Friday, 24 September 2021
Hold on
By: Sally Cheong

John 21:6 The disciples ” were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes. “

Sometimes we just can’t hold on.

Like Job, we complain bitterly and not without cause perhaps. Job was enduring great mental depression. He had reason for his sorrow. He was struck with sudden poverty and bereavement. His children had died unexpectedly. All his wealth and possessions had been taken away. He had no comforts left. He was tried to the utmost.

Job lamented to his friends, ” I do not moan or complain without cause. If I still enjoyed my former comforts, even a little of them, I will not murmur. But I am grievously afflicted.” He lost the care to breathe. All his zest for life was gone. “Why was I even born?” He asked.

Are some of us feeling like that now?

Job was faithful. God said he was. We dare not claim to have the righteous life of Job but to all intents and purposes, some feel they have not transgressed so heavily to warrant such afflictions as now. Discouraged, frustrated and angry, Job did not curse GOD but he demanded answers from the Almighty.

He just wanted to know why.

We know God answered him at the beginning of chapter 38 of the Book of Job. Not to satisfy his fancy of insight into Divine counsels but to knock him back to his senses. GOD asked Job 64 questions. At the end of it, all the wind that was blowing in Job’s heart and mind to ruffle and shipwreck his faith died down. When GOD condescends to answer our foolish questions, we can only remain silent. We come to realise the fullness of the fool residing in our bosom. Job fell on his knees and repented. He was blessed thrice over for all he lost and he lived to see his great, great grandchildren.

Job lived way before Abraham. Is there something in the gospel for us today?

Yes.

In John 21, we learn that the disciples had returned to fishing after the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus, their closest friend and Master. They were waiting for the appointed time to meet him at the hills in Bethany. Meanwhile they decided to do what they used to do – fishing.

The whole night they caught nothing.

It was a long night. The pandemic is like a long night out at sea. The disciples worked diligently. They threw their nets to the left and to the right side of the boat countless times. Still no fish. Nothing. They were seasoned fishermen, not novices. Confusion and discouragement set in.

It is dawn and the net is still empty. What is happening? The world resorts to desperate measures for desperate times. Do Christians do the same?

Sudden destitution wrecks lives. It makes men cry. We have not the faith of the prophet Habakkuk who rejoiced in the Lord of his salvation even though the olive harvest fails and the barn is empty. We are lesser beings.

Then they saw someone standing at the shore. Watching them. They couldn’t quite recognise him. When we are depressed, our minds are fuzzy and our eyes of faith are blur.

He asked them if they caught any fish. If someone else had asked them, they would have blown up. But it was the voice of GOD. They answered no. The Lord then said, ” cast your nets to the right. ” The power of that command led to immediate obedience. They cast their nets to the right.

Lo and behold! There was such a miraculous draught of fishes splashing here and there that they could not draw them in. Such a multitude of fishes!

Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, ” It is the Lord! “

Prayer :

O Lord our God! We long for that multitude of fishes to come our way. It has been a very long night for many of us Lord. We are grievously afflicted and we do not understand why.

We want to believe O Lord that it will all end well for us, those who love You and walk close to You. Help us overcome our unbelief in times like these. We have been out at sea too long now and our nets are empty. Tears fill our eyes and we can’t see You clearly on the shore.

Hurry Lord to shorten our sufferings and restore to us the joy of our salvation. Let us hear Your voice, ” cast your nets to the right. “
For we ask this in the precious Name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

每日灵粮
星期五,2021年9月24日
标题:坚持
作者:张绣梅
翻译:巫惠如

约翰福音21:6 耶稣说:“你们把网撒在船的右边,就会捕到。”他们就把网撒下,竟拉不上来,因为鱼很多。 

有时我们就是无法坚持。

和约伯一样,我们会抱怨,或许也不是毫无理由。约伯经历严重的精神折磨。他有理由感到悲伤。他突然贫困潦倒,又丧失亲人。他的孩子意外死亡。他所有的财富和财产都被夺走,也失去了舒适安逸的生活。他受尽苦楚。

约伯向他的朋友们哀叹,“我不是无缘无故地抱怨或呻吟。如果我仍可以享受过去的舒适,哪怕只是一点点,我也不会嘀咕。但我深受折磨。” 他死气沉沉,对生活的热情也完全消失了。他问道,“我为什么要出母胎?”

我们当中是否也有些人也有类似的感受?

约伯很忠心。上帝说他忠心。我们不敢宣称自己过着如约伯义人的生活,但无论从哪个方面来看,有些人觉得他们并不应该遭受如此严重的折磨。沮丧而愤怒的约伯没有诅咒上帝,但他要求全能者给他答案。

他只是想知道为什么。

我们知道上帝在约伯记第38章开头回答了他,不是为了满足他对于上帝的智慧的好奇心,而是让他醒悟。上帝问了约伯64个问题。最后,在约伯心中,脑里所刮起的扰乱和挫败其信心的狂风都将平息。当上帝屈尊回答我们愚蠢的问题时,我们只能保持沉默。我们逐渐意识到我们满腔的愚蠢。约伯跪下认罪。他最终所得的恩典是比先前失去的多三倍,他活着得见儿孙,直到四代。

约伯活在比亚伯拉罕更早的时代,。今天,我们在福音里有没有可以学习的功课?

有的。

在约翰21中,我们了解到,在耶稣 — 他们最亲密的朋友和主人 — 的去世和复活之后,这些信徒又重新开始捕鱼。他们在伯大尼山上等待指定时间。同时,他们决定像过去那样:去捕鱼。

他们一整晚什么都没抓到。

那是个漫长的夜晚。这场疫情就像在海上度过一个漫长的夜晚。门徒勤奋工作。他们把网子往船的左边和右边扔了无数次。还是没有鱼。什么都没有。他们是经验丰富的渔夫,不是新手。他们开始感到混乱和沮丧。

天亮了,但网还是空的。到底发生了什么?属世的做法就是在绝望的时候,采取孤注一掷的措施。基督徒也这样吗?

突然的贫困摧毁了生活。这会让人流泪。我们没有先知哈巴谷的信心,尽管橄榄树不效力,田地不出粮食,他却因救我的神喜乐。我们都很懦弱。

然后他们看见有人站在岸边,看着他们。他们认不出来是谁。当我们沮丧的时候,我们的思绪混乱,信心的眼也模糊。

他问他们有没有捕到鱼。如果有人问他们,他们真的会崩溃。但那是主的声音。他们回答没有。主接着说,“把你的网撒向右边。“这一命令的力量使人们立即服从命令。他们把网撒向右边。

看啊!到处都是鱼,而且它们无法把网拉上来。好多的鱼啊!

然后耶稣所爱的门徒彼得说:“是主!”

祈祷:哦主我们的神!我们渴望很多的鱼出现在我们眼前。对于我们许多人来说,现在犹如漫长的夜晚。我们深受折磨,我们也不明白其中的原因。

主啊,我们想相信,那些爱你,并与你同行的人必会得到好结果。在如此时刻,帮助我们克服我们的不信。我们出海太久了,网也空了。我们热泪盈眶,看不清在岸上的你。

求主你减轻我们的痛苦,让我们恢复救赎的喜乐。让我们听你的声音,”把网撒在右边。”我们奉耶稣基督的名祷告,阿门。