Fishermen Persevere

person standing near a calm sea

The night was long, and the fishermen cast the nets time after time. Each time they pulled up the nets, they were empty. Though they worked hard all night, they did not catch any fish. There were nights like this for the fishermen. Fishing was an occupation that required much dedication.

Dedication is one of the characteristics causing Jesus to call fishermen as his first disciples. Fishing was an occupation requiring patience. Fishermen could not give up even if no fish were caught. They had to persevere to succeed.

Fishing was easy on the nights fish were abundant, but on the nights the nets came up empty, it took a truly dedicated person to keep fishing.

You and I can relate. Life is easy when things seem to be going our way, but when difficulties arise, it takes dedication to pursue our calling. Achieving our goals, realizing our dreams, and fulfilling our purpose call for perseverance.

It takes time, effort, and devotion to get through the rough patches, and we have been promised they will come.

“In this world you will have troubles but take heart. I have overcome,” Jesus says in John 16:33.

We are promised rough patches will come, but don’t forget the other piece of the Lord’s statement. “I have overcome,” Jesus says. If we persevere with the Lord, we too will overcome.

Here are 10 verses encouraging us to persevere.

  1. James 1:12 says, “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial, because having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.”
  2. “And as for you, never tire of doing what is good,” 2 Thessalonians 3:13 encourages.
  3. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding,” Proverbs 3:5-6 says. “In all your ways, submit to him and he will make your paths straight.”
  4. 2 Corinthians 1:21 says, “Now it is God who makes both you and us stand firm in Christ. He anointed us.”
  5. “Put on the full armor of God,” advises Ephesians 6:11, “so you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.”
  6. Hebrews 6:11 says, “We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, so that what you hoped for may be fully realized.”
  7. In John 6:40, Jesus encourages, “For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.”
  8. “Stand firm and you will win life,” says Luke 21:19.
  9. Romans 12:12 says, “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer.”
  10. “Let us not become weary in doing good,” Galatians 6:9 encourages, “for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

Fishermen were called because of their dedication. It is a “must have” characteristic to get through life. Without dedication, we can quickly become disoriented and swallowed up by life’s troubles. Perseverance is required to overcome struggles and difficulties. It may not be easy, but with the Lord’s help, you and I can do it.

Acting

Ask the Lord to help you develop an attitude of perseverance. Refuse to give up when life’s troubles surround you.

 

 

Skillful Fishermen

black and red toolbox containing tools

Every occupation has tools which are necessary to get the job done. Fishing is no different. Fishermen have a tackle box filled with various lures and different kinds of bate. Each lure and kind of bate serves a specific purpose, and fishermen are skilled at using the equipment needed for their occupation.

Equipment has evolved, but the skill needed to use the equipment has always been necessary. Fishermen, in Jesus’ day, were skilled at using their equipment.

This is one of the reasons Jesus called fishermen to be his first disciples. They were skilled in using the tools at their disposal.

Like fishermen, Christians have a variety of tools at our disposal. We need to make sure we are skilled at using them. Here are 3 tools and some tips to sharpen your skillfulness in using them.

1. The Bible

We have Scripture.

Hebrews 4:12 states, “For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.”

Jesus illustrates how to use Scripture in Matthew 4. Immediately after his baptism, Jesus was led into the desert for a period of temptation. Satan approached Jesus multiple times trying to tempt him, and each time Jesus responded by quoting the Bible. Jesus used Scripture to overpower temptation.

There is great power in Scripture, and we need to be skilled in using it.

Psalm 119:11 says, “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.”

The Psalmist says he placed God’s word in his heart; he stored Scripture in his heart, so he had it to use. The Bible is a powerful tool, and you and I can become skilled in using it by…

  1. Gaining an understanding of the Bible.
  2. Memorizing Scripture to recall in stressful situations.
  3. Using the wisdom within the Bible to guide our life.

2. Prayer

James says, “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”

Jesus illustrates how to use this tool. Jesus frequently withdrew to private places spending time in prayer. He prayed about everything.

We have the tool of prayer. It gives us the opportunity to have an open and honest conversation with the Lord. The skill comes in using it daily. Prayer is a powerful tool we’ve been given.

3. Community

We are not alone. We have one another, and community is a grand tool for us. Christians are available to each other in all seasons of life.

We celebrate each other’s victories. We support one another in difficult times. We mourn and grieve as a community. We laugh as a family, and work together as a team. We do life together.

Relationship is a valuable tool for us, and we can sharpen our skills by participating. Don’t take on life by yourself. Allow the community to support you, and when your support is requested, be ready and willing to offer it. Community is a tool which can accomplish much for the Lord.

Acting

The Christian toolbox has powerful and effective tools. As Christians, we need to keep our skills sharp. We are more effective if we’re using the tools at our disposal. Take steps today to sharpen your skills. Spend time in the Bible and in prayer. Spend time building relationships with other Christians.

What tools would you add to the list? Share in the comments below.

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