The Light of Christ Journey

Encouraging people on their journey with Christ

Have you been humbled by failure? Maybe it was a loss of a job, failing health, or a broken relationship. The Lord can use failures to get your attention. At times we think we are indestructible, and nothing can stop us until we hit the wall of life. We can be a success in the world’s eyes, but a train wreck in God’s eyes. We can have what the world offers and still our nets are empty without Jesus in our life. This is when failure turns us to Jesus.

The Disciples’ Failure

Jesus trained the disciples for three years. But at the death and resurrection of Jesus everything changed. They had been on an emotional roller coaster the past few weeks. The disciples seemed to have lost their bearings, so they went back to doing what they were familiar with. If I was them, I would have done the same thing.

John 21:Simon Peter said, “I’m going fishing.” “We’ll come, too,” they all said. So they went out in the boat, but they caught nothing all night. [1]

“Jesus never criticized the disciples for going fishing. Whatever their motives, fishing was a familiar activity that gave them a sense of normalcy and comfort. It gave them something to do and time to sort out their thoughts. But their efforts yielded nothing. Many times, our efforts at work, parenting, etc. leave us with only “empty nets.” The Lord allows us to experience lack of productivity, frustrations, and failure to bring us closer to Him and to help us rely on Him, not on our own resourcefulness. When you feel tired and empty, listen for Jesus’ words to you.”[2]

Their nets were empty until Jesus showed up. John 21:Then Jesus said, “Throw out your net on the right-hand side of the boat, and you’ll get some!” So they did, and they couldn’t haul in the net because there were so many fish in it. [3]

Failure to Faith

When I was 24, I lost my job and went back to school. After I was back on the job, two years later I was in a serious car accident. The Lord used those dramatic experiences to change my spiritual path in life by showing me my empty net. These are the types of times when failure turns us to Jesus.  I would not be the person I am today if I had not experienced those situations as the Lord intervened in my life.

Failure is humbling and helps us see our need for Jesus. It takes humility to turn to Jesus. The good news is Jesus is always there to pick us up, encourage us, and redirect our lives to the right spiritual path. Psalm 40:1 I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry. 2He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along.[4]

To hear how failure turned Peter back to Jesus, listen here:

[1,3,4] Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation . Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

[2] Barton, B. B. (1993). John (p. 403). Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House.

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