We all know that God wants us to live an abundant life. An abundant life comes from talking with God (prayer), seeking Him (reading the Bible), and following His commands (obeying His Word). I don’t know about you, but even when I think I’m doing all of those things, I can still become discouraged.
In Luke chapter five, Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesarat talking to the crowds of people surrounding Him. Jesus saw Simon Peter’s fishing boat and decided to get in it, thinking it might be easier to teach the people from the boat. Jesus asked Simon Peter and his crew to take the boat out a little from the shore. So Simon Peter got in the boat and took Jesus out from the shore.
When Jesus was finished speaking to the people, he looked at Simon Peter and his crew and told them to take the boat out into the deep and “let down the nets for a catch (verse 4).” Simon Peter was a fisherman by trade with years of experience. I can see him shaking his head back-and-forth as he said something like, “Lord, with all due respect, we’ve been fishing all night and there is nothing to catch.” In fact, he and his crew were exhausted from fishing. But after he told Jesus that, he said, “Because you say so, I will let down the nets (verse 5).” According to verse 6, “When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break.”
This story reminds me of the saying in the above photo. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve become discouraged when I’m trying to live a life for God, or when I’m trying to be that good mom, or when I’m trying to be the loving wife, or when I’m trying to compassionately care for my patients, or when I’m trying to write a good story that tells of God’s love. So many times, I’ve wanted to throw in the towel. Life can be exhausting.
Discouragement affects all of us. The thing is, just when we are on the edge of quitting and want to give up, God speaks to us. He tells us, “No, don’t give up. I am with you, and good things will happen. Trust My timing.” Friend, don’t give up. God hears you and sees you. He understands your feelings of discouragement, your lack of confidence, and your feelings of inadequacy. He says, “Don’t give up. Keep trusting Me. I am helping you. You’re almost there.” Cast your nets out one more time.