Maybe you’re saying, “That sounds great, but you don’t know my circumstances. Right now I’m defeated by the problems I’m experiencing. I’m having some hard times.” If you are feeling defeated by your circumstances, let me suggest an antidote for you. Read your Bible to find a specific promise from God, and then start claiming that promise. Start expecting God to act, and you will find that God’s promise will inject new hope into a hopeless situation. Real success often begins at the point of failure.

I know a married couple who have had a severely damaged relationship, one that looked irreparable. But they sensed God saying to them, “I want you to stay together. Don’t give up.” Without any outward evidence they took on the same attitude that Peter did in his situation. They said, “Lord, we’ve worked on this marriage a long time, without improvement, but because you say so, we’ll keep at it.” Today they have a fulfilling marriage and a dynamic ministry together.

Look at the results when the disciples did what Jesus told them to do. “They caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break” (Luke 5:6). God blessed them with more than they could handle. That is always the case when you appropriate God’s presence, cooperate with God’s plan, and anticipate God’s promises—you will be blessed with more than you can handle. In fact, verse 7 points out that the disciples had to share the results with fishermen in another boat in order to keep from sinking. That’s a great way to live!

The point is this: God not only wants to bless your life, but he wants to bless you so much that you have to share your blessing with others in order to keep yourself from sinking. He not only wants to bless you, but wants to bless other people through you—people whose nets are empty. God blessed the disciples with more than they could use for themselves.

The miracle so astounded Peter that he cried out, “Lord, I don’t deserve this! I’m a sinner. This is too good for me.”

Jesus then said to Peter, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will catch men” (v. 10). So the disciples beached their boats and left everything to follow Jesus.

The incident became a turning point in Peter’s life and in the lives of the other disciples.

Think about what happened when the fishing party got to land. The disciples left their greatest catch ever sitting right there on the shore and went after Jesus! They realized that if Jesus could perform a miracle like that, he could do anything he wanted to. The disciples knew that as long as they followed him, their needs would be more than satisfied. Christ would take care of them no matter what happened. They wanted a relationship with him that was more than a one-time miracle. Then Christ invited them to become part of the greatest task in the world: “I’m going to make you fishers of men. You are going to share my Good News with other people.”

Rick Warren, God’s Answers to Life’s Difficult Questions (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2008).

Check out this Bible Study based on Rick Warren’s book, God’s Answer to Life’s Difficult Questions.

These lessons are available on Amazon, as well as a part of Good Questions Have Groups Talking Subscription Service. Like Netflix for Bible Lessons, one low subscription gives you access to all our lessons–thousands of them. For a medium-sized church, lessons are as little as $10 per teacher per year.

Lessons include:

How to Cope with Stress

How Can I Rebound from Failure?

How Can I Defeat Depression?

How Can I Live Above Average?

How Can I Have Peace of Mind?

How Can I Handle Discouragement?

How Can I Overcome My Problems?

How Can I Be Confident In a Crisis?

How Can I Ever Change?

How Did I Get Myself in To This Mess?

How Can I Overcome Loneliness?

Why Is This Happening to Me?