When Jesus first began his ministry, he asked 12 people to go along with him and learn from him. Many of the 12 were fishermen by trade. Up to that point their greatest aspiration in life was to earn a good living by catching fish, but things changed when they got to know Jesus. He gave them a greater perspective on life and a different definition of success. They were excited about the future until one terrible day when all their hopes were dashed to pieces. Jesus was arrested, falsely accused, given a rigged trial, and humiliatingly killed in front of everyone. The followers were left in a state of shock and confusion. Three days later some women went to Jesus’ tomb and discovered that it was empty. An angel told them Jesus had come back to life! Jesus began appearing to people and even appeared to some of the followers, proving that he had risen from the dead. The followers didn’t know what was next for them. They had abandoned Jesus during his time of need and probably weren’t sure how he felt about them now.
That was the backdrop of this story. Jesus’ closest followers were directionless and confused when they went on this fishing trip. And on top of that discouragement, even their nets came up empty.
Have you ever felt that way—working hard only to come up empty? Confused about your purpose in life? There is refreshing news at the end of the story. After hours of work with no success, Jesus appeared to his followers. He wanted to bless them. He gave them a huge catch of fish and had a warm meal waiting for them on the shore. He showed them that after all they had been through, his love for them hadn’t changed, and now he was going to give them direction and purpose. It is the same for you. Jesus has seen your struggles and no matter what your past looks like, he still wants to bless you and give you a future full of purpose.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to live like that—to be able to give all our worries to someone who will do what’s best for us? Wouldn’t it be wonderful to just enjoy the moment like a child and trust that Daddy will take care of us?
Dear God in heaven, I have tried to go my own way and have put a lot of pressure on myself to perform. There has to be more to life than this. I want to have a life full of meaning and purpose, and I realize that you are the only one who can give that to me. Please help me know how to follow you. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
John 15:5 - I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
Jeremiah 29:11 - For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
John 10:10 - The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.