Find Courage to Try Again When Work Fails

When He had finished speaking, He said to Simon, “Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.”–Luke 5:4

Have you cast time, heart, and work into nets that appear to come up empty? Find strength and courage to resist the inner-current that compels us to give up.
All of a sudden, this encounter becomes very personal as Jesus gives an instruction that seems to rub raw on a sore spot. Sometimes Christ asks us to go back to that place of failure or the work that seems fruitless. Sometimes Jesus tells us to try again.

  • Some blessings only come in the deep waters after our own efforts and resources have failed.

How well I know this casting  my time, heart, and work into nets that appear to come up empty. You probably do to. It takes grit and courage to resist the inner-current that compels us to give up.


God works when our strategies have failed.

At times it may seem that God is unaware of our struggle.

Doesn’t he know what I’ve already been through, may have been the thought in Simon’s mind. Although it may seem Jesus is unaware of his struggle, Jesus chooses this particular time of frustration to teach a life-changing lesson.

  • The deeper work of God is often accomplished after we realize our efforts have come to nothing and our trusted strategies have not worked.

Could it be that God is simply waiting for us to realize that working in our own efforts will never bring the catch that God desires to give?


Simon answered and said, “Master, we worked hard all night and caught nothing…”

At this point, Simon has no idea of the magnitude of what Christ is getting ready to do. He has no concept of the astounding blessing that waits at the end of his simple obedience and his courage to try again. Simon may have thought something like this, Maybe he knows something I don’t. Maybe we will catch a few fish.

  • It’s hard to envision a big catch when all we can see is that nothing is happening.
  • Too often our vision is too small.


Simple courage to try again.

“But I will do as You say and let down the nets.”

Simon could have refused or made excuses, “I’ve already cleaned my nets.” Was it a risk to try again?  Did it take courage to try again even while the exhaustion of the empty net hangs heavy in his body?

Think about what would he have missed without this simple obedience. Questions, rebuttals, and excuses echo in his mind, but Simon responds with faith to obey and courage to try again.

The word for let down means to loosen or relax.  Simon had to loosen his grip on his emotions and assumptions in order to take Jesus at His word.

Recently I was tempted to let the lack of bringing in a catch discourage me from casting my nets again. Round and round my thoughts went with reasonings, deliberations, and excuses. It would be so much easier to clean my nets, put everything away, and head home.

Something inside wouldn’t let me do it.  I sensed that Christ was prompting me to simply have the courage to try again, without worrying about the results.

  • Don’t let failure or lack of progress keep you from trying again.
  • “The worst excuse for not doing what God wants you to do is past failure.”–David Guzik

Don't let failure rob you of courage to try again.


“When they had done this, they enclosed a great quantity of fish, and their nets began to break…”

Obedience can open the door for blessings beyond what we can imagine. When Jesus directs our work, He can show us where the fish are located. At times, He works that way, for He knows what fish He is after and He knows where to catch them.

Don’t miss the previous, related post Simple Encouragement When Work Fails.

What truth from this passage hits home for you today?

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Joining with these lovely communities of bloggers: Thought-Provoking Thursday  Grace and Truth, Faith N Friends Blog Hop, Dance With Jesus Link Up,  Faith-Filled Fridays, and Inspire Me Monday.





  1. It does take courage to try again when we’ve seen ourselves fail over and over. But I’m thankful we serve a God who specializes in giving us do-overs! Thanks for the encouragement, Ginger.

    • Ginger Harrington

      Love that–God specializes in giving us do-overs! I’m glad about that too. So glad you stopped by today.

  2. I needed this word of encouragement today, Ginger. This was the scripture I read early this morning. Your words confirmed the message. Thanks, friend! I will continue to cast my nets!

    • Ginger Harrington

      Isn’t it a wonder how God uses the gift of community to speak into our lives? Just another example of that, isn’t it. Keep casting your nets, Friend!

  3. Ginger,
    Tweeted your post…So encouraging …Thanks 🙂

    • Ginger Harrington

      Thanks so very much for sharing, and I’m thrilled you found encouragement here. Have a wonderful weekend!

  4. Thank you sharing this. The timing is perfect and the pics came out amazing! I will continue to cast my nets where Christ tells me…was ready to give up, but this encouraged me to move on. 😀

    • Ginger Harrington

      I’m so glad you saw this. I was going to shoot you an email so you could see the photos. What a special afternoon hanging out with you at Ft.Story. I’m so glad you found encouragement here today. As I dived into this passage in my quiet time, God truly encouraged me with these insights.

  5. Your post today spoke to me about obedience. We need to continue being obedient event when we’re tired, discouraged, or don’t necessarily feel like it. Thanks for the encouragement today!

    • Ginger Harrington

      So glad to share encouragement with you, my sweet friend. Sending hugs and prayers your way, and I hope you have a restful and encouraging weekend!

  6. Ginger, this is great. Just the way I feel. My tagline is looking forward, pressing, seeking God in every bump and turn in the road. Loved this piece.


  7. “The deeper work of God is often accomplished after we realize our efforts have come to nothing and our trusted strategies have not worked.” I must remind myself of this when I wonder what to do next in this writing journey. I must do all I can do then trust the rest to “the deeper work of God”. Blessings Ginger. ~visiting from #DanceWithJesus

    • Ginger Harrington

      Yes, the struggles that come with this writing life are definitely a part of what God was speaking to as I studied and reflected on this passage. I hope that I am learning to keep my hands open in faith, rather than clutching at the things I am working on.

  8. Hey Ginger,

    I like your blog and your words of encouragement. Some of these very things have been pressing on my heart and rolling around in my mind this week.

    Your question – “Could it be that God is simply waiting for us to realize that working in our own efforts will never bring the catch that God desires to give?” really resonates with me.

    Surrender is hard and amazing, isn’t it!

    I like your blog and plan to stop by again for a visit~
    Blessings to you,

    • Ginger Harrington

      It’s hard but also so freeing. I’m so glad our hearts crossed paths here, Melanie. These are things we all go through and God is always with us in the struggle. Be encouraged friend!

  9. Pingback: Don’t Give Up

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