Summary: This sermon has five points to overcome failure. 1. ALLOW Jesus To Take Control 2. DO What Jesus Asks 3. SHARE The Surplus 4. WALK In Humbleness Before God 5. RE-SET The Priorities Of Your Life
How To Recover From Failure
(Or How To Be Successful)
Have any of you ever had a failure in life? Have you ever tried something and it just doesn’t work? It flops – it fails. I know that I have failed at times. Things did not turn out the way that I had hoped.
It’s reported that it took Thomas Edison over 10,000 tries to invent a reliable light bulb. When asked why he failed so many times he said, “I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.”
Thomas Edison also said, “Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”
But folks here is a truth – failure can become a stepping-stone to success. An incident from Peter’s life illustrates this wonderful truth. Please follow along with me as I read:
“Now it happened that while the crowd was pressing around Him and listening to the word of God, He was standing by the lake of Gennesaret; and He saw two boats lying at the edge of the lake; but the fishermen had gotten out of them and were washing their nets. And He got into one of the boats, which was Simon's, and asked him to put out a little way from the land. And He sat down and began teaching the people from the boat. When He had finished speaking, He said to Simon, "Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch." Simon answered and said, "Master, we worked hard all night and caught nothing, but I will do as You say and let down the nets." When they had done this, they enclosed a great quantity of fish, and their nets began to break; so they signaled to their partners in the other boat for them to come and help them. And they came and filled both of the boats, so that they began to sink. But when Simon Peter saw that, he fell down at Jesus' feet, saying, "Go away from me Lord, for I am a sinful man!" For amazement had seized him and all his companions because of the catch of fish which they had taken; and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, "Do not fear, from now on you will be catching men." When they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed Him.” Luke 5:1-11 (NASB)
Our story starts out with Jesus surrounded by a crowd. They were pressing in on him – so he notices two boats on the shore – the fishermen were there too – they were putting away their nets after a long unsuccessful night of fishing. So Jesus gets into one of the boats and asks if they can move out in the water a bit. Of course they do and Jesus teaches the people from the boat.
Let me ask you a question at this point – whose boat was it? Who did the boat belong to? If you look closely at our text – you will find that in verse three the boat belonged to Simon Peter. It was his boat. The text does not tell us that Jesus first asks permission to get in the boat – it seems that he just did that. But the text does tell us that Jesus asks Simon Peter to move out a little from the shore so that he could teach the people from there. Simon Peter’s response was simple – he allows Jesus to be in charge. That’s my first point of recovery from failure.
1. ALLOW Jesus To Take Control
At this point in the story we don’t know how much Simon Peter knew about Jesus – perhaps he had heard stories of him. But here is what we do know. Simon Peter allowed Jesus to get into his boat. It does not say that he put up any argument. It doesn’t say that he put up any type of fuss. It doesn’t say that he tried to kick Jesus out of the boat – it does say that he allowed Jesus in the boat - to take control.
That’s the starting point you know? If you want to be successful – if you want to overcome from failure – you’ve got to allow Jesus in your boat. You’ve got to allow him to be in charge. You’ve got to allow him to be in control. Nothing – absolutely nothing has greater influence on your personal success than having Christ in your life. Do you know what the Bible says? It says:
“I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” Phil. 4:13
Through the strength and power of Christ – I can do all things. I can overcome my failures. I can become a great success.