An overflow crowd of more than 1,200 women examined God’s sovereignty during the 60th annual Southern Baptist Convention Ministers’ Wives Luncheon, held June 10 during the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention in Baltimore.
The luncheon featured speaker Priscilla Shirer, author of several books, including “One in a Million,” “The Resolution for Women” and most recently “God is Able.”
Shirer is the daughter of Tony Evans, senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship Church in Dallas. Evans grew up in a row home just 10 minutes away from the Baltimore Hilton, where the luncheon took place.
In her message, Shirer shared a familiar passage about the fisherman and future apostle, Simon Peter, as detailed in Luke 5. Peter had just invested his time and energy into fishing all night but was coming up empty, Shirer said.
“A large number of you know how it feels to invest your time, … yourself … into a ministry, a marriage, … and you feel quite discouraged because you are coming up empty,” said Shirer, of Going Beyond Ministries in Cedar Hill, Texas.
And yet, even though Peter was frustrated, tired and irritated, Jesus saw him, Shirer said.
“Your God sees you,” she said. “He knows all about your fishing trip” and sees all “your tears,” “every bead of sweat,” and “every moment awake at night.”
Rather than giving up, Peter cleaned his nets, “which implies he had the intention to use them again,” Shirer said. “There is no rebuke for you to step aside and ‘wash your net.'”
But she cautioned against doing it alone. This passage talks about fishermen, plural, rather than fisherman, singular, she stressed.
In the biblical story, Jesus, pressed by the crowds, went to Peter’s boat and got in — an obvious contrast to Peter, who wanted to get out of the boat.
“The very thing that Peter was discouraged about was the perfect thing for Jesus to get involved in. He will use the part of your life that seems the most useless … it has not been a waste. Our greatest mess will be our greatest message,” she said, noting, “God makes useful what seems useless.”
Shirer went on to say the sovereignty of God means “He’s got it in His hands.” In other words, He is able. He’s got it.
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SOURCE: Baptist Press