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This seven-day devotional from Louie Giglio draws on examples of men and women in Scripture to show how God is in the business of giving fresh starts to people who need a comeback.






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This seven-day devotional from Louie Giglio draws on examples of men and women in Scripture to show how God is in the business of giving fresh starts to people who need a comeback.

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Day 02


The Story of Us

Day 03


Paradise in a Garbage Dump

Day 04


When Dreams Are Dashed

Day 05


Never Too Late

Why, my soul, are you downcast?
    Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
    for I will yet praise him,
    my Savior and my God.

Psalm 43;5


A few years back, life was on an upswing. My schedule was cranking, and everything ran at a high energy level all the time. Yet there were also some difficult and stressful tensions swirling around our family and ministry. It felt like I never had a moment of rest. In my honest times, I felt overwhelmed.

One morning at 2 AM, completely out of the blue, I woke up with a jolt and sat straight up in bed. Sweat poured down my face. My heart was racing. I thought it was going to blow out of my chest. I really thought this was what it felt like to die.

I became stuck in this pattern. Night after night, at 2 AM, I shot straight up, wide awake, with my heart racing. A dark cloud hung over me, an overwhelming feeling of dread. Night after night after night, this went on and on and on.

I’ll never forget about two months after all this began. Boom—2 AM came, and I sat bolt upright in bed. Darkness closed in around me. It felt like I was coming to the end of my rope. I thought I can’t do this anymore. I didn’t know where to turn. All I knew was that I couldn’t continue this way. I was at the bottom.

Almost on reflex, my heart prayed, God, you’ve got to help me. That’s all I could think to say. God, please, please help.

There was no bolt of lightning. No fast fix. No immediate cure. But the smallest snippet of a Bible verse floated through my head from Job 35:10, about how God gives us songs in the night. I said, God I don’t know what else to do. But if you’ll give me a song tonight, then I’ll praise you.

The little song wasn’t a promise that God would heal me then and there. Yet God was still a healer, and I believed in him and in his purposes. That was enough for the moment—and it was the beginning of how God created a comeback in my life.

For nights, weeks, and even months to come, I experienced a strange rhythm of dread and peace, peace and dread. Some nights it was cloud, cloud, song, song. Other nights it was song, song, cloud, cloud. Gradually, mercifully, it became song, song, song, cloud. Then one night there was no cloud at all. For months on end it remained simply song, song, song, song.

If you’re in a dark place like I was, know that you’re not crazy and you’re not alone. Maybe you have a struggle similar to mine.

Maybe you have conflict with your friends, coworkers, or relatives. Maybe you’re battling to overcome an addiction. Whatever the cause, life hasn’t turned out for you the way you hoped. The good news is that Jesus can meet you there and offer you a comeback. He can redeem even the worst circumstances for his glory and your best. And he offers this comeback to you right now.

During the next six days, we will look at stories of men and women in the Bible to see how God gives hope to the hopeless, direction to the directionless, and help for those who need help. All we have to do is lift up our hands in response to God’s reaching down and declare that his plan is take us out of the valley. He can—and will—give us a comeback and lead us through.


Can you recall a storm in your life that you thought was insurmountable? How did you see God come through for you?

Why do comeback stories give us hope?

Is there an area of your life where you need a comeback right now?

And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them. So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.”

Exodus 3:9-10


The greatest comeback occurred when Jesus was raised up out of the grave into everlasting life. Now, we can celebrate the power of God that can bring us back even from the brink of death. This is a deeper kind of comeback that God offers to everyone. Just think of the remarkable comeback story of Moses in the Bible.

When we meet Moses, he is a man with an anger problem. One day, he witnesses an Egyptian beating a Hebrew slave. So he kills the Egyptian and buries him in the sand. Moses took matters into his own hands the only way he knew how. Yet a crime was still a crime, and because of that crime, Moses needed to leave Pharaoh’s house, where he’d grown up.

