Matters of Faith: Set Up For a Comeback

Rev. J_Loren RussellSET UP FOR A COMEBACK!

Reverend J. Loren Russell, BA, MDiv.

1 Corinthians 15:57-58 (NKJV)
57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.

I know when I heard it, and I know who said it. On May 24, 2106, Ruth Hardin said, “If you have a setback, don’t step back because God has already planned your comeback.” Good, practical advice that is easy to hear but hard to apply, especially when you are going through a setback.

Setbacks come in all shapes, sizes and circumstances. They can be completely benign or overwhelming, comical or critical, but your comeback is inevitable if you don’t step back. If you ever begin to feel that your setbacks are becoming overwhelming, it’s time to do a faith check.

The Apostle Paul, who is the author of the text, is writing to the church that he established in the Greek region in the city of Corinth, a city known for its sensuality and sacred prostitution. Prostitution was so ingrained in the culture that the practice was said “to Corinthianize.” Paul writes this instructional and pastoral letter to the church to address and resolve these types of doctrinal and practical problems and to remind them that many of their practices were forbidden by the Mosaic Law. By the time he gets to the 15th chapter, he was now addressing their understanding of the resurrection of the dead. Paul begins chapter 15 with evidence of Christ’s life, death and resurrection as proof that the faith they have been encouraged to hold on to will deliver them from the setback of death.

In typical Greek fashion, the belief in life after death was foreign to many in the culture, even those in the church family. They believed that when you’re dead you’re done. When Paul says to be steadfast, he means that we are not to step back when they have a setback. He wants them to know that they have been set up for a comeback.

No social status, wealth, race, gender, age, weight, height, or anything else can stay the hand of death. The understanding of death by those in the Corinthian church would culminate in the greatest setback of all, everlasting death. Paul says that death is a set up for the greatest comeback of all; a life in glory that will never end.

They were not, and neither are you, designed for failure; you were designed for success! You were not designed to be the tail; you are the head! Your setbacks were designed to be your setup for your comeback…, and the greatest comeback of all is when your death becomes your victory! Paul puts it this way, “When this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall bought to pass that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory” (v. 54 – NKJV).

You have been set up for a comeback!

Be Blessed!

Rev. J. Loren Russell is an associate minister at both Goodwill and The Greater Universal Baptist Churches in the Bronx, President/CEO of The JLR Company for Church Financial & Strategic Consulting, and hosts “Matters of Faith – The Radio Show” on Soul 1 Radio (internet), Mondays 8:00 – 10:00 PM., or by phone at 626-226-1448. Friend “Matters of Faith” on Facebook.

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