Summer 2024

Daily Devotional: Thursday, March 28 - Never Too Late For A Comeback

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.” — Ephesians 3:20

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Why is it that March Madness captivates the entire country every year? Of course, it’s nonstop basketball, brackets with friends, and an equal playing field for the headliners as well as the never-before-heard-of obscure teams and mascots who capture the hearts of spectators and viewers alike. According to a recent survey by WalletHub, 26% of Americans are willing to skip work to watch March Madness.

But as a former high school basketball coach, I think it’s much deeper than busted brackets and low production at work. The essence of March Madness is all about the comeback stories. It’s about hope when there seems to be no way. It’s about fighting back when it would be much easier to give up or give in. It’s about getting knocked down and finding the strength to get back up.

We have already seen some great comebacks in the 2024 tourney. Dayton went on a 24-4 run to win its first-round game over Nevada, after falling behind 56-39 with 7 minutes, 19 seconds left to play, making it one of the best comebacks in March Madness history. The largest comeback on record in March Madness happened in 2012, when the BYU Cougars overcame a 25-point deficit against the Iona Gaels in the first round of the tourney.

When a comeback is about to happen, you can “feel” it in the gym. It’s hard to explain, but if you know, you know. It’s a surge of energy and momentum, and it’s tangible. Your team gains confidence and energy, and you start to truly believe that winning is possible. When faith arises, you back up that belief with action. Shots start going in, turnovers start happening in your favor, and calls start going your way.

Every game has a moment that changes everything. You never know when that moment is going to be until you experience it.

Likewise, our daily lives often mirror the unpredictability of March Madness. Just when situations seem dire, there’s always the potential for a remarkable turnaround. Just when things seem hopeless, there’s always a chance for a comeback when Jesus is the Head Coach of our lives.

Author Louie Giglio captures it perfectly: “Whatever you need to come back from, I want you to hear this: If Jesus is alive from the dead — and He is — and if Jesus has conquered death and hell — and He has — then it’s possible for every person to have a comeback story.” No matter what you’re facing, there’s hope for a turnaround.

We all face challenges and struggles much bigger than a basketball game. Many of those challenges and struggles did not give us a heads up or announce their entrance into the game. We didn’t see them coming. We were winning and then all of a sudden we weren’t. But Jesus isn’t caught off guard. He already has your master comeback game plan ready.

Have you lost sight of your purpose? Or maybe you never found it to begin with? You need a comeback. Maybe your relationship with your spouse or kids is struggling? You need a comeback. Are you in bondage to addictions that started off innocently enough but now control your life? There is hope — you need a comeback. Maybe you are in a dark place, and you just need hope but have no idea where to find it? You need a comeback.

Your comeback may be overcoming great obstacles. Or your comeback may be allowing God to redeem hard things in your life and use them for good. Whatever the cause, life hasn’t turned out 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 here’s the best news ever: We serve a God who specializes in comebacks. It’s never too late, and you’ve never gone too far. 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.

— Melissa Motes

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