Scripture Reading: Isaiah 49:8-51:16 / Galatians 6:1-18 / Proverbs 23:10-18
One of my favorite movies is “Finding Nemo”. I love the scene when all of the fish get caught in a fishing net and as they are hoisted up to the boat, Nemo instructs all of them to swim down together. “Swim! Down! Swim! Down! Swim down! Swim down!” They relentlessly swim and just when it looks like they lost the battle, their swimming begins to defy the powerful wench and slowly they descend. The fish repeat in unison, “Keep swimming, keep swimming!” Finally the cable snaps, the net breaks and all of the fish are free!
What a great lesson on the power of unity, determination and perseverance. If we just keep on swimming against the powers that entrap us, we will gain victory and freedom. Yet this is not always the case…sometimes we experience defeat and disappointment. That scene is designed to inspire us and compel us to watch with greater intensity. Remember, Finding Nemo is an animated movie, designed to entertain us and make Disney millions of dollars.
I still like the movie and love that scene but I find greater inspiration and a sure promise in Paul’s words, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9) God’s Word was not written to entertain us but was inspired by God to be the infallible, authoritative rule of our faith and conduct.
This world does not encourage us to righteousness and faith. In fact, it does the opposite by feeding our sinful and selfish nature. Living as light in a dark world is challenging and we are susceptible to discouragement. We are all vulnerable to weariness and tempted to “just give up”. We wrestle with the age long question, “Why try?”
Paul answers the age long “why try” question with an eternal “we will reap” promise! In due time, in the proper time we will be rewarded…just don’t give up. God is never late but always on time and faithful to respond to our commitment, obedience and faithfulness.
So the next time you find yourself trapped in the net of spiritual discouragement and simply want to give up…don’t! May your faith rise to the challenge and hang on for God’s intervention. Nemo would encourage us to “Keep swimming”. Paul tells us we will make it if we just…“keep believing and keep doing”.
Pastor James Clark has pastored Calvary Assembly since 1985. He is blessed with his wife Yvonne, six children, two son-in-laws, a beautiful granddaughter and hopefully many more grandchildren to follow!