We lose hope when we encounter challenges and stumbling blocks on the path of our destiny. We lose hope when there is a loss of confidence or enthusiasm.
What is keeping many of us stagnant today is not that they are not able to do something.
The truth is that they encountered a certain challenge and this challenge convinced them to lose hope in themselves and lose hope in God. When we lose hope, there is always the tendency to quit and give up.
This happens when someone has lost hope or confidence especially in the face of difficulties.
In today’s gospel, one can bring many topics like “when we obey God’ or when we are discouraged, or when Jesus is present, etc, but we choose this topic today because many today are depressed. Some have lost hope in God and have lost hope about their future, and in themselves.
There are moments when you have worked truly hard to make it in life. Also, there are times you have made sincere efforts yet things remain the way they are.
There are those times you have prayed fervently that God answers or sees you through but what you meet are more problems. This then makes you feel so tired. Sometimes it makes you lose hope in God and discouraged about life, your faith, and your future.
The Glimpse From the Gospel.
Today, the fishermen toiled all through the night and couldn’t catch a single fish.
They lost hope because they had gone out of their net, and were already washing their nets.
They lost hope of catching any fish. The reason is that they have toiled after a long night of effort without success.
So, they must be tired and discouraged before Jesus came to the scene.
The Key Points
The key points in this gospel today are:
1. When Simon Peter and his men have toiled all through the night, in their minds, they have concluded that there is nothing for the day. They lost hope of catching any fish. But they do not know that there is a surprise gift awaiting them from the Lord.
In essence, losing hope or becoming discouraged is not a sign that what you are looking for will not be achieved. The future is always unpredictable. Therefore, anything can still happen at the last minute.
Therefore we have to keep praying for His grace. Never give up, you may never know what God has in store for you.
2. When you lose hope, you may be discouraged, but do not get down.
What to do at this time is find someone or people who can lift your spirit again. Look for those who will show you the way out.
In this gospel, Simon Peter has lost hope and is already worn out. He became discouraged until Jesus came and showed him the way out. Therefore, always trust God. One day is your day.
4. When you lose hope in life because of adverse situations should be the time you have to pray harder. It is not the time to lose hope.
Simon and his crew tried they much they can as human beings but Jesus came and did the impossible.
Therefore, we have to understand that the only thing we can do, are things within the natural. Everything beyond the natural is God’s realm. He is always in charge of the impossible.
When you lose hope in life, do not forget the supernatural. We always need a supernatural hand to guide and save us. We always need the grace of God despite our human strength
5. When you lose hope, cling to the word of God to strengthen, guide, and inspire you again.
The Word of God gives strength in difficult situations. When God is your guide and protector you can surmount the insurmountable.
David says “even if I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil for you are with me” (Psalm 23;4).
He was assured of God’s presence despite the difficulties.
In today’s gospel, Jesus knows that they have toiled all through the night to catch a fish but could not. He saw them washing their net already.
Instead of telling them to cast their nets immediately, He takes His time and teaches them first. He knows they are in need but He proceeds first to feed them with the word.
Thus, this is a fulfilment of His statement that “that man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. ( Mathew 4;4).
Therefore, let us take His word very seriously. The word of God is a sure guide in times of challenges and difficulties. When you lose hope, you need the word of God to guide you.
6. After teaching them, Jesus now commands Simon Peter to cast his net.
Simon said that “since this command is from you, I will do it” and when he obeyed, they caught a great number of fish.
Therefore, we need to obey Him and follow his command all the time. When you feel all hope is lost, let his word guide and strengthen you.
7. The question one could ask is “what if Simon Peter did not accept to obey? Because from every indication, Simon Peter has toiled all day and got nothing?
Was Jesus an expert in fishing? How can He advise an expert, one would ask?
But let us always know that the wisdom of God is beyond whatever we know. Like Peter, we have to obey God at all costs. Let us always pray for His inspiration and do whatever He says.
8. Do not allow what you are passing through stop you from treating others well.
When Jesus demanded that Peter give his boat to Him, Peter would have transferred his frustration to Him. He wouldn’t have listened to Him for the fact He was so so angry and tired but Simon Peter allowed the Lord to use his boat and preach and thus he never knew Jesus had something in store for him.
In difficulties, be charitable to people, you never know where your blessings may come or who God will inspire to help you.
9. Finally, never belittle whatever you do, even if such is not giving you what you want at the moment. Keep going, keep trying, and keep praying.
Remember that Jesus did not tell Peter to cast his net into a different lake. it was the same Lake of Gennesaret.
What Jesus simply told him is “Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch”. So sometimes all we need to do is to go for the deep. Go for more.
Therefore, it is the same gift we have that others have. God only wants us to invest our time and something meaningful. Therefore, you have the raw material to be successful in life already. What you have to do now is to put your nets into the deep and go for more.
Therefore when you lose hope and conclude that God has abandoned you, remember to try again, remember to go for more, do not be contented with the what you have done already. The next more steps you can make may be the breakthrough.
When you are tempted to lose hope in life, remember that God is with you. Remember that He is always eager to do something for us. Go for more and trust Him. You may be the next person in line.
May God bless you dearest and give us the grace to surmount our impossible situations. May He console all who have lost their ones.