Moses was banished to the wilderness, where all he did for years was tend sheep. But then, at a time when many would be thinking about their last chapters on this earth, God spoke to Moses out of a burning bush and called him to a position of leadership. “I know it looks like life has passed you by,” God said, “but I’m going to use you to lead my people out of bondage in Egypt and into the Promised Land.”

Moses had a great comeback story over his anger and failed opportunities. But he also had a speech impediment and lousy self-confidence. He didn’t think he could do anything useful for God. But along with his brother, Aaron, he went to Pharaoh and told him to let God’s people go. Eventually Pharaoh did that, and the whole nation had a comeback story.

Moses had relapses and disobeyed God a few times after that, and God wouldn’t let him go into the Promised Land as a consequence. But in the New Testament, there’s a story of Jesus hiking up on a mountain with two of his disciples. There something supernatural happened. Jesus’ clothes turned a radiant white, and he shone in brilliant glory in the presence of his disciples. Alongside Jesus two others suddenly appeared, and one of them was Moses, in his all-time most powerful comeback. In the grace of God there is a comeback for people who’ve already had a comeback and need another.

We could talk about story after story like these. In fact, the entire story of humanity is a story of people who have stumbled and fallen, yet somehow in this ocean of God’s grace and mercy, he provides a comeback for anyone who puts their faith and hope in Jesus. In the end, we find that no matter what we might be walking through, we can still have confidence that Jesus is the God of the comeback and that our story is not over as long as Jesus is in it.

Everybody needs a comeback, and everybody is offered a comeback. No matter what our obstacles are, no matter what mistakes we’ve made, no matter if we’re in a season of wandering or darkness, God’s purpose and plan will still prevail.


What stands out to you about Moses’ comeback story in the Bible?

Like Moses, we may feel we are on the back side of nowhere, or we’ve done too much wrong and there is no way back. How can we know that God always see us right where we are?

Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”

Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

Luke 23:42-43


Historians and archaeologists tell us that the little section of land called Golgotha, where Jesus was crucified, was actually a landfill. Have you ever seen a landfill up close? Flies buzzing around. A bad smell in the air. Everywhere you look is pile after pile of rotting, stinking trash. And Golgotha was the worst sort of primitive, barbaric landfill possible.

When the Romans were crucifying criminals, often there’d be nobody around to claim the bodies. So soldiers would peel the bodies off the beams and toss the corpses into the garbage heap. Then wild dogs and other feral animals would eat the flesh off the bones. That’s the place where Jesus was crucified—the worst sort of garbage dump imaginable.

The fact that Jesus told the thief on the cross that he would be with Jesus in paradise is highly significant. You see, on that day, paradise came to a landfill. Paradise was connected to a garbage dump, and that connection was Jesus.

We may be living in a garbage dump today, but paradise can still find us. Our lives may be disgustingly messy and flies may buzz all around us, but Jesus is always near. That’s great news, because even if we’re in a really tough spot, we never need to count ourselves out. There’s always hope. God is the God of the great comeback.

How does a great comeback begin? It springs from simple faith from a heart that believes enough to pray a basic prayer: Jesus, please remember me. That prayer only requires a breath, just enough to change the direction of our eternity. God placed the criminal in proximity to Jesus because God wanted to let us know we don’t need to be high and mighty to get to heaven. We aren’t blessed by God because we’re better than anyone else. We get to heaven because of a simple prayer of faith.

In that prayer we acknowledge that we have nothing to offer God. We come to Jesus as helpless in our pain and despair as a thief stretched out on a cross. We look at Jesus on the cross beside us and say, “You’re God. You’re innocent of any crimes. You could get down off that cross if you wanted, but you’re there by choice for a purpose. Will you please remember me?”

Sometimes people put more words around that prayer—and that’s fine. You might understand more about spiritual matters than the thief did. But if you know far less, that’s okay too. If all you know is that Jesus was innocent, crucified for things he didn’t do but things that you had a part in doing, and if you believe that Jesus could have climbed off that cross if he wanted to but stayed there for a reason, and you just want Jesus to remember you, then your prayer is heard.

