Summary: Discover how Jesus can change frustration into fullness.
To introduce this sermon I showed a video clip of a man punching his fist through a bath room mirror in frustration. I asked, have you felt like punching any mirrors lately?
There is much frustration in our society today. People feel like punching mirrors. Consider some of the things causing frustration.
1. War in Iraq
2. Rising gas prices
3. Falling real estate prices
4. Escalating cost of medical insurance
Joke: Many of us feel like the young man who had just started a new job in the produce department of a grocery store. As he worked a woman came up to him asking to buy a half head of lettuce.
As politely as he could, the young man said that “In this store, we don’t sell half heads of lettuce, we sell whole heads of lettuce.” The lady was remarkably persistent. In the end, he did what any young produce department grocery store lad would do, and said, “Well, let me go talk to the manager.”
The young man shuffles off to find the manager in the back of the store, not realizing that the woman is following him some distance behind. He gets to the manager, and says in frustration, “I’ve got this crazy old woman out there who wants to buy a half head of lettuce.
Seeing the look of consternation on his manager’s face, the lad realizes that the woman is standing right behind him. He turns and quick as a whip says, “And this nice lady wants to buy the other half.”
(Contributed to Sermon Central by John Visser)
In our text Peter is frustrated. He has fished all night and caught no fish. However, Jesus instructs him to try again.
"Then He got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little from the land. And He sat down and taught the multitudes from the boat.
When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” But Simon answered and said to Him, “Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net.” And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking. So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began 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 and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish which they had taken; and so also were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid. From now on you will catch men.” (Luke 5:3-10 NKJV)
Notice how Peter progressed from frustration to fullness. Jesus will do the same for you.
1. First notice the frustration. (vs.5) May be you are facing frustration in your life.
A. Peter was exhausted…. He had ”toiled” all night.
B. Peter was empty…. He had ”caught nothing”.
C. Peter was filled with doubt. He doubted Jesus command to try again.
2. Before Jesus can change frustration into fullness we must listen to His instructions. (vs. 4)
A. Our frustration is God’s opportunity to teach us. We are more open to God’s instruction during times of trial.
Illustration: This past week I was having a frustrating experience discerning God’s word to speak with you. You might say I was frustrated. I was getting desperate "knowing that Sunday was coming." On Thursday morning I drove to Hardee’s, bought a cup of coffee and had my morning devotional in Hardee’s parking lot. I have been reading through Luke’s gospel. The reading for Thursday was from Luke 5 (our text). In my struggle God nurtured me because I took the time to listen to Him.
B. Jesus will use your frustration to build your character.
Illustration: When I was a student at New Orleans seminary we had a Wednesday night worship service. At one of those services I heard a testimony I will never forget. A young lady shared about the financial struggle they had experienced since going to the seminary. She said they had prayed all through seminary that God would ease their financial struggles. She said "It is ironic, we prayed for God to take away the thing he was using to bless us and grow us." She was saying that God used their frustration to build their character.
3. Before Jesus can change frustration into fullness we must obey. (vs. 5)
A. Obedience will keep you from quitting. Peter had stopped fishing; however, Jesus encouraged him to try again. Some of you may be near the point of quitting (marriage, school, job, discouraged, etc.)