Was honored to share the message, “Your Setback Is God’s Set Up For Your Comeback” as the guest of Pastor Matthew Barnett at Angelus Temple, Dream Center in Los Angeles, California on October 9th, 2014.
If you or someone you know is in a season of setback, or you are climbing out of a setback, I’ve got a word from the Lord for you that will accelerate your comeback….
A setback is an unexpected change from better to worse, a disappointment, a reversal.
Have you recently experienced a setback in your family, or in your personal life, in your physical body, at work, in a relationship, loss of a loved one, in your finances, in your relationship with God — and it’s begun to make you worry and wonder where God is – and if you will ever recover…
I have a word for you.
Your setback is not God setting you aside…
And it’s not God’s setting you down…
Your setback is God’s set up for your comeback!
I want to give you a word right now that is not some preaching word. This is a word for you to take hold of and receive right now…
And this is the word…
This is the day…
I’m not talking about a comeback that’s off in the future somewhere. God said to tell you that this is the day and…
Now is the time for your comeback to begin!
Your failure is not final.
Your failure is not fatal.
But if you will let God, He will use your failure as fuel for your future. In fact, your future is wrapped up in how you respond to your failure.
It is time for you to see your setback as God’s opportunity and even as His setup for your comeback!
Isaiah 61:3 says He gives you “… beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness – that you might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He might be glorified!”
What does God call you? God doesn’t call you failure. He sees more in you than your best friend, than your family, even more than you do – even in your setback, He calls you righteous!
Your mess can become your message; your test will become your testimony!
A divine exchange is about to take place in your life.
There’s no condemnation if you find yourself in a setback, in an unexpected change from better to worse, a disappointment, a reversal.
There’s somebody that’s saying I have heard this before. This is not for me, I can’t change…
I have prayed for you, and I wrote this to tell you that this time will be different. Change is coming to you now in Jesus name because I know that your setback really is God’s setup for your comeback — and your comeback is beginning right now!
A comeback is a return. This is your time to return!
A comeback is a resurgence. Now is your time for a mighty resurgence in your life!
There’s somebody God is speaking to that is at the very brink of giving up. You are out of fuel; your tank is on empty. I want to tell you that a resurgence is coming to you now. Your comeback has already begun! It’s a resurgence. It’s a recovery.
Somebody say recovery is coming to me!
It’s time for your rally! Listen to this…
When a stockbroker has a stock that is plummeting and is experiencing a major setback, what a stockbroker does is they sell and they cut their losses. That’s what many people do to you and me when we fail or disappoint them in one way or another. But God said to me, “Greg, when My people begin to plummet, and when My people begin to fall and have a setback, I don’t sell. I buy more. I invest more in them!”
You see God invests more in you when you’re low so that He then gets a greater return when you rise. Just like the stockbroker that buys the troubled stock at its low point – and sees the great growth potential – is rewarded when he invests and it rises, God too gets the glory and receives a greater return when he invests in you – and you comeback!
God is fully invested in your comeback!
A comeback is a return to success. You will not only return to the success that you once knew – you will far exceed it!
I want to take you to an incredible, great hidden nugget from the Word of God…
44 words that give an awesome insight into the person and into the heart of the God of the universe. This one verse literally sums up the nearly 800,000 other words of scripture and pulls back the curtain on what really makes God tick…
King David experienced a terrible setback in his family. David’s daughter Tamar is seduced and raped by one of David’s sons, Ammon, who is then murdered by another son, Absalom, to take revenge. Oprah, Dr. Phil have nothing on this!
As a result Absalom is banished from the kingdom. So David lost a son to murder, had a horrendous thing happen to his daughter, and then his beloved, yet murderous Absalom is banished from the kingdom because as King, though he loved his son, he was charged to uphold the law. That’s where this entire world was before God sent Jesus. We were banished from a loving yet just and holy God because we all have broken the law.
After some time, the Bible says that King David longed to be reunited with his son Absalom. Created in God’s image, David had the same longing as the Father heart of God to be reunited with his children…
It was sadly reported recently that the last recorded words of the Liberian national, Thomas Duncan, who passed away from the Ebola virus in the Dallas hospital were, “I miss my son. I want to see my son”.
And here’s David, he longed to be reunited with his son Absalom.
Out of this brokenness in David’s heart was delivered one of the most insightful revelations of the heart of God that you will find in scripture, delivered to King David by a little widow woman from Ketoah in 2 Samuel 14:14:
“All of us must die eventually…
Our lives are like water spilled out on the ground…
That can not be gathered up again…
BUT God does not just sweep life away…
INSTEAD HE DEVISES WAYS TO BRING US BACK WHEN WE HAVE BEEN SEPARATED FROM HIM” (2 SAM 14:14)
This one magnificent verse reveals five eternal truths…
All of us must die eventually…
Hebrews 9:27 declares, “…it is appointed unto men ONCE to die, but after this the judgment”
It’s appointed unto every single one of us to die and then the judgment. Not then the reincarnation. Not then the purgatory.