God will hear your simple prayer and bring paradise to the messiest situations and lives. Jesus is not afraid of darkness. He’s not put off by the stench of old rotten bones. He’s not afraid of a few flies. Jesus will bring paradise even to a garbage dump.


The story of the thief on the cross shows us that Jesus wasn’t drawn to those whose lives were “perfectly” together. What hope does this give you today?

In what ways did the thief who asked Jesus for mercy show he understood the gravity of his situation? In what ways have you also asked God to remember you?

What does this story tell you about the extent of God’s mercy? What does it tell you about being “too far gone” to experience a comeback?

But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.

Genesis 50:19-20


How do we relate to a guy like Joseph? He was thrown into a pit, sold into slavery, betrayed, imprisoned, forgotten. But his story is closer to our stories than we may think at first glance.

Have you ever been abandoned? Left behind? Sold out? Ever had your hopes run dry? Have you ever been stabbed in the back? Maybe you had just got things going in the right direction, and then your life took a sudden downward spiral. It’s amazing that Joseph went through all this and yet had the perspective to understand that God was at work the whole time.

That’s the bigger story of Joseph. Even after he’d begun to do well a second time, it was all pulled out from under him again. Can you relate to feeling like everybody else is getting ahead and you’re falling farther behind? That’s exactly where Joseph was, but he never lost sight of God’s work in his life.

We can pull at least five principles from Joseph’s experience. First, Joseph understood the overall purpose of his life was to fit into a small part of God’s larger plan for the world. Joseph knew that his life’s purpose was bigger than simply playing out his own dream, even a God-given dream. He knew he was on earth to be part of God’s story.

Second, Joseph knew God would go the distance with him. God was with him when he was sold to the traders, on the auction block, in Potiphar’s house, and in jail. He was with Joseph when he was in Pharaoh’s court, through years of plenty and years of lean, and when his brothers returned. God was with him the whole time.

Third, Joseph knew he had to offer God his very best. Joseph certainly could have done his roles as a servant halfheartedly. He could have cut corners at every turn. But Joseph realized God was right beside him in the process, so he wanted to keep doing his best in every situation.

Fourth, Joseph understood comeback isn’t about payback. He told his brothers that God was in charge of his life, not them. He didn’t say all the consequences of their actions disappeared, but he forgave them because he recognized he was in God’s story.

Finally, Joseph recognized he was part of a salvation story. Joseph said: “Do not be distressed or angry with yourselves because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life” (Genesis 45:5). Take hold of that little phrase: to preserve life. That’s supernatural, I’m-in-a-bigger-God-story thinking. That kind of thinking says my job every day is to put my life in God’s hands, and God’s job every day is to use my circumstances for his glory.

Joseph teaches us that our struggle is always for someone’s salvation. That doesn’t mean we should say, “Bring me more struggle because more people will get salvation.” None of us runs eagerly into that battle. But when the battle comes to us, we know God is working a great purpose.


Joseph went from dreamer to slave to prisoner. How do you relate to his story?

How do you think Joseph felt when he was in prison and things seemed to be falling apart? How do you cope when things are falling apart in your life?

What do you think enabled Joseph to never lose sight of the fact that God was working in his story? How did his circumstances shape him for the work God wanted him to do?

So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

1 Corinthians 10:12-13


Samson was purposed by God to do something phenomenal for God’s people, and he had two big things going for him: (1) a huge calling on his life, and (2) an incredible power on his life. Within that potential, Samson did some amazing things. He killed a lion with his bare hands. He killed thirty men by himself. How many people do you know who can face thirty-to-one odds and come out the winner?

But there was something about Samson that would take him down time after time. In addition to his unusual power and calling from God, a huge internal battle raged within the man—a struggle with women. Outwardly, God’s favor is on Samson and God still uses him. But internally, a hurricane is brewing.

