Number 153

   “Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing. They say unto him, We also go with thee. They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately; and that night they caught nothing. But when the morning was now come, Jesus stood on the shore: but the disciples knew not that it was Jesus.

Then Jesus saith unto them, Children, have ye any meat? They answered him, No.

And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes.

Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved saith unto Peter, It is the Lord.”

John 21:3-7a

Years of walking with Jesus have allowed Peter to see many miracles. Supernatural is normal when you follow the Son of God. The Lord provides surprise opportunities, arranging circumstances in divine ways that surpass chance that any believer can only count as a miracle. A job opportunity, bumping into an old acquaintance at the store, even a wrong turn when trying to follow your GPS will all turn out for our good and God’s glory.

When Peter meets the Lord, he is introduced to His miracle-working nature.  The Lord used this miracle to call Simon Peter to follow Him. They toil all night, and catch nothing. The Lord Jesus directs him to try one more time with Him in the boat. Peter’s crew makes such a catch, that the nets begin to break and the ship starts to sink! “When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord. For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of fishes which they had taken:” (Luke 5:8-9, Read the whole story here.)

Three years later, despite walking with the Lord, worshipping Him, even ‘full-time’ work in the ministry, Peter still sinned. In fact Peter sinned OFTEN.  Sinned so badly, that he denied the Lord, and felt so guilty about it that he slipped into depression and narrowly escaped suicide. It happened to Peter, and it can happen to you. No miracle can override the degenerative nature of man.

The fishing expedition with the Master at the beginning of his discipleship foreshadows the reaffirming of Peter’s apostleship. In other words, Christ spoke through Peter’s memory so that he could not miss the meaning. At the start, Peter marveled that this Son of man COULD do miracles at all. Now, here at the end, it all comes back to him with a clear message of restoration.

If he was humbled that Christ would do such a favor for the likes of him when he was called, how much more humbling that Christ would seek him out a second time? Peter was busy the first time when Jesus Christ interrupted his routine. Now, he is not busy; he’s backslidden. His fishing is not his occupation anymore, it is only a distraction. Even in this disgraceful state, the Lord serves him with yet another full net.

“Jesus saith unto them, Bring of the fish which ye have now caught.

Simon Peter went up, and drew the net to the land full of great fishes, and hundred and fifty and three: and for all there were so many, yet was not the net broken.”

-John 21:11

Count fish?

Christ did both of these miracles especially for Peter. One miracle for the Peter that ignorantly did not know the Lord. A second miracle for the Peter that through many years, hard trials, and stiff temptations had blatantly denied knowing the Lord. Miracles weren’t just introduction to Jesus Christ, they were also reconciliation with Him. Maybe you need a miracle today.

If you don’t know Christ, He miraculously loved you, died for you, and invites you to trust Him. Why is that a miracle? Because anyone who knows you as well as God does would know just how unlovable, ungrateful, and uncaring you can be.
God knows, and He loves anyway. That’s miracle #1. “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

Now, if you’re trusting the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, you will find yourself struggling through difficult times. You will not always escape unscarred. You will not always overcome with your faith full. Sometimes, you will get melancholic and discouraged. Even though you KNOW God is good, sometimes you just cannot see it. That is when we need miracle #2. Count the fish.

Why? Because after all you have seen, you may have forgotten how impressive miracles are. You need reminded in just how many ways God has blessed you (and is blessing you!) Just like Peter– he needed a miracle to be reminded of the weight of a catch he couldn’t handle. He needed to scratch his head at the uncanny strength of a net that should have but didn’t break. He needed to be confounded that those fish were just on the OTHER side, all night long, waiting for the Lord’s call. Then he needed to sit down on the shore and count each fin, each set of gills, each and every scaly creature.

We have to be made to see once more the omnipotence of the man Christ Jesus. Despite our condition or our circumstances, He is still impressive, we should still be humbled, and the numbers will prove it so.

Johnson Oatman sang it for us the best in: “Count Your Blessings”

When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
Count your many blessings, ev’ry doubt will fly,
And you will be singing as the days go by.

When you look at others with their lands and gold,
Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold;
Count your many blessings, money cannot buy
Your reward in heaven, nor your home on high.

So, amid the conflict, whether great or small,
Do not be discouraged, God is over all;
Count your many blessings, angels will attend,
Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.

Would you take the time to just scroll down this page, and put in each place a blessing God has given you? I’ve found a restoring power in counting.

I think you, like Peter, will feel it as well.

Count your blessings, name them one by one;
Count your blessings, see what God hath done;
Count your blessings, name them one by one;
Count your many blessings, see what God hath done.

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