(Courtesy of Richmond Community Church)
As you look toward a new year the hope may be that this could be your year, the year that you have a great comeback. You may have gotten divorced, lost your job, had a health problem, lost a loved one or had another setback. Whatever the case, you can turn your setback into a comeback. In fact, it is possible to get back to where you once were or even do better. Could 2014 be the year of your comeback?
Life is full of setbacks. You cannot avoid them, no matter who you are, no matter what you do. Yet, comebacks are possible. The Bible is filled with stories of setbacks and comebacks. Joseph was sold into slavery and later put in prison. He had a comeback and became the second most powerful man in the world who helped save his people from famine. Peter had a huge setback when he denied Jesus three times. His shame caused him to return to his previous occupation as a fisherman. He had a comeback when Jesus gave him a significant role of leadership in the early church where his mark on Christianity is undeniable. The greatest comeback of all time is the foundation upon which the Christian faith is based – Jesus' resurrection. From the ultimate setback Jesus came back to life and proved his victory over death achieving the ultimate comeback.
Comebacks happen every year. The challenge is how do you overcome your setback and have an incredible comeback. The question is not will there be comebacks in 2014 but will one of those comebacks be yours. Just as setbacks come in all shapes and sizes so do comebacks. But there are certain principles that govern comebacks. If you are going to have a comeback in the new year you will need to put them into practice.
Release Your Regrets
Regret imprisons us in guilt, depression, self-pity and indecision. We have those insidious thoughts that cause us to mourn choices we have made in the past. Without releasing your regrets, you'll never be able to make any forward progress. Philippians 3:12 tells us, "But I forget what is behind and I struggle for what is ahead." Regret lives in the past and while it may have been a situation that makes you cringe every time you think about it, do yourself a favor and let it go.
Regret creates a "setback mentality." This is when you are self-absorbed, you are preoccupied with your setback and the problems it has created. That mentality keeps you from moving forward into your comeback.
Learn the Lesson
Too many try to push the setback behind them as quickly as possible, which is precisely why so many go from setback to setback. If you want to have a comeback, you must look for the lessons in the setback to avoid making the same mistake again.
Not every setback is the result of a direct action on your part; you can do all the right things for your health and still end up sick. God can do amazing things and bring about marvelous comebacks, but first you must look to uncover if there is a lesson for you to learn from your setback. It is one thing to look for the lesson it is another to actually learn from it.
Make The Change
A comeback will always begin with change. If you want a comeback you are going to have to change. Unless you change what you presently are doing or not doing, things are going to remain the same; there will be no comeback. You have to be willing to do things differently from what you've done up to this point.
Change happens when you receive new information or gain new knowledge – this is a change of mind. Change happens when you get a new attitude, when you decide that your way of thinking is going to change – this is a change of heart. Change always happens when choose to be committed – this will change your future.
Restore Your Confidence
Your confidence always takes a big hit when you have a setback. Confidence is crucial to a comeback; it is the power that propels you into a comeback. Confidence helps you to take advantage of new opportunities. Comebacks always come with new opportunities.
In Zephaniah 3:17 it says, "The Lord your God wins victory after victory and is always with you." God wants you to have a comeback so base your confidence on the reality of who God is. You can choose to be confident. Confidence helps you to make decisions you need to make. Your comeback will be in part about opportunities and the decisions you make about those opportunities.
Momentum is your best friend because it makes you better than you really are. Slowly begin capturing momentum by regaining control of one thing at a time. A little momentum turns into a lot of momentum, which produces emerging energy and limitless passion that positively fuels a comeback.
It can often be hard to get going if you don't know where you need to begin. Figure out your first step and start doing it; that will put you back on the road to success. Each hurdle you successfully get over will build the momentum that will lead you to your comeback.
Setbacks do not control your life – you control your life. You choose what you are going to dream again. You can decide that you are going to restart your dream engine; that you are not going to allow your dreams to falter and go away.
No matter what has happened, don't allow your setbacks to define you anymore. Become determined to move forward into the dream God has for you. Ask yourself what it is you want more than anything. Then ask yourself how you're going to make it happen. To make the dream a reality, the discipline must match the desire.
A comeback takes work; however, everyone from ordinary people to biblical heroes to professional athletes has proved it is possible. In 2014 you have the potential to write your comeback story and have your greatest year yet.