November 29, 2018

Setbacks and Comebacks by Bob Jones

For every setback God will give you a greater comeback.

Our church leadership learned this lesson the hard way.

We cornered the market on setbacks. Or at least it felt that way in 2001. The process of relocating Central Tabernacle from an urban location in an iconic facility with a rich history of ministry, to a farmer’s field in Edmonton’s northwest frontier was rich with setbacks.

What was envisioned to last no longer than three years took over six.

We faced setback after setback after setback.

No money. No land. Negative momentum. Three strikes and you know what they say.

But, instead of being called “out” we found out about God’s provision in a way that only adversity and obstacles can reveal.

For each setback God gave us comeback. And the comeback was usually greater than the setback.

We found land at just the right time. We were able to purchase more than we needed and sold some to pay for what we kept. So, we got our land for free.

Now, 18 years later, North Pointe is a thriving come-as-you are community of 3,700 that exists to offer real hope, new life and lasting purpose.

Our setbacks taught us tenacious truths. Truths that we need now as we are facing a fresh set of setbacks. But that’s life.

Facing a setback? Here are somethings we learned that may help you.

14 Lessons We Learned

1. It’s always too soon to quit.

2. Never, ever, ever, ever quit.

3. The worst moments in our lives make us who we are.
 “…my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12

4. God’s delays are not denials.

5. When all hope seems lost hold on one day longer.

6. Following God’s will is a marathon not a sprint. You need endurance, stamina and perseverance. It’s a marathon of hope.

7. Perseverance is a long obedience in the same direction.

8. God has great things for us in all seasons of our lives.

9. God leads us in ways that we could never imagine as we follow him.

10. Stay gentle. Stay soft. Fight cynicism with curiosity. The curious are seldom cynical.

11. Faith is wavering between belief and unbelief, doubt and assurance, hope and despair, and finally, hesitantly, with your heart in your hands, acting on the belief part

12. There are three stages in most great tasks undertaken for God: Impossible…Difficult…Done.

13. Whenever you start to do anything for the Lord. It won’t be as easy as you think. The fact that you are doing it for the Lord seems to make no difference at all. 

14. God lets us struggle and sweat so that we learn to trust in Him at a deeper level than ever before.

God bless you in persevering and trusting Him to see you through. You will get through this.

I am a recovering perfectionist, who collects Coca-Cola memorabilia and drinks Iced Tea. My office walls are adorned with our sons’ framed football jerseys, and my library shelves, with soul food. I write to grow hope, inspire people to be real, forge an authentic faith in Jesus, and discover their life purpose.

Please follow my writing at Pointes Of View.


  1. What a powerful post, Bob. I love the 15 things listed, and have experienced most of them. Number seven is both meaningful, and most challenging. "Perseverance is a long obedience in the same direction." One centenarian told a friend of mine-"some decades are hard" And key also is to stay soft.(10) Thank-you for these power tips-I think I'll need to come back to this one.

    1. I love that you said you'll need to "Come back to this one" about comebacks. Please do. Thank you Jocelyn.

  2. Wowzers! All of the points are spot on but i think my favourite is still number one: It's always too soon to quit. That's simple but powerful.

    1. First time anybody ever comment "Wowzers" on anything I've written. History has been made. Thank you Tracy.

  3. Thank you for the counsel Bob. It can be so easy to quit. Perhaps I resonate with #2 for that reason. "Never, ever, ever, ever quit." Keep writing Bob!

  4. Ever, ever, ever, ever. No quitting allowed.

  5. "Setbacks and Comebacks--I love your title, Pastor Bob. I also love your list, all of it, but I love the way people are calling out numbers that are especially pertinent to them. I especially appreciate #8, because I am gradually stepping into the next season of my life and trying to embrace it.

    The Christmas card I got for my husband says, ". . . Some years we need more hugs, some years we share more laughs." The card then concludes by saying that one thing that doesn't change is that we have each other.

    As Christians, we can say that one thing that will never change for us is that God is with us no matter what. Thanks for The List.


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