Sometimes the best thing you can do when you’re feeling down is to go fishing. Paul Quinnett wrote in his book, Pavlov’s Trout:

It is better to fish hopefully than to catch fish.

Fishing is hope experienced. To be optimistic in a slow bite is to thrive on hope alone. When asked, “How can you fish all day without a hit?” the true fisherman replies, “Hold it! I think I felt something.” If the line goes slack, he says, “He’ll be back!”

When it comes to the human spirit, hope is all. Without hope, there is no yearning, no desire for a better tomorrow, and no belief that the next cast will bring the big strike.

Real, honest-to-goodness fishermen may  get discouraged when nothing is biting, but they never quit. They’ve been fishing for so long that they know it’s only a matter of time before they catch something. Their hope and faith is based on experience.

As Christians, we should have the same attitude about life because of our experience with God. There will be times when our circumstances go from bad to worse. We may not be able to see a way out of our trials. We may feel like everyone has risen up against us. But in the middle of it all, we find that God is Faithful. We can hold on to Him, and He will lead us from our place of sorrow to a place of joy. This experience then becomes the grounds for hope and faith when we go through future hardships.

Are you discouraged because of your bad fortune? Maybe your emotional weaknesses have come to light under pressure, and the people who know you best now keep their distance. Perhaps you are suffering because of a misunderstanding which has blown out of proportion. You are waiting for your break to come, but the situation isn’t getting any better. Hang on to Christ through it all. Tell Him how you feel. Dig into His Word and base your hope on His promises. It’s only a matter of time before your change will come.

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder