Greetings again, and welcome to Meditation Moments, and again that old-time greeting: God bless you and make you a blessing.
I’m reading just a few verses from Luke chapter five, verse one: “It came to pass, that as the people pressed upon Jesus to hear the Word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret.” And there were two ships “standing by the lake; but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets.” “Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a draught. And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all night and have taken nothing: nevertheless, at thy word I will let down the net. And when they had done this, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes and the net brake.”22
The wonderful thought about this is that there had been such defeat at first because they had toiled all night and day [at that very spot], but when Jesus spoke, there came such a great victory out of that which had been such a defeat.
You know, this is one of my favorite sayings, and it’s a favorite because I’ve seen it come true so many, many times in the lives of those we have talked to and dealt with or prayed with who have been in trouble, and then in our own life, in our own family, that God gets His greatest victories out of seeming defeats. Write it somewhere in your Bible: God gets His greatest victories out of seeming defeat—just when it seems that there’s no one to turn to, there’s nothing you can do, there is no hope.
Like it says in God’s Word when speaking of Paul and the ship, that all hope was gone, and then is just when God begins to answer your prayers, and on the very spot where there was such defeat, there comes victory.23 Just like in the story I read to you in God’s Word; they toiled all night in vain. But it was on that very spot [that victory came]. He didn’t say move to some other place on the lake. He didn’t say move further out and there’s something that you’ll catch far better, far away from Him. No, it was right where the defeat had been.
How wonderful that is, to get victory where there had been defeat so long. Beloved, if you have been praying for a loved one so long, don’t give up, don’t get discouraged. Just take your stand right in the midst of that family and claim the victory through the Lord Jesus Christ, believe His Word, stand upon His promises, and hold on. There’s going to be victory, He’s promised the victory. He is the victor, the great deliverer, and He will bring victory. We’ve seen it happen so many, many times.
God’s Word is just full of stories like this. You remember the three children in the fiery furnace. There were three Hebrew children and they were cast into the furnace. I suppose they prayed very much not to be cast in, but they were. Not only that, they fell down, flat on their faces, and they were bound, you know. And yet out of that defeat, there came the greatest victory, for the king then believed in the God of Israel and sent out an edict for others to so believe.24
The same way with Daniel. I think I mentioned that to you not so long ago. Daniel did pray; he didn’t want to go in the lion’s den. But not only was he thrown in the den, but the king put his seal upon the door, and that seemed to be indeed a defeat. But out of that came the greater victory.25 Sometimes it’s the greater victory because the defeat seems so great; it seems so hopeless, so very hopeless. And the more hopeless it seems, the greater opportunity the Lord has to work.
Many, many times when your heart is down in the very depths and you’re just on the verge of giving up, you feel like you just cannot go on any longer, think of all these wonderful Bible stories and what God’s Word says about these things, that if you just hold on a little longer, His Word says, “Cast not away your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward” (Hebrews 10:35). Don’t throw away your fishnet. Don’t try to just move someplace else and run away from the thing, but hold your faith there.
Take a stand against the Enemy and against all your doubts and fears, and God can do it, and God will do it. He can bring the greater victory because it looked like such a defeat. Look what it would mean to others who are watching your life, to know that you have, right in the very thing that seemed such a failure, seemed like it was such a defeat, for you to get the victory—right there.
So many people think that there are green pastures someplace else—move to some other city, do some other thing—when all they’d have to do would be to get to God. God could change the situation. God can change the circumstances, or God can change you or your desire.
God grant that this story should leave some blessing to your heart, and that out of whatever has seemed like a defeat, that your heart will at last leap, that you’ll stand on the blessed Word of God.—That Word that’s unshakable, unchangeable, that’s so proven and so true. God will give you the victory as He sees how earnest you are. When you call with a whole heart, He’ll answer you.26 Again, that verse, “Cast not away your confidence, therefore, which hath such great recompense of reward.”
Let’s end with just a wee word of prayer: Dear Father, we are deeply grateful as You have listened to our prayers in the past days and for these loved ones, who have come to Thee for their needs. We pray for those on beds of sickness, who need Thy touch; those in financial distress, who need Thy supply; those surrounded by doubt and unbelief, who are going through what seems like such a great defeat. For all of these, we ask Thy help, Thy mercy, Thy love to wrap about them. Bring into their lives those that will help them. Open up Thy Word to them and reveal Thyself to them, Lord. For Thy glory, we ask it all in Jesus’ name only.
Remember, it’s for you; the victory’s for you. God is victory. Nothing’s impossible with Him, and all things are possible to him that believes.27 He’s still on the throne and prayer changes things.