In the Middle of Defeat and Doubt, I Will Surrender to God's Will
I can hear the tiredness in Simon Peter’s voice. I can see his shoulders droop and his eyes close as he lets out an exhausted sigh. Going back out into that boat, letting down those nets again—it was the last thing he wanted to do. Apparently, they had been fishing all night with no luck, and now, Jesus was telling him to try again. Peter admits his defeat and doubts that dropping the nets will have any different result this time.
I can relate to Peter. I’ve been in that place of defeat and doubt. That place where it seems all my hard work is going unnoticed, failing to pay off. That place where I just want to sit back, reflect on the work, throw my hands in the air, and say, “Well, I guess that’s it. I’m done.”
Have you been there too? Maybe it’s a relationship you’ve been working hard to rebuild or restore. Maybe it’s sharing Jesus with someone you know—they openly listen, yet the words go no deeper than their ears. Maybe it’s a work or ministry project that just doesn’t seem to be gaining any traction despite all your effort. Maybe it’s a behavior in one of your children that you feel like you’re continually correcting and trying to lead in a different direction. Maybe it’s a prayer you feel like your heart no longer has the strength to whisper.
Whatever it is, you find yourself at the same place as Peter, admitting your defeat and doubts to God . . . Master, I’ve been working so hard and haven’t seen any reward; I have nothing to show for this work. I don’t feel like trying again.
It’s okay to confess your doubt to the Lord. It’s okay to express your defeat. But look at what Peter says next, “But because you say so, I will let down the nets” (Luke 5:5b).
Spoken by a defeated man in a tired voice, we see the power of surrender. Peter sets aside his own desires to follow the will of his Lord. And maybe that’s what God is calling you to do too.
I don’t feel like it, I don’t want to, I’m tired of trying, I don’t feel like there’s any point . . . but because you say so, I will.
Friends, can I encourage you tonight to not give up. If you’re reading this and a particular situation immediately comes to mind, consider the possibility that the Holy Spirit has put it there. If tears form in your eyes and you feel an exhausted sigh escape your body, maybe that’s your call to surrender.
Will you join Peter, will you obey despite your defeat and doubts?
I pray you will. Because God has a plan to fill your nets. It may not be today, or tomorrow, or even within your earthly lifetime, but you can be assured that if God has led you to drop your net yet again, He will fill it for your good and His glory. Don’t give up. Don’t let defeat win.
Thank you for understanding my human doubt and defeat. God, you know, I don’t feel like dropping my nets again. I feel more like giving up. But God, I also know your power in me is stronger than my feelings. Help me surrender. Give me the energy and renewed drive to try again. And, Lord, may the results of my work be for your glory.
In Your will, through Your power, and for Your glory,