Past Performance Is No Guarantee of Future Results

Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus.

He called out to them, ”Friends, haven’t you any fish?”

”No,” they answered.

He said, ”Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.

– John 21:4-6 (NIV)


When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, ”Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.”

Simon answered, ”Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”

When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break.

-Luke 5:4-6


If you have any experience with investing, you’ve probably come across the phrase “Past performance is no guarantee of future results.”

Essentially, it’s a warning akin to “caveat emptor.” Just because a stock has done well in the past does not mean it will do well in the future.

Consider, though, that God has a way of changing things when He gets involved. With Jesus, the phrase takes on a whole different meaning, in life if not in stocks. The disciples in the verses above had been fishing and had not caught anything on their own efforts. Then Jesus told them to try one more time.

Their past performance would seem to indicate that failure would once again be replicated. Simon Peter begrudgingly said, “Because you say so, I will let down the nets.”

But now, the power of God was at work. Both times, the fishermen were successful far beyond their expectations.

“Past performance is no guarantee of future results” took on a whole new meaning for them.

With God’s power, anything is possible.