If you have worked very hard but had nothing to show for it, you will understand the sense of disappointment and frustration that Simon Peter felt as he washed his net that morning. It was not his first time of fishing at Lake Gennesaret and he was not new to the trade either. Yet he toiled all through the night without a single catch. A little distance from him moored another empty boat. He was not alone! Even today, the world is filled with people who work so hard, perhaps too hard, but catch nothing. If you dare to look around, wherever you are, you will not miss their empty boats.
You know, I have only sympathy for anyone who is still hugging his pillow by noon rather than find where to engage in productive labour. Some spend all their time chasing after fun and pleasure. Their shameful end is predictable: poverty. Even God cannot help them. However, I am touched when I find a man or woman who puts his hand to the plough only to harvest the wind. David captured it graphically in the Psalms: they wake up early and go to bed late, eating the bread of sorrow (Psalm 127:2). They are trapped in the daily struggle to make a living. If that is your case, you are the one I am addressing today. And I have a simple message for you: you won’t die struggling!
Return with me to that story in Luke 5. To Simon Peter, it was over. He was washing his net, proof that he was not going to fish anymore till the next fishing day. His thoughts must have shifted to how he would face his wife with nothing in his hands. But God already had it all figured out. Man’s failure is always an invitation to God for the miraculous.
When Jesus arrived at the Lake, there were many boats at the shore. Some have put the number at about five thousand. He walked straight and climbed into the one belonging to Simon Peter. Coincidence? No way! That was divine visitation. Jesus was about to end his struggles! Likewise, God knows you, my dear. He knows where you are and how it is with you right now. Just like Jesus located Peter at the Lake for a turn-around, I see Him visiting you today. You might have thought it is over but God has a better plan. He already has it figured out. Your years of fruitless labour is about to be rewarded. God is about to restore all the years you have lost. Say “Amen!” if you believe!
AT YOUR WORD
To reverse Peter’s failure, Jesus instructed him to “launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch (Luke 5:4)”. That was astonishing. Peter’s senses came alive. Go back to the same lake that yielded nothing after an all night of toiling? What has changed? Wouldn’t it be a waste of time? It didn’t make sense. And that is the problem with God’s instructions: they usually don’t make sense! They can only be obeyed by faith. So, many people miss out!
Peter replied, “Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless, at your Word, I will let down the net”. When he did, he caught more fish than his boat could contain. It was the anointing of Jesus that made the difference. That anointing is still available to us today!
I want you to note two important things. Firstly, hard work without God’s help will wear you out and yet the result will be nothing. You need God to be anything and achieve anything in life. When God helps you, what you cannot get in a long night of toiling, you will get in one moment of inspiration. Secondly, the Word of God is what will terminate your struggles. When you labour without the Word, your night will be long and your struggle will continue. But obedience to God’s Word is the secret of sweatless success. And when you succeed by God’s Word, your success will draw you closer to God, not further from Him.
So I invite you to join me this Sunday at Sure Word Assembly and you will receive a revelation of God’s Word that will equip you to win in every areas of your life.
Article written by Dr. Dennis Inyang (firstname.lastname@example.org)