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BEGIN YOUR COMEBACK

Week One /// Brian Massey /// Solo Study

Before You Can Have a Comeback,
You Must First Be Behind

Growing up, there was a name that was famed in my house.

His name was mentioned quite a bit on Sundays, usually in the afternoons.

His name... was... Joe Montana.

While we lived in Michigan and he was playing in California, I really have no reason why my Mom was such a big Joe Montana fan to begin with.

My mom was such a big fan that on Black Friday one year (Not this Thanksgiving-“Black Friday”-even-though-it-is-a-Thursday-Garbage), she waited in line at JCPenney to get a Joe Montana “signed” squishy football. I even had a Joe Montana football uniform!

We were Joe Montana fans. Probably one of the biggest reasons that we were Joe Montana fans was because he had a proven track record of being such a successful, talented and humble Quarterback and that he won my Mom money in a Super Bowl Pool. He also had an awesome nickname: “Comeback Kid.”

One of my favorite Joe Montana stories is from the 1989 Super Bowl against the Cincinnati Bengals.

The San Francisco 49ers were down by three points with 3:20 left when Montana spotted not an open receiver, but a movie star in the huddle.

"There, in the stands, standing near the exit ramp," Montana said to tackle Harris Barton. "Isn't that John Candy?"

After that moment, he led the 49ers 92 yards, throwing for the winning touchdown with 34 seconds left.

This was one of Montana's 31 fourth-quarter comebacks in the NFL.

In order to have a comeback, you must first be behind.

In order to be “behind” there must have been an event or a series of events which caused you to fall behind, feeling overwhelmed or stressed.

When these moments occur, it causes us to think, “What happened to cause this?”

Unlike sporting events, we do not have the privilege of having ESPN report on and review all of the things that went right or wrong in the game.

A lot of the time, we allow these setbacks to make us believe that we have cracked under pressure and that we have missed out on our chance for a comeback.

Jesus tells us an amazing parable of one the greatest comebacks of all time in Luke 15:11-24.

This story took on a whole new meaning for me when I became a Dad.

When I thought of either one of my sons deliberately turning their back on their family to pursue a life that would ultimately lead to destruction and sin, the thought of it absolutely breaks my heart.

All that I ever want for my kids is for them to experience the best, because that’s what they deserve.

However, when they would come back home full of remorse, shame and guilt, I sure hope that I would have the same response as this father:

“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.”

I know that my flesh, which is full of pride, would want to react in a way that would manipulate or shame them.

I would want to say things like “I told you so” or “If you would’ve listened to me in the first place, then this wouldn’t have happened.”

However, instead of shaming his son or disowning him, this father pursued him. This father LITERALLY chased him down. He ran to him, embraced him and celebrated him.

This is the heartbeat of God the Father.

Regardless of your past, your hurts, your present or your fears, God wants you to be the “Comeback Kid.”

He doesn’t, hasn’t or will ever turn His back on you.

Instead, He will chase you down, seek after you and will pursue you in order to FIND you.

He is RELENTLESS in his love for YOU.

There is NOTHING that can separate you from His love (Romans 8:38-39).

In order to have a comeback, you must have someone who will coach you and encourage you through it. That person can be a spouse, a good friend, mentor or counselor. After all, life is better together.

You are WIRED for community.

I want to encourage you to find that person who you can walk through life with intimately.

Find those people who you can do life together with, who will encourage you and speak truth into your life.

Do not try to carry that weight by yourself - it will just lead to you falling or breaking down because it is too heavy to carry and will ultimately lead to destruction and devastation.

At the same time, maybe you are that role of the encourager, spouse, friend or mentor in someone’s life.

If that is the case, instead of shaming that person who is coming to you from a place of brokenness (which is very easy to do), we are called to be just like this father and welcome them back with open arms and LOVE THEM unconditionally. Not with judgement or dishonor, but with grace and honor.

So regardless of where you are, what obstacles you are facing (we all have them, you are not alone), the decision to start your comeback begins with believing that God is bigger than any mountain you are facing and trusting and believing that in Christ Jesus that we are more than conquerors.

“We are MORE than conquerors through Him who loved us.” (Romans 8:37)

“Stop telling God how big your problems are and start telling your problems how big your God is!”
(Jonathan Herron)

REFLECT

Are you currently wanting to make a “comeback?”

If so, what is it?
Take time to think, pray and meditate on what that may be and write it down.

If you are currently walking through a comeback journey with someone as their mentor/friend, how are you using God’s word, promises and prayer to gracefully guide them?

Based on what you are looking to comeback from, what fears or anxious thoughts do you need to take hold of and surround and cover in prayer?

How does that fear/anxious thought manifest itself in your life?

A.W Tozer once said, “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.”

What is your current view of God?

Do you feel like you have a low view or a high view of God?