Try Again

The story is told that Fredrick Douglass, the great black orator, was speaking discouragingly at an antislavery frederick-douglass 200x315meeting in a hall at Salem, Ohio. He was in despair over the future of his race. He said, “The white man is against us, governments are against us, the spirit of the times is against us. I see no hope for the colored race. I am full of sadness.”

Then a voice was heard, as Sojourner Truth, the famous African American and advocate of freedom, rose in the gallery and cried, “Fredrick, Fredrick, is God dead?” 1

    In Psalm 38:14, David confessed, in a time of great discouragement, that in his “mouth is no response,” meaning “a man who has no arguments left.” 2  He was expressing to the Lord that he was so dispirited, and he had no more answers for his problems. This is not uncommon among God’s finest of saints.

The great Scottish pastor, Peter Marshall, once said, “There are times when my prayers never go above the top of my head.” 3

    “Did you ever notice,” said an old lady, smiling into the troubled face before her, “that when the Lord told the discouraged fishermen to cast their nets again, it was right in the same old place where they had caught nothing?

If we could only get off to some new place when we get discouraged, trying again would be an easier thing. If we could be somebody else, it might not be so hard to have fresh faith and courage; but it is the same old net in the same old pond for most of us.

The old temptations are to be overcome, the old faults to be conquered, the old trials and discouragements before which we failed yesterday to be faced again today.

We must win success where we are, if we win it at all, and  it is the Master Himself, who, after all these toilful, disheartening failures, bids us ‘try again.’” 4

      “Disappointment is often the salt of life.” 5

© 2016 D & L Publications, All rights reserved



  1. Clarence Edward Macartney, Sermons on Old Testament Heroes, Abingdon-Cokesbury Press, New York and Nashville, Copyright 1935, p. 95
  2. David Wilkerson Newsletter, World Challenge, Inc., P. O. Box 260, Lindale, TX, 75771, February 9, 2009
  3. Robert H. Schuller, Tough Minded Faith for Tender Hearted People, Thomas Nelson, Inc., Nashville, TN, Copyright 1983, p. 220
  4. Walter B. Knight, Knight’s Master Book of New Illustrations, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, MI, Copyright 1956, p. 719
  5. Theodore Parker –