This internal hurricane ultimately led him into the arms of Delilah, who betrayed him to Israel’s enemy, the Philistines. Samson crashed big-time. He had been called by God and set aside by God from birth to lead his people during a time of great need, but at the end of his life, Samson was blind, imprisoned, and powering the Philistines’ grain mill. The internal engine that drove him into illicit relationships with women time after time finally broke him.

The consequences of sin were very real for Samson. He was blinded and condemned to be a slave. But God is always greater than any consequences. The story of God’s redemption is for everyone who puts their trust in Jesus for life and for salvation. Satan can knock us down, but we will rise. The real story is that Satan’s going down, ultimately and eternally.

Samson’s story finishes in Dagon’s temple. There the former judge of Israel said, “Put me where I can feel the pillars that support the temple, so that I may lean against them” (Judges 16:26).

The temple was packed, and there were an extra three thousand spectators on the roof for this major event. Yes, the situation had gone off the rails for Samson. Yes, he had abandoned God’s calling on his life and faced the consequences, but he acknowledged that God was still sovereign and still able to make something amazing of his life.

In Dagon’s temple, Samson prayed. And what a prayer it was! “Sovereign Lord, remember me. (Judges 16:28). Isn’t that exactly what the thief on the cross prayed in his comeback story? “Remember me.”

In Samson’s last gasp, God’s power came back to him. The deliverance of all Israel started the day of Samson’s swansong comeback. What he had not done in his lifetime, he did in his death, because our God is the God of the comeback.

That’s the lesson for us. It’s never too late. We’re never too far gone. We haven’t strayed too far. God is always good, and he always remembers us. Our prayer isn’t to get revenge on a group of people, but it’s to be strengthened once more so we might live for God’s glory. We push with all our might on whatever stone pillars are keeping us bound. With God’s strength renewed in us, the walls of our prisons come toppling down.


What got in the way of Samson fulfilling all the things God had in store for him? How did Samson gradually allow temptation to take him down and out?

In what ways does the enemy use temptation to take us farther and farther down the wrong path? Why is this such an effective tactic?

What was Samson’s smashing comeback? What does his story reveal about God’s mercy and grace in spite of our faults?

Then he went up and touched the bier they were carrying him on, and the bearers stood still. He said, “Young man, I say to you, get up!” The dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him back to his mother.

Luke 7:14-15


All funerals are bleak. But the one we read about in Luke 7:11–16 was especially disheartening. The Scripture says the man who’d just died was the only son of a widow. If you were a widow in those days, you were basically broke. Legally, you couldn’t own property or a business. You were dependent on relatives. Most directly, your son, if you were lucky enough to have one. If you didn’t have a son or if he died, then you were destined for certain poverty and dismay.

That’s what this widow was facing. Her husband had died, and now her only son was dead. She had a broken heart and a grim future. But then Jesus stepped into the situation.

Straightaway, he did something about the dire situation. He walked up to the stretcher and held on to it, enough so that those carrying the stretcher stood still. The funeral procession instantly ground to a halt. That’s when Jesus spoke to a dead man and told him to get up. It all happened so quickly. Scripture describes how the dead man rose up and began to talk. Then Jesus gave him back to his mother.

I love that there’s an exclamation point in the Bible right then. “Get up!” Jesus was reaching with his power and authority into death and commanding that which was dead to be alive again. Jesus wasn’t merely hoping something good would happen. He was giving death an order. “Death, you don’t have the power here. I have the power. You will obey!”

Immediately the young man sat up. Can you picture that? The graveclothes came loose, and he pawed at the coverings around his eyes. It was like a zombie movie, except this guy wasn’t a member of the living dead. He was completely alive, fully restored and made healthy again.

That’s the same word Jesus is saying to you now, the same word he said to that young man. “Get up!” Even though the enemy wants to bury you, Jesus is in the habit of interrupting funerals. He intersected the one in Nain as well as several others during his ministry, and he can intersect yours with the intentionality and power of the one who raises the dead.

