Author: Paul Lee, Pastor, Berkeley Chinese Baptist Church, Berkeley
After this Jesus revealed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias, and he revealed himself in this way. 2 Simon Peter, Thomas (called the Twin), Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples were together. 3 Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We will go with you.” They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. 4 Just as day was breaking, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. 5 Jesus said to them, “Children, do you have any fish?” They answered him, “No.” 6 He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in, because of the quantity of fish. (John 21:1-6, NIV)
Have you ever been discouraged? It’s easy to trust Jesus when things are going good but what about the times when it starts getting rough? What about the times when the future suddenly becomes very uncertain. I recently faced a situation like that. We were looking at an uncertain future, knowing that in a few weeks I would be out of a job. So my wife asked me, “Should we cut back on our tithing the next two months so that we can save some extra money?” And I gave her the answer that Christians seem to give when they don’t want to make a decision. I said, “Let’s pray about it.” A week later the decision was made. I came back to my wife and told her that we weren’t going to cut back on giving back to God. God had told her the same thing. It always seems like the first reaction when things become uncertain is to go back to our former way of thinking, because it seems safe. That’s what Peter and the other disciples did; they went back to fishing, because they didn’t understand what was happening. With fishing, they could be in control. Sometimes, the ways of the world seem more secure, because it is something that we believe that we can control. But in the end, we always find that the world’s way is never secure. That way is always fraught with uncertainty. But when we follow Jesus and His leading, we are always secure, because God is sovereign. He is in control, and He will always provide.
Was there ever a time that you became discouraged, and abandoned God’s calling, only to return to the safety of the familiar? How certain is your trust in God to provide?
The ISAAC 2009 Lenten Devotional, edited by Rev. Dr. Johnson Chiu. This devotional was written by Asian American English ministry leaders and pastors in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. To purchase, click here: Road of Suffering, Road to Glory: A Lenten Adventure with the Savior