“I’m going out to fish,” Simon Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. -John 21:3 NIV
I am not sure how Peter felt at this point in his life. For about three years, he had been following Jesus. He saw Jesus heal the sick, bring dead people to life, and multiply fish and bread. He believed in Jesus, He had hope in Jesus, and He certainly had a vision or perception of how Jesus had to become the ultimate deliverer of His people.
Peter had expectations. He probably thought Jesus was going to establish an earthly kingdom, terminate Israel’s enemies, and bring ultimate peace. I am not sure if it was his expectations that made him deny Jesus after he was taken to be crucified. I picture Peter full of fear and a feeling of abandonment; Peter probably felt alone.
So what did he do? He went back fishing. He tried to fill the void by doing what he thought he was destined to do for the rest of his life.
I can’t tell you how many times I have done the wrong thing based on wrong expectations. We react strange when our expectations are taken by surprise. And if you are like me, you probably have said these next words many times: “I didn’t see that coming.”
Obviously, we can’t avoid being taken by surprise in life. As long as we live, we will have many moments that we didn’t see coming. But I think that we will never be able to do what we are supposed to do if we don’t know our purpose.
So here is a thought. Are we living life reacting to everything and anything that comes our way? Or are we confident that God gives us purpose and that no matter the surprises that show up at our door, we know that God is in control?
Peter, along with the disciples had been sent into the world in John 17. But once the sending was in an unexpected way, he reacted in the wrong way and lost purpose.
Wrong expectations lead to wrong actions, and produce bad results.
Even though he was an experienced fisherman, he caught nothing. They tried fishing all night long and caught nothing.
Here is what I love about the story. Early in the morning, Jesus was standing on the shore. He probably saw them struggle trying to fish. Like a Father watches his children throw a fit and waits for them to get over it.
What if all along the way, in our struggle, in our bad reactions, our disappointments, Jesus has always been there waiting for us to turn to him.
Don’t let your expectations drift you from your purpose. Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus.
There is more to the story, but I will finish that later. I just want to leave you with this thought today.
Jesus is watching over you, no matter what you are going through. Lift up your eyes and find him. He is not distant, and He knows what you need. Find your purpose in Christ today.
I don't like going shopping unless I know exactly what I am buying and especially if it involves electronics. But Norma loves it, and she really loves to pull out coupons and get a great deal on whatever she is buying.
I laugh every time they say, "today you saved $40, and here is a coupon for your next visit"
I'm like, "really?" We didn't save a dime, we spent $50!
Truth to be told, stores don't care about what you're looking for as much as they care about what you take with you. They want you to buy something, anything!
So here's my point, each time we gather to worship we are looking for something. But I'm convinced that is not what we are looking for that matters but what we take with us. Unlike the stores, God has something prepared for all of us, and it is exactly what we need. Rejecting what God has to offer is going to cost us. But accepting His free gift of life will save you of many pain and sorrow.
Choose to accept His blessings!
Joshua’s story is fascinating. It is the story of a man who endured the consequences of other people’s stubbornness, disobedience, and unfaithfulness. If we are not careful enough we can get caught up in his victories, his courage and strength, and the boldness in his confession at the end of the story where he tells the people that regardless of what they do with their faith, he and his house will serve the Lord, leaving out the fact that his faith was also tested.
I like to think that I am as bold as Joshua and that I have the courage to overcome whatever comes my way. But the truth is that too often I find myself on the opposite side. I tend to be weak, fearful, and unwilling to overcome some of the difficulties of life. Many times I find my comfort spot; unwilling to move forward. By moving forward I mean living as God is calling me to live. Connected to him, loving him, and loving people unconditionally.
At this point, Joshua saw a whole generation die in front of his eyes because of disobedience. There is no record that he questioned his faith and God about this, but maybe he sometimes thought about it. Think about it, if you are living for God but everyone else, except a few, are living in total disobedience to God and then you have to endure the consequences of the unfaithful would you be as eager to continue to live in faith as Joshua did?
However, Joshua remained faithful. Even if he thought about doubting, he seemed to seek the right answers in the right places. Scripture says that Joshua was full of wisdom, Godly wisdom. And this is something he had to look for.
In Hebrew the meaning of the name Joshua is: Jehovah is generous. Jehovah saves. Joshua presents us a picture of Jesus Christ who would come and save the world. Unlike Joshua, Jesus took the pain and suffering we deserved because of our disobedience and sin.
Joshua led the people into the promised land. He had the courage to believe in God’s promises. Jesus is also leading us into an ultimate glory. Instead of trying to become like Joshua, today I want to fix my eyes in the ultimate true Joshua who endured the cross for my sake. He is the one leading us, and His promises won’t fail. And when I feel weak or discouraged, I can look up to heaven and find strength in Him. I have nothing to prove, I don't have what it takes, but the one who lives inside my heart can give me everything I need to endure, overcome, and conquer my next enemy.
Don’t try to be like Joshua, instead follow the ultimate savior Jesus Christ and see your soul be strengthened in a supernatural way.