found this to be true. When we seek for Jesus with all of our hearts, we always find Him...always. And He speaks to us inspite of what we read or what someone says. He speaks directly to our need. Then when His words give us comfort, hope and peace, then we’re ready face the problems once again. Then we’re ready for the battle. Then we’re ready to go back to the very spot that wrenched our hearts and brought us that heaping helping of discouragement.
Notice here in this story that Jesus didn’t say, “Well Peter, I know that spot brought you so much discouragement, I’ll just send you to another spot. Instead Jesus says, “I can bring water out of a rock, I can bring light out of darkness, I can bring joy out of grief, so go back to that place that hurt you, and just watch while I make a miracle with your name on it. And God has a miracle with your name on it today. The Bible says God is no respecter of persons, He loves us all the same. And what He did for Peter, He wants to do for you today. Just follow the prescription in this story for discouragement. Seek the face of Jesus, spend time listening to what He has to say until you know, that you know, that you know that He’s touched your heart. Then go back to the spot that brought you to the depths of discouragement and cast out your nets. Then just watch what happens! But make sure your nets are the heavy duty kind...those that are able to carry the weight of the enormous blessing that God has just for you!