Who's Ready For A Comeback?

Jon Burgess


1Then theLordsaid to Joshua, “Do not be afraid or discouraged. Take all your fighting men and attack Ai, for I have given you the king of Ai, his people, his town, and his land.2You will destroy them as you destroyed Jericho and its king. But this time you may keep the plunder and the livestock for yourselves. Set an ambush behind the town.” Joshua 8:1-2


Cleansing precedes the comeback. The people of God repented for their sin through Achan and now they were ready for redemption. God did not direct them to move on pretend nothing happened at Ai. In fact quite the opposite. They were being called back to the field of their failure to witness the faithfulness of their God! Their place of greatest defeat would become their place of greatest deliverance. Their place of dark shame would be their place to brightly shine! Through forgiveness, their setback was a setup for a comeback on an epic scale.


I'm a sucker for a comeback story both in cinema and in real life. Every comeback, just like the one here with Israel, is preceded by a change and a willingness to keep trying. Often it's in the pursuit of fulfilling a dream that we experience our greatest defeats. It's from the ashes of this defeat that the Pheonix will rise. Here's a few examples:

Walt Disney:

He had relative success but was forced to go bankrupt after acquiring too much debt. It took Disney several other failures to finally become successful, including losing the rights to one of his most popular cartoon characters, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. Even Mickey Mouse and Snow White were first dismissed by critics — until Disney proved them wrong.

Michael Jordan:

Before becoming one of the best players in the history of basketball, Michael Jordan was a 5’11” aspiring high school sophomore rejected by his varsity team for being too short. But according to Jordan, failure is just part of eventual success — take it from the man who led the Chicago Bulls to six NBA championships, won the Most Valuable Player award five times and starred inSpace Jam(one of the best movies of all time, if you ask us). “I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career,” Jordan has said. “I have lost almost 300 games. I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

Boston Red Sox:

After 1918, they did not win another World Series for 86 years. It was called the “Curse of the Bambino” since, after they traded away Babe Ruth to the hated Yankees, they never won another world championship. They played in four World Series and never won, even with some of the greatest baseball players ever like Ted Williams and Carl Yastrzemski...Fast forward to 2004 World Series: In Game Seven, for the first time the Yankees were in danger of losing the series and incredibly they did lose the game and the series. The Boston Red Sox had overcome the greatest deficit in baseball history against their most hated rival to have a comeback like no other in playoff baseball. However, the comeback was not yet complete since they still had to win the World Series in order to have a world championship. They played the St. Louis Cardinals, who had won more world championships than any club except the Yankees. The Red Sox came into the series on a four game winning streak and amazingly won four straight to sweep the Cardinals and win their first world championship in eighty six years. The greatest baseball comeback was now complete.

Your name, your family, your team, your church is next on this list. It doesn't matter how daunting a deficit, how painful your past for you and I serve a God of redemption. Here's the thing though, you will be asked to return to your past when you feel like running from it. God will lead us back in order to lead us forward. Your field of shame will become your field to shine.


Lord, give me the courage to not let my failure define me. When You lead me back to relationships that are broken, derailed dreams, points of passion that plummeted before my eyes, I will not back down. The Cross is proof that you specialize in comebacks if we will refuse to quit.

Devotions for March 20

Joshua 7,8
Psalms 69
1 Corinthians 5

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