Friday, June 24, 2011

"... But at Your Word"

“And Simon answered, ‘Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.’" (Luke 5:5)

In this one verse we have a powerful truth: we can act in faith despite our circumstances!

Here is the situation in Luke 5: Peter had fished all night and cleaned his nets. He was tired. He was discouraged. He had caught nothing. For a fisherman to fish all night and catch nothing is very disappointing. And yet, in the midst of this scenario, Jesus calls Him to obey His Word and go out again.

Perhaps right now you are disappointed, discouraged, and disheartened about your circumstances. It may be your marriage, your children, your health, your job, your lack of a job, your relationships, your finances, or all of the above. It is very easy to get down and depressed when we focus on our circumstances. Jesus said that in this world we would have (not might have) tribulation (John 16:33).

Right on the heels of Peter fishing all night with no results, Jesus tells him to go back out to fish again. Peter acknowledges his frustration … but then he acts in faith with this profound statement: But at your word I will let down the nets.” Here is faith at its finest: taking God at His word, even when the circumstances are not going our way!

Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1). Faith is proclaiming truth when life shouts otherwise. Faith is standing on a promise from God and praying it into reality. Without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6).

So, how do we do this? First, we can be honest about our struggles in life. David did this frequently in the book of Psalms. Most Psalms start off with David complaining and pouring out his heart to God. However, as many Psalms progress, we find David moving from frustration to faith. Therefore, the second thing to do is act in faith by taking God at His word. We can proclaim God’s Word about the situation we face. For example, if a lost or wayward child is causing us frustration, faith says, “I am so frustrated that my child is not following you, Lord, but at your word I will continue to pray and proclaim your truth that you desire for no one to perish but for all to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). If we feel fearful about a situation, faith can say, “Lord, I am feeling fear right now, but at your word I claim that you have not given me a spirit of fear but power, love and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:6). If someone is mistreating us and we are about to slip into a pity party, faith proclaims, “Lord, I am hurting right now and lonely, but at your word I claim that you are with me always and you can give me 1 Corinthians 13 love for this person.” If we don’t know how we are going to pay a bill, faith says, “Lord, I am worried about these bills, but at your word I ask you to be my provider (Philippians 4:19), and I thank you in advance for what you are going to do.”

Where do you need to do a “but at your word” in your life? Find Scripture to claim that directly relates to whatever challenge you are facing, and speak it out in faith. Jesus said, “For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you” (Matthew 17:20).