Summary: This sermon deals with Disappointments from the exemplary life of Simon Peter...Disappointments are God’s best appointments.
I would like to draw your attention to the fact, that in life many times we are disappointed. There is a passage in the Bible in the book of Luke, chapter 5 verses 1 to 11, here we see Peter being disappointed, since toiling all night he had not caught even one fish. For a better understanding it would be appropriate to read the passage and then get to the three simple lessons that are applicable for life in times of disappointment.
5:1 One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, with the people crowding around him and listening to the word of God, 2 he saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. 3 He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat. 4 When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, "Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch." 5 Simon answered, "Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets." 6 When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. 7 So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink. 8 When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, "Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!" 9 For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, 10 and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners. Then Jesus said to Simon, "Don’t be afraid; from now on you will catch men." 11 So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him. NIV
Jesus had already began preaching and people were listening to him intently, at that time Jesus saw two boats left by the fisherman and they were washing their nets. I think Jesus was tired as he was preaching since early morning and therefore he wanted a place to sit down and still share so he requested Peter to put the boat little to the shore so that he could continue preaching the word comfortably. It is here we get to the first lesson for life during disappointment, verse three says, “…who were washing their nets.”
Lesson – 1 BE PREPARED
When Peter had toiled all night and caught none, I am sure he would have been tired because of the sleepless night in the sea, and also the reality of facing the home without any fish cause that was their mode of living, with all these demotivating factors so dominant Peter is still washing his nets. This indicates to me the fact that he was PREPARED. Lets examine ourselves for a while, when - what we are involved does not bring any result will we ever be prepared for the next venture? I am sure most of the time we give up and get to something that would bear result. With all the tiredness and the sense of failure over a very familiar exercise of fishing, Peter washed his nets, which infers that he was probably getting ready for the next venture into the sea. How often are we prepared despite of disappointments? Preparation is the key to success, when the right time comes we can step in immediately without delay since we are ready. Let me take you to the context and bring you the second lesson.
Lesson – 2 BE WILLING TO PUT OUT
Jesus’ life is exemplary when it comes to being thankful, because the Bible tells that he is never a debtor to anyone. As always Jesus wanted to be thankful since he used Simon Peter’s boat, knowing that he caught nothing Jesus wanted him to PUT OUT into the deep for a catch. (V.4) Peter tells the Lord that he worked all night in vain and said he will do it because Jesus is asking him to do it. I don’t know what Jesus spoke to the people but whatever he spoke I think convinced Peter to follow the instruction. Let me draw some interesting insight into the event, I am sure we all know that Jesus hailed from the family of carpenters, if Jesus would have said something was wrong with the boat it would have been pretty fine but on the contrary he was asking a professional fisherman to PUT OUT in to the deep, don’t you think from the common sense perspective a fisherman knows the sea better since his life always revolves around the sea ever since the time of conception till death. But Peter never gave any contemplation to these; he implicitly obeyed without a second thought. The lesson is – he was willing to PUT OUT in the same place were he was a failure, how often we feel ashamed to go the place where we were once rejected I think this is a very profound lesson we got to learn in times of disappointment, the reason is - in Psalm 23 we read that he prepares a table before the enemies and anoints our head with oil. Let me also make you aware Peter was able to put out in the same place since he was prepared, had he not done the washing of the debris in the net he would have to cut a sorry face to Jesus and would have said, “Jesus! Please give me time I need to wash the nets.” In spite of disappointment he was PREPARED and was willing to PUT OUT. How about you?