If You Fail, Try Again
“…Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything…”
Luke 5:5 (NIV)
One of the things I love about the Bible is that it doesn’t hide from revealing the mistakes or failings of the characters it portrays; even of those who we might look to as being ‘spiritual giants’: Abraham lied; David committed adultery; Thomas doubted and Peter denied Jesus with a real passion. Indeed there seems to be as many stories in the Bible of failures as there are stories of successes.
Moses, revered as the outstanding leader in the Old Testament, was reluctant to go to Pharaoh to seek the release of the Israelites in case he failed. He was so hesitant that he made a number of excuses and ended up saying, “…Lord. Please send someone else.” (Exodus 4:13)
Like Moses we can be so afraid of failure in our Christian lives that we make excuses, don’t want to try to do things and ask God to get someone else to do them.
Peter’s overnight fishing trip had been a complete failure. He and his friends had worked hard for no return. When Jesus climbed into his boat and told him where to let down the nets, Peter, aware of his recent failure, was naturally reluctant to try again. But try he did, “…But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” (Luke 5:5). This time he wasn’t trying in his own strength but following where Jesus led, with the result that his catch was huge: Verse 6 says, “When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break.”
Often we can think that God is unwilling to work with or through us because of past failures. If that was the case he would never work with anyone. Thankfully, nothing could be further from the truth.
God is an expert at turning failure to success. He did it with Abraham, Moses David, Thomas and Peter; and what’s more he can do it for you and me.
There is a work to be done; the harvest is ready but the workers are few (Matthew 9:37-38). So don’t be hesitant because of past failures—try again. As we respond to God’s lead and step out in faith relying on his strength who knows what the catch will be.
Father, when I fail, please come alongside me with your strength and guidance to help me continue working in the harvest to your honour and glory.
Study by Barry Robinson
Worldwide Church of God London
Mahatma Gandhi Hall
41 Fitzroy Square
Local Congregational Contact:
Phone: 020 8202 3998