The message of the gospel is that Jesus loves to interrupt funerals. In Jesus’ hands, he turns stretchers into worship celebrations. He grabs hold of your stretcher and tells you to live again. God wants to touch your life and use your life to raise up hope for your generation. It’s time to let Jesus shine his light of truth and mercy and grace and healing on you. It’s time for you to get off your stretcher and walk back into town.

It may be that the people who knew you best will stare at you in astonishment and exclaim, “What happened to you?” because they can’t believe it. They knew you were heading for the cemetery. But Jesus’ message is that there isn’t going to be a funeral today. He’s the God of the comeback. Let him touch you, heal you, and turn your life around.


What does the story of the widow of Nail reveal about the enemy’s plans for us? What does it reveal about Jesus’ plans for us?

How can you see yourself in this story? How has Jesus rescued you from death?

What is Jesus doing right now to lead you away from the path of destruction?

to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues.

1 Corinthians 12:9-10


We read many stories about people successfully overcoming obstacles as part of their comeback process. A person goes from hurting to healed, from sorrow to joy, from loss to gain. These stories are powerful and encouraging. But what do we do when an earthly comeback is not possible? What do we do when a loved one has died, or a business is gone, or a divorce is final? What do we do when the reality is that our situation will not resolve in this life?

For an answer we can turn to the story of Elijah and the widow in 1 Kings 17:8–24. When the story begins, Elijah had been camping out east of the Jordan River, along the Kerith Ravine, where each day God provided for him. In time, however, God told Elijah to travel to Zarephath, where a widow would take care of him. This widow wasn’t rich—we can see that right away from the text. She had one son, and their food was also running dangerously low.

The prophet found the widow and asked for a little water in a jar and a bit of bread. “Well why not,” she said, or words to that effect. “All I’ve got left is a handful of flour at home and a little cooking oil in a jar. I’m going to use these little scrubby sticks I’m collecting to build a fire when I get home. I’m going to use these last scrapings of my oil and flour to bake one last tiny meal for me and my son. We’re going to eat that, and then we’re going to die. You want the last of my food? Why not? If I give it to you, then all that does is hasten the end of our misery.”

Have you ever been there? At the end of your rope? How crazy does it sound that when we are at our absolute lowest, God asks for something from us? He invites us to give him our last meal. Do you know what that meal represents? It’s our full trust. When we are at our absolute lowest and weakest, Jesus invites us to hand him everything we have left. He invites us to give him our little, whatever our little is. When we give away our little, we place our full confidence in him.

In the widow’s case, when she did as Elijah had told her, there was food every day for Elijah and for her and her son. The jar of flour was not used up, and the jug of oil did not run dry. She gave away all she had, and she ended up with much more.

When Jesus is enough in our lives, we focus on what we have, not on what we don’t have. We bless God and don’t curse him. We gaze intently on God and run to him, not away from him. We believe God and don’t doubt him, even though we don’t understand our circumstances. We ask him to take the half of us that’s left and make that everything he wants us to be. When we have no comeback, the comeback is that Jesus is enough.


What can we learn from the widow’s example in this story about trusting God with our resources, giving all we have to him, and stepping out in faith?

When it comes to the problems you face, how can offering Jesus all that you have be part of God’s solution?

How has Jesus revealed to you that he is a firm foundation in the midst of the storm? How has he revealed to you that he is enough?

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Scripture References

  • Psalm 43:5
  • Exodus 3:9-10
  • Luke 23:42-43
  • Genesis 50:19-20
  • 1 Corinthians 10:12-13
  • 1 Corinthians 12:9-10
Louie Giglio

Global Pastor

Louie Giglio Louie Giglio is the Visionary Architect and Director of the Passion Movement, comprised of Passion Conferences, Passion City Church, Passion Publishing and sixstepsrecords, and the founder of Passion Institute.

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