There is a heaven. There is a hell. Jesus never would have come and paid the price that He paid if there was some other way that we could have made heaven. All of us must die eventually.
Our lives are like water spilled out on the ground. Which cannot be gathered up again…
You can’t get your past back, but God isn’t interested in holding your past against you, He is interested in your great future.
The Apostle Paul said, “…I focus on this one thing: FORGETTING the past and looking forward to what lies ahead” (Phil 3:13)
Paul focused on forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead. If you will do that today, you will be on the comeback trail!
I love how this magnificent verse that was delivered to King David in II Samuel 14:14 continues…
But God does not just sweep life away…
God doesn’t give the divine back hand to anyone. You are inestimably valuable to God. Your value was demonstrated by the unspeakable price that God paid to redeem you. God doesn’t just sweep you away because you have fallen in this area or you have fallen in that area. God invests more in us. Jesus left the 99. He gave more of His time to the one than left than the 99 that stayed.
II Samuel 14:14 says, God does not just sweep life away.
Instead, He devises ways to bring us back when we have been separated from Him!
That is our God. God doesn’t devise judgment. God doesn’t devise revenge. God devises ways to bring us back when we’ve been separated from Him.
If you have a relationship you cared deeply about that turns on you, disrespects you, betrays you, doesn’t want to be near you, would you be devising ways to bring them back? No. But the overwhelming message of Scripture is that we serve a God who even when we disrespect and dishonor Him, devises ways to bring us back when we have been separated from Him.
He devised a way for Jonah. There’s somebody reading this — you have the call of God on your life. And God told you to go to done thing – and you did the other — just like Jonah did.
You see, God didn’t have a plan B for Jonah. There was not someone else God had lined up to do what He called Jonah to do. There is no one else that can do what God has called you to do. If God had someone else to fulfill Jonah’s destiny, He never would have gone to the incredible extremes that He did, devising a way to bring Jonah back…
First, the storm that Jonah and all those with him encountered on the ship that was taking him away from the place God called him, then Jonah getting the short straw and being selected to be thrown off the boat, and finally getting swallowed by a fish! God devised a way to bring Jonah back. Sometimes it’s not pleasant.
God has chosen to be committed to you and to His plan for your life.
“For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope” (Jer 29:11)
God has a great plan for your life. If you’ve had a setback in obeying God’s will for your life, as you are reading this you have an opportunity to step into your comeback by just saying God I want to take the first step back to what you’ve called me to do.
Maybe you have experienced a setback in the relationship you once had with the Lord. Your relationship right now is not as strong, it’s not as on fire as it used to be.
God wants you to know that there are three words that can immediately get you back on track. It’s the three words that the prodigal son said. And they’re simple words. It’s the same words that the thief on the cross said. It’s the difference between two people. It’s the difference between Saul and David. It’s the difference between the thief on the right and the thief on the left,
They’re simple words, but for some people they’re the hardest words to say, “I HAVE SINNED”. You have an opportunity to pause right now — because your comeback can immediately begin with those three words. You can be restored and the blessing of God can be released upon your life NOW.
I want to encourage you. God does not sweep life away, but instead He devises ways to bring us back when we have been separated from Him…
You see, God devises ways to bring us back when we have been separated from Him!
The dictionary defines devise as “to cook up”. Did you know that God spends every moment cooking up ways to bring you back!
He’s like a master chef mixing together the sweet and sour ingredients of your life to cook up something gloriously delicious!
“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those that love God and are called according to His purpose for them” (Romans 8:28)
The dictionary also defines devise to mean mastermind, blueprint, and design.
God is masterminding, blueprinting, and designing your comeback!
Finally I want to close with an incredible man that many will relate to. He found himself in a terrible setback.
Sometimes our setbacks, if we become overwhelmed with them, if we become consumed with them, and many times we do, they begin to define us. They begin to define how we see God. This is Satan’s ultimate plan – using our setback to define us and accuse our God.
There was a man named Gideon. He was in an incredible setback. I’m not going to go through the whole story but you can read it in Judges Chapter 6. The Bible says that he was in fear.
He was threshing wheat at the bottom of the wine press. The wine press was where the grapes were trodden, not where the wheat was threshed. Gideon was in fear and as a result was out of place. Maybe you’ve allowed your setback – and your fear – to cause you to be out of place.
There were two voices over Gideon’s life. There are two voices over every person’s life. There’s the voice of the accuser and there’s the voice of the Intercessor. I wrote this to tell you that Jesus is praying for you and the devil is a liar.
The accuser will tell you, you can’t. The intercessor will tell you, I will.
I’m going to tell you something — you are not under the judgment of God. I’m going to say it again. You are not under the judgment of God. You are under the intercession of God!
God is not punishing you. I’m going to say it again. God is not punishing you. Now He may be correcting you, but He punished Jesus 2,000 years ago and He who knew no sin became sin so that we could be made the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.
So you don’t listen to the lie — “Well this is just God getting back at me— this is just God showing me who’s boss…”
You know what God’s doing? He’s devising ways to bring you back because He loves you so much. You know what God is doing? He is praying for you. The devil loves to use our failures to lie to you and to condemn you. But if you will stop looking at the bigness of your need and begin looking at the bigness of your God, you will find that starting right now; He will take you step by step. And each step will be a miracle!
