Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: You have two options in dealing with failure - Growth or Paralysis. Peter chose growth!

TEXT: Luke 5:1-11

TITLE: What to do with failure - Peter

SERIES: When Life Gets Messy…

TOPIC: Failure

OCCASION: Burnside Christian Church, October 18, 2009


INTRODUCTION: Good morning! We are currently in a sermon series simply called: When Life Gets Messy.

Because when life gets messy - life gets hard! Life becomes difficult!


Today I want to talk about FAILURE! And specifically - What to do with failure!

What do you do when your plans don’t quite match up? What do you do when things don’t work as you’ve planned?

And I want to start by giving you three facts about failure: These facts are like DUH! I knew that!


1. Failure is painful. When you fail, a scar will form. Damage is done. Your ego - wiped clean. Your confidence - gone. Your pride - replaced with embarrassment. And with failure comes pain. Emotional pain - spiritual pain - and sometimes even physical pain. And with the pain comes scars.

Some of you are dealing with the scars left over from failure. And that’s because failure is painful!

Fact #2

2. Failure is universal EVERYONE will fail at something! Like Neo in the Matrix jumping from rooftop to rooftop, EVERYONE will fail. It doesn’t matter who you are or how successful you think you are. I mean, Neo was the chosen one and Failure can happen to anyone at anytime!

Why do mid-life crises happen? Because you feel the need to prove to yourself and everyone you know that you’re life isn’t a failure! That you MUST be successful because you drive a fancy little 2 seater sports car that you can’t afford.

And not everyone will experience a midlife crisis, but everyone will experience failure! It’s universal!

Fact #3

3. Failure results in one of two things: Paralysis or Growth.

1. Paralysis - I know there are some who refuse to try something new because they tried it once before and it didn’t work out. So they have made a promise to themselves that they are not going to risk failure ever again. And so they are paralyzed - frozen - unwilling to move or act!


2. Growth - Your failure will cause you to learn from your mistakes and grow!

Those are your choices! Learn from your failure and grow! Or allow your failure to paralyze you.

Now which do you suppose Jesus would have us do?

I think this video illustrates perfectly what I’m trying to say and what you believe to be true:


Failure happens to everyone! But what you do with that failure will make all the difference in life!

T.S.: Today I want us to focus on the story of Peter -

So what particular failure of Peter’s am I going to focus on?

“Oh I know! You’re going to talk about Peter walking on water, right?” Nope

“Oh…then you’re going to talk about Peter denying Christ, right?” Nope.

You see, that’s what makes the life of Peter so valuable! He was one of Christ’s most faithful followers and yet his life is marred with failure! So let’s learn from Peter’s failure, shall we?

Our story takes place in Luke’s gospel. Chapter 5, the first 11 verses:

Luke 5:1-11

1One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret,[a]with the people crowding around him and listening to the word of God, 2he saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. 3He 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.

4When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, "Put out into deep water, and let down[b] the nets for a catch."

5Simon answered, "Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets."

6When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. 7So 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.

8When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, "Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!" 9For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, 10and 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." 11So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.

What does this story teach us about failure? Because there is something to be learned from this miraculous encounter with Jesus! Jesus never performed a miracle without a purpose. He always used his miracles to illustrate principles. And this incident teaches us what to do when our best is not good enough.

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