April 15, 2022

Learn How To Walk In Faith

Because you say so, I will let down the nets.  Luke 5:5

Nothing is so frustrating as attempting to do something you know is a waste of time and effort. Right? Ask any fisherman who has toiled hour after hour, perhaps throwing his best hardware into the water, gently allowing his lure of bait to drift into the shadows where he thinks the big one is.  But, then, eventually, he concludes, “There’s nothing here!  Absolutely nothing.”

So when someone says, “Try it again!” he feels like saying. “You try it. It’s an absolute waste of time. There’s not a fish within miles of here.”

Yet that’s exactly what happened with Jesus and the disciples on one occasion. They had fished all night and caught nothing. Now these were not sports-fishing tourists who came traipsing out to the lake with the latest gear. They had been born in a village on the lake. They fished six days a week. They knew every good fishing spot on Galilee, so when Jesus asked them take the boat out into deep water and let down the nets for a catch, they were confronted with a dilemma: “Should we comply to be nice or refuse to do what everything in our experience and knowledge tells us is an absolute waste of time and effort?” Their faith was confronted with an absurd impossibility. Only God could make that happen.  The natural and the supernatural were on a collision course.

Peter responded, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets” (Luke 5:5).  Do you suppose for a fleeting instant Peter thought, “This might be something big?” Who knows?  Probably not, but what he did say gives us insight to his thinking. He began by using a word of address translated, Master.  It was used for officials, and the word, incidentally, meant one who bears the burden and responsibility of leadership.  Six times Luke tells how men called Jesus Master.  “Master,” says Peter, “we’ve tried it all night, but at your word, we’ll do it again.”

Everything hinged on one word—but, or nevertheless. With that one word he does an about-face. The impossible gives way to the potential of faith. The absurd yields to the anticipation of the supernatural.

The situation facing Peter and the disciples hasn’t gone away, either. It is one that you will face if you have not already done so. Circumstances say, “There is no hope,” yet the Word of God says Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Faith says, “God can,” and despair says, “I’ve tried everything.”

“At your word, I will let down the nets,” says Peter.

That’s where knowledge of what God has promised helps you believe Him when natural circumstances are bleak and dark.  The word but or nevertheless means you stop facing the storm and do an about face, looking towards heaven.

And what happened when Peter and his friends let down their net?  Here’s Luke’s account: “When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink” (Luke 5:6-7).

Honestly, that’s what we all like—an immediate answer over and above anything we could ask or hope for; however, there are times when you have to do the about face in faith and keep walking with your head high, believing that He is in charge of the circumstances.  “Nevertheless, I will trust you.”

Resource reading: Luke 5:1-11.