Judges 6:11 says: “The angel of the Lord came and sat beneath the tree in Ophrah”. He just observed Gideon. The angel sat there, he watched Gideon threshing the wheat in fear behind the wine press. The Bible says that Gideon was “threshing wheat at the bottom of the wine press…”
There’s somebody reading this, maybe you feel like you’re at the bottom. Gideon was at the bottom yet the angel wasn’t so high and holy and mighty that he didn’t come and meet Gideon right at his very bottom point.
Judges 6:11 says that Gideon was trying to hide the grain from the Midianites because they would come and steal it. I don’t know if there is anybody that ever feels like, my harvest keeps getting stolen. I tell you, your setback is God’s setup for your comeback!
Judges 6:12 says the angel of the Lord that had been watching him, revealed himself and appeared to Gideon and said these words, “Mighty man of valor, the Lord is with you.”
What a word for Gideon! I can hear him saying to himself, “So, I’m at the bottom. I am shaking with fear. I am getting ripped off. I am going further and further behind and you’re saying to me, Mighty man of valor, the Lord is with me!”
How could this angel say such a thing?
Because God was not depending upon Gideon…
God was depending on one thing…
God was depending on what He could make of Gideon!
My friend, I wrote these words to unequivocally tell you that God is not depending upon what you are or what you are not…
God is not depending on your failures or your righteousness…
God is depending on one thing.
God is depending on what He can make of you!
Yet Gideon gives an incredible response. He says, “Sir, I just want to make sure I understand what you’re saying. If the Lord is with me why has all this happened? And where are all the miracles our ancestors told us about? But now, the Lord has abandoned us and handed us over to the Midianites!”
In a time of setback who has not questioned God? Have you?
I love what happens next…
All of the sudden there is a game changer in the very next verse. No longer is it an angel speaking to Gideon. Judges 6:14 says, “Then the Lord turned to him…”
The Hebrew literally means the Lord faced him!
I think of John 1:42 when Jesus faced Simon Peter for the first time,
“Jesus looked at him and said, you are Simon son of John. You shall be called Cephas – which translated is Peter (Rock)”
He wasn’t depending upon what Peter possessed. He was depending on what He could make of him.
How can Jesus call unreliable Peter a rock, or fearful Gideon a mighty man, or conniving Jacob a prince with God, or childless Abraham a father of many nations? Because Romans declares that we serve an amazing God who, “…calls those things which are not as though they were” (Romans 4:17)
The greatest faith in all the world is not the faith that raises the dead…it’s not the faith that believes in God’s grace and miracles. The greatest faith in all the world is the faith that God has in you!
Now full of compassion, the Lord is facing Gideon. The Lord heard Gideon’s words of unbelief, fear and doubt. He didn’t react. He just said, “Go with the strength you have, and rescue Israel from the Midianites, I am sending you!” (Judges 6:14)
I’m going to tell you something, your greatest days are ahead of you if you will just begin to move in the right direction. You don’t need more strength – it will come as you begin to move in the right direction with the strength that you have. You don’t need to have the strength of Morris Cerullo, or this man of God or that woman of God…
The Lord told Gideon “Go with the strength you have!”
And then of course, Gideon begins to give more excuses why he couldn’t…
“How can I rescue Israel? My clan is the weakest…and I am the least!” (Judges 6:16)
Anybody ever said, “How can i?”, or felt like they were the least? Did you know that God specializes in using the least?
When Samuel came to anoint the next King of Israel and he went to the house of Jesse — Jesse brought out 7 sons and Samuel took the oil and tried to pour it out and it wouldn’t come out for son #1, or #2, or #3, on down the line until #7.
Samuel said Jesse, do you have another son? Oh yes, but that is David. He’s out tending the sheep. He’s the youngest. Samuel said bring him in. And in comes lowly David, and low and behold, Samuel turned that vial over and oil poured out! God chose David. There’s oil that’s reserved for you.
I love again how the Lord responds as Gideon tries to disqualify himself for who God has called him to be and what God has called him to do.
Jesus says this to Gideon, and He is saying this to you – it is the greatest secret to your better than ever, victorious comeback…
“Surely I will be with you!” (Judges 6:16)
Whoever you are and wherever you are reading this, the Lord wants you to know that He has not forsaken you or left you – surely He is with you! God wants to restore you and release a fresh anointing and blessing into your life.
Your setback is nothing more than God’s setup for your great comeback story, and your comeback begins now.
I would be honored to pray with you:
“Father, I thank You for Your love. I thank You for Your power that is setting me free. Jesus, I believe that Your blood cleanses me and I confess my shortcomings to you. I ask You to wash me with Your blood. Restore me to the Father. I want to serve You Lord. Thank You for hearing my prayer. I am stepping toward you and your will for my life and my comeback begins now! In Jesus Name, Amen!”
About the author: http://gregmauro.com/about/