Turning Setbacks Into Comebacks
Everyone loves a good comeback story. But without a setback those comebacks wouldn’t be possible. Because we live in a broken world, you will experience problems, trials, difficulties, losses, or failures. You might be in the middle of a setback right now. In this series, you’ll learn how God has helped people in the past overcome setbacks and set you on a course to achieve your comeback.
Bottom Line: Seek the blesser rather than just the blessing.
Something To Talk About:
What do you do when you’ve tried everything but still come up empty? There are four points in this message that answers that question.
- Give Jesus complete access: Living the Christian life can seem difficult. It is difficult. In fact it is impossible on our own. To live the full Christian life requires God. Paul knows this: “For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13). The Christian’s secret to a consistent life is for Christ to live His life through us: but for that to happen He needs complete access to our life. There should be no part of our lives that God does not control. He is the source of our life, and He is our helper. If we shut God out, we shut out our ability to thrive, and we shut out the very essence of what makes life meaningful. If we’re facing a need or a problem today, give the problem to God. He needs complete access to every part of our lives.
- Admit that your way is not working: Starting with childhood we always want to get our way; and tears, anger, and hair-pulling resulted when we didn’t. As adults, we still want to get our way even when God is pulling us in another direction. We stop trying to get our way when it is obvious our way is not working or the situation becomes dire. It is then we learn we discover a greater destiny for our life. God says no to our way because He has something better. It may not seem like it at any moment, but God’s plan is far better in the end.
- Do whatever Jesus instructs you to do: God has a purpose for your life and the roadmap to reach it. You should want to pursue that purpose to find all that your loving Father has in store for you. But first, you must be willing to do what God instructs you to do. Begin by asking God to show you His plan for your life. You might not get the whole picture of what He has for you at one time. But as you open your heart, little by little He will unfold what He wants you to do. Then, as you move forward, ask God to guide your steps. These instructions from King Solomon are very insightful and helpful: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
- Expect Jesus to do a miracle: Have you ever felt like you were waiting on God? You feel as though you have been patient forever and just don’t know when God will come through. Maybe God is waiting for you. John 2 tells of a wedding fiasco at Cana. As Jesus and His disciples attend the wedding, Mary realized that all of the wine that was serving the wedding guests was gone. Seeing as how wine was integral to weddings at that time, not having wine was a big deal. When Mary saw Jesus, she walked up to Him and told him about the problem. Jesus had the power to wave a hand and flood the wedding with wine, but did He? No. Instead, Jesus gave the opportunity to be a part of a miracle to the servants. “Jesus told the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” When the jars had been filled, he said, “Now dip some out, and take it to the master of ceremonies.” So the servants followed his instructions. When the master of ceremonies tasted the water that was now wine, … he called the bridegroom over.” (John 2:7-9). Jesus doesn’t just want to perform miracles in your life, He wants you to be a part of them. Because of the faithful obedience of servants, an entire group of people were blessed with a miracle. We need miracle-sized faith. Our faith in taking our next step, however small the step may seem, will lead to God’s blessing. Instead of asking when will God come through, have the faith to expect a miracle.
- Knowing God has His hand in our lives at all times, why is it difficult to trust His sovereignty in our present situations?
- Why is it so easy to compartmentalize our life and give God only access to some compartments?
- Do you fear what full access might cost you? What fears might people have about fully surrendering every aspect of their lives to God? What fears have you experienced at one point or another in relation to full surrender?
- What’s the first sign that “our way” isn’t working? What is the best thing to do when our way does not work?
- In what area of life are you most tempted to settle for mediocrity when God is asking you to kick it up a notch and experience more of what He has planned for you? How do you know when God is telling you to do something?
- When you experience a setback, what do you do? Step forward to solve the problem? Ask Jesus to decide what to do? Expect a miracle?
- Do you have enough faith to surrender the “impossible” situations over to God?
- Read Mark 3:7-10: What was the motivation of the crowd? Do you imagine you would have been any different than the people who sought after Jesus for healing? Why or why not? Do you see any parallels between this story and the way people approach Jesus in our time? Explain.
- Read Psalm 37:4: Matthew 6:33: and Matthew 7:9-11: What do these verses say about those who would seek God and the gifts He gives?
- What about this message stands out to you?
- What would you do differently this week as a result of this message?
Take one thing home with you:
Sometimes you just need to take a step forward. There is a story in 2 Kings 7 about four leprous men who were sitting outside the city languishing because a serious famine had overtaken the land. They decided enough was enough: there was no point in sitting there waiting for death. They were going to get up and move into the enemy camp and were ready to face whatever came their way. After all, it had to be better than their present situation.
So as they made a move in faith and God responded. He caused such confusion that the enemy camp thought that a convergence of powerful armies were coming their way and they left everything behind. All the food, the gold and silver, the animals and tents—everything good and valuable was left behind. Had these four men in this story stayed where they were they would have surely died. Taking a step of faith changed everything. So many times, we miss our blessings and the miracles of God because we are content staying where we are, instead of moving forward when God is calling us to do so. Real faith has an expectant attitude. It doesn’t look at the situation, it